Kyrie Irving breaks the Toronto Raptors heart as they lose fourth straight game

Nickeem Khan
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Friday, December 16, 2022

Despite a great team effort, it wasn't enough as the Toronto Raptors lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Brooklyn Nets with a score of 119-116. Both teams played a great game, however, Kyrie Irving's buzzer-beating three-pointer gave the Nets their fifth straight win, and pushing the Raptors' losing streak to four games.

On display was another Fred VanVleet master class as he followed up his previous outing of 39 points, with another 39-point performance along with five rebounds and four assists. 23 of those points came in the first half and his stellar play pushed Toronto to an early lead of as much as 18 points. 

Health has continued to be an issue for Toronto as Gary Trent Jr. was sidelined but that opened up an opportunity for someone else and that ended up being Malachi Flynn, and he took advantage of it. Flynn finished with 13 points and provided a much-needed spark off the bench, especially in the first half. His play was imperative since Scottie Barnes was struggling mightily from the field.

Until the fourth quarter came along, Barnes couldn't get anything going. However, he played more like the player that the Raptors' faithful became familiar with last season. The reigning Rookie of the Year had 17 fourth-quarter points, finishing with 26 points. He was the go-to man for Toronto down the stretch and converted on big shot after big shot.

Despite the clutch play from Toronto, it was matched by clutch play from Brooklyn. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were sensational. Durant showcased his all-time skill and did it in an efficient fashion scoring 28 points on 10-15 shooting from the field. Irving was the hot hand in the second half and calmed everything down for the Nets whenever the Raptors were gaining momentum, as he finished with 32 points and five assists.

Great contributions from the supporting cast helped propel the Nets, specifically from Yuta Watanabe. The former Raptor was huge in this victory including the late go-ahead three en route to his 17 points and was a game-high +12.

Scottie would respond with two free throws to tie the game but gave the Nets eight seconds to work with. After using their foul to give, there were three seconds left on the inbound. Instead of going to KD, the Nets elected to go to Kyrie, who had a killer step-back and won the game with a dagger three-pointer at the buzzer.

After starting the season slowly, Brooklyn has made their way up the standings and has now won five games in a row sitting at 18-12. Meanwhile, things aren't looking good up north as the Toronto Raptors fall to 13-16 and are in a freefalling hole. Although the result isn't what the Raptors envisioned, they will have to get ready for their next game against the reigning NBA champion, Golden State Warriors, on Sunday at 6 PM ET.