Raptors take first-ever 3-0 series lead after dominant win over Nets

Aug 21 2020, 1:03 pm

The Toronto Raptors have been down 3-0 in playoff series more times than their fans would care to remember.

Now the first time in franchise history, they’re the team leading 3-0.

The Raptors’ 117-92 win over the Brooklyn Nets in Game 3 on Friday has them one win away from the second round.

Fred VanVleet starred for the Raptors yet again. His day was highlighted by this crazy buzzer beater at the end of the first half.

After a tough shooting day in Game 2, VanVleet was back on track today. He shot 61.5% from the floor (8-of-13) including 60% from deep (6-of-10), finishing with 22 points.

Pascal Siakam also had a big day, leading the Raptors with 26 points.

A slow start to Game 2 forced Toronto to play most of the game from behind, but Game 3 was a different story. The Raptors came out and hit their first four three-point attempts, helping power them to an early 18-8 lead.

Their shooting went cold after that, but strong defence still allowed them to head into the break up 24-17.

With VanVleet’s ridiculous buzzer beater capping things off, the Raptors led 57-42 at the half.

The Raptors took an 84-68 lead in the fourth quarter. Having outscored the Nets by a combined 26 points in the fourth quarter over the first two games, they were in prime position to finish this one off.

And once again, it was all Raptors in the fourth. They outscored the Nets 33-24, with Serge Ibaka helping to put a wrap on things.

After years of making first round match-ups against mediocre opponents much harder than they needed to be, the Raptors look like they’re finally handling business the way they should be against a heavily-depleted Brooklyn team. The Nets gave the Raptors everything they had in Game 2, and it still wasn’t enough. The rest of this series has been all Toronto.

Their likely second-round opponent, the Boston Celtics, are up 2-0 in their series against the Philadelphia 76ers and look like they could finish that series pretty quickly too, so the Raptors don’t want to let their series against Brooklyn last any longer than it needs to.

The Raptors will go for the first sweep in franchise history in Game 4 at 6:30 pm ET/3:30 pm PT on Sunday.

Jack WeberJack Weber

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