Barnes enjoys perfect 1st half en route to 28 points as Raptors down Nets

Nick Nurse's team scored 42 points in the first quarter to push them over Brooklyn in their final away game before returning home to a full-capacity Scotiabank Arena.

Toronto bounces back from pair of blowout losses in 1st victory since all-star break

Toronto forward Scottie Barnes attempts a shot during the first half of the Raptors' 133-97 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday. (Noah K. Murray/The Associated Press)

Scottie Barnes made his first 11 shots and had 28 points and a season-high 16 rebounds, leading the Toronto Raptors to a 133-97 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night in the opener of a home-and-home series.

Blown out by Charlotte and Atlanta in their first two games after the all-star break, the Raptors were on the good side of a romp against a Nets team that was missing their best players, their coach and apparently anyone who could guard Barnes.

The forward was 10 for 10 at halftime, the first rookie to be perfect on 10 or more shots in a half since Derrick Rose on March 18, 2009, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Nets finally stopped the No. 4 pick when James Johnson blocked his shot with 7:08 left in the third quarter.

Blown out by Charlotte and Atlanta in their first two games after the All-Star break, the Raptors were on the good side of a romp.

"We were just really locked in and really focused," Barnes said. "Really just wanted to bounce back after those first two games. Just really had to bring it tonight."

By then, Barnes was on the way to matching his highest-scoring game on a night Toronto led by as many as 39 points.

WATCH | Barnes keys Raptors' win over Nets:

Scottie Barnes leads Raptors in rout of Nets

9 months ago
Duration 1:12
Barnes put up game-highs with 28 points and 16 rebounds in a dismantling of Brooklyn.

Precious Achiuwa had 20 points and eight rebounds for the Raptors, who played without All-Star guard Fred VanVleet because of a sore right knee. VanVleet replacement Malachi Flynn scored 18 points.

The teams play again Tuesday in Toronto, which the Nets hope will be their last game without Kevin Durant, who is expected to return soon after missing the last 20 games with a sprained left knee ligament. Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons were also out for the Nets, and coach Steve Nash was placed in health and safety protocols shortly before the game. Assistant Jacque Vaughn ran the team in his place.

The Raptors moved three games ahead of the Nets for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. The No. 7 seed hosts No. 8 to open the play-in round, with the winner of that game earning the No. 7 seed. No. 8 hosts the winner of the 9-10 game for the No. 8 seed.

The Nets never envisioned having to worry about that, but it looks increasingly likely after their 14th loss in 17 games. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 15 points, while Cam Thomas and Bruce Brown had 14.

Brooklyn was coming off a victory at defending champion Milwaukee on Saturday, with Irving scoring 38 points. Irving was unavailable again at home Monday because he hasn't met New York City's vaccine mandate, nor will he be able to travel to Toronto.

Nash said before the game he has not had any new talks with Irving about getting the shot.

Toronto was 6 for 9 from 3-point range to take a 42-27 lead after one quarter. Barnes had 13 points on 5-for-5 shooting, then went 5 for 5 and scored 11 in the second, when Toronto led by 28 before taking a 71-48 lead to the break.

Coach Nick Nurse said OG Anunoby (broken right finger) hadn't seen a specialist yet so had no update. The Raptors signed forward D.J. Wilson to a third 10-day contract.

The Raptors will be allowed to play in front of full capacity on Tuesday after being limited to 1,000 fans when they were last home on Feb. 12.

"It hasn't been that great for our team or even our opposition coming in, the low energy that's been in that building with no one there," Nurse said. "So especially for a place that's full of energy, it's a super-fun place to be when we do have funs and all that stuff, so we're certainly looking forward to that."

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