Nets try to improve playoff positioning against Toronto

The Brooklyn Nets can still try to improve their playoff positioning Sunday afternoon when they visit the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre.

The Nets are fourth in the Eastern Conference, but only two games behind the Indiana Pacers for third. The Nets have a relatively easy finale to the season with home games against the Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons.

The Nets are playing great basketball. They've won four in a row and five of their last six. Two of their wins during this run were great road victories over the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers.

The win over the Pacers was impressive. They built a 20-point lead in the second quarter, lost it, but were brilliant down the stretch and came out with a 117-109 victory. The 117 points were the most the Pacers surrendered all season.

"This was a good one for us," Deron Williams said. "There's still a chance we can catch them."

Williams led the way with 33 points and Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez had 24 points apiece. Jerry Stackhouse and C.J. Watson both had double figures off the bench.

Reggie Evans pulled down 12 rebounds, but was ejected in the third quarter.

The Raptors have also been playing well lately with two straight wins and four in their last five.

On Friday, they toppled the Chicago Bulls, 97-88. The night before, the Bulls ended the New York Knicks' 13-game winning streak.

Toronto was led by 24 points from Amir Johnson. Rudy Gay added 13 and DeMar DeRozan had 19. Kyle Lowry posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 assists and Quincy Acy chipped in 10 off the bench.

With less than six minutes to go in the third quarter, Bulls guard Rip Hamilton threw an ugly forearm that caught DeRozan under the chin. Acy ran into the mix to help his teammate and that pleased head coach Dwane Casey.

"I liked that, the officials made the call but I liked that of our guys. No back-down," Casey said. "That's what we're trying to develop, that's what we want to be. Guys get frustrated when you touch them when you lean into them. We want them to be uncomfortable."

The Nets have won all three this season against the Raptors. Brooklyn has taken two of its last three north of the border, including a 94-88 victory in December.