Raptors continue homestand with Brooklyn in town

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Raptors have a seemingly comfortable 13-game lead on the Brooklyn Nets in the Atlantic Division.

The Raptors will try to pad the lead even further when the Nets pay a visit to Air Canada Centre Wednesday night.

Toronto is 9-0 against division opponents and 23-9 in conference play. It opened a five-game homestand with Monday's 82-75 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, as DeMar DeRozan scored 16 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 12 and 13 rebounds.

Lou Williams scored 12 points for the Raptors, who struggled from the field in making 32.1 percent of their shots and 7-of-27 3-pointers. The Raptors posted 14 points in the first quarter, 19 in the third and had a 15-9 scoring advantage in the final period.

"That was a stinker," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.

The Raptors are 18-8 at home and will also entertain the Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs and Washington Wizards on this homestand.

Brooklyn has lost three in a row on the road and is scheduled to play nine of the next 10 games away from home.

The Nets ended a four-game slide with Monday's 102-100 victory over the Clippers and recorded their third win in the last 15 tries. Jarrett Jack's tie-breaking jumper with 1.3 seconds remaining capped a furious comeback for Brooklyn, which trailed 90-79 with 5:16 to play and was down by 10 with four minutes left.

Joe Johnson buried a pair of 3-pointers during a 21-9 run and finished with 22 points, while Deron Williams (rib) returned from an 11-game absence to give Brooklyn a big lift with 15 points off the bench.

"We made some big shots," said Nets head coach Lionel Hollins. "We made 12 threes tonight, we haven't made that many in a long time. We just kept battling and battling."

Brook Lopez added 24 points for the Nets, who scored 64 points in the second half and made 49.4 percent from the floor.

The Nets will host New York on Friday before embarking on an eight-game trek.

Brooklyn is 0-2 against Toronto this season and the Atlantic rivals will meet again April 3 at Barclays Center. The Raptors have won four of the last six games in this series.