One more win.
On Friday, the Toronto Raptors took a commanding 3-0 lead in their first-round series with the Brooklyn Nets with a 117-92 victory. They will have an opportunity to close the series out and punch their ticket to the second round with a victory on Sunday.
With that in mind, here are three things to watch in Game 4.
Where To Watch
Date: Sunday, Aug. 23
Time: 6:30 p.m.
TV: TSN (Canada), YES Network and TNT (USA)
Location: The Field House, Orlando, FL
Three Things to Watch
Toronto keeping their foot on the gas
Their win in Game 3 marked the first time in franchise history that the Raptors have held a 3-0 lead in a series.
You know what that means: Toronto will be looking to complete its first-ever sweep on Sunday.
Without Joe Harris - not to mention Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan, Wilson Chandler and Taurean Prince - it's clear that the Nets don't have the firepower to challenge the Raptors in this series, but if their play in Game 3 was any indication, they won't go down without a fight. The Raptors looked like they were going to run away with the game on several occasions, only for the Nets to make a little run to keep things within striking distance.
For the Raptors to close the series out, they can't afford to take the short-handed Nets lightly, even with a 3-0 lead.
Fred VanVleet's hot shooting
VanVleet has been playing so well in the season restart that we're starting to take him for granted.
Pascal Siakam led the Raptors in scoring in Game 3 with 26 points, but VanVleet wasn't far behind him with 22 points to go along with five rebounds and five assists.
VanVleet had it going from the perimeter once again, knocking down six 3-pointers, one of which was from well beyond halfcourt.
.@FredVanVleet is just ridiculous pic.twitter.com/MDyUyV1Sru- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) August 21, 2020
According to NBA.com, VanVleet made 45.5 percent of his catch-and-shoot 3s and 35.7 percent of his pull-up 3s in Toronto's eight seeding games. Through three games against the Nets, he's up to 57.1 percent on catch-and-shoot 3s and 50.0 percent on pull-up 3s.
A lot of those pull-up 3s have been several feet behind the 3-point line as well, almost at Damian Lillard range.
Are those numbers at all sustainable? Conventional wisdom says no, but this isn't the first time VanVleet has turned into a walking fireball in the playoffs.
Tyler Johnson stepping up
Caris LeVert is the engine driving Brooklyn's offence, but for the Nets to have any chance of winning a game in this series, they're going to need someone else to step up.
Without Harris, it was Johnson who gave the Nets a much-needed scoring punch in Game 3. He led the way with 23 points in only 24 minutes, doing so on 8-for-15 shooting from the field and 5-for-9 from 3-point range.
Johnson was the key to the Nets making things interesting in the third quarter before the Raptors ran away with it in the fourth.
🔥 @RealTJohnson 🔥#BrooklynStrong | @ImperialDade pic.twitter.com/nyvvTILSMJ- Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) August 21, 2020
Will Johnson have a repeat performance in Game 4?
The official injury report has not yet been made available, but we know Joe Harris (personal reasons) and Patrick McCaw (left knee) won't be available, as they have both left the NBA Campus in Orlando.
Game 1 - Toronto Raptors 134, Brooklyn Nets 110
Game 2 - Toronto Raptors 104, Brooklyn Nets 99
Game 3 - Toronto Raptors 117, Brooklyn Nets 92
Game 4 - Sunday, Aug. 23, 6:30 p.m. - TSN
Game 5 - Tuesday, Aug. 25, TBD - Sportsnet*
Game 6 - Thursday, Aug. 27, TBD - TSN*
Game 7 - Saturday, Aug. 29, TBD - Sportsnet*
* Games 5-7 If necessary
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