A barrage of 3-pointers heading through the hoop led to an impressive comeback performance by the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.
A similar showing may earn the Nets the chance to play for a trip to Las Vegas along with the financial benefit linked to winning the NBA in-season tournament.
Coming off the NBA’s most proficient performance from behind the arc through the first month of the season, the Nets conclude the group stage of the in-season tournament Tuesday night when they host the eliminated Toronto Raptors.
“I don’t know all the particular rules. I know we got to win by a certain amount,” Brooklyn guard Spencer Dinwiddie said. “But I mean, shoot, who doesn’t like money?”
The Nets are 2-1 in the tournament and tied for Boston for second place in East Group C behind the Orlando Magic (3-1). If the Nets and Celtics finish with the same record, Boston would win the head-to-head tiebreaker by virtue of its 121-107 win on Nov. 10.
The Nets will attempt to advance while relying on the struggling Chicago Bulls to beat the Celtics, two nights after Brooklyn faced Chicago and stormed back from a 21-point deficit in the first quarter for an 118-109 win on Sunday thanks to their consistent ability to hit 3s.
The second tiebreaker is point differential in group play. So far, Brooklyn owns a plus-8 differential while Boston sits at a differential of zero.
Dinwiddie scored 24 points as the Nets finished two shy of the team record for 3s and set a record for triples in a home game. Royce O’Neale and Lonnie Walker IV added 20 apiece as each player sank six 3s and Brooklyn hit 11 in an impressive second quarter when they outscored the Bulls 44-19 to seize control.
“I’ve been a part of some interesting games along the way,” Brooklyn coach Jacque Vaughn said. “I’ll tell you that much. To string the threes together was extremely impressive. Not sure I can remember any game like that.”
The Nets could be even more short-handed against Toronto than they have been. Ben Simmons (back) was ruled out, Cam Thomas (ankle) is doubtful and Nic Claxton (ankle) is questionable.
The Raptors are 1-2 in their three tournament games and head to Brooklyn after one of their worst shooting performances in recent weeks. After shooting at least 50 percent in its previous four games, Toronto shot 41.6 percent in Sunday’s 105-102 loss at Cleveland.
Toronto could not expand a 10-point halftime lead and finished with a season-low 17 assists while shooting under 70 percent at the free throw line for the ninth time.
The Raptors also hit 8 of 32 3-point attempts, marking their third-fewest in a game this season. Toronto’s struggles behind the arc occurred after it made 64 in its previous five games.
Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl scored 18 points apiece. They combined to make 15 of 26 shots but the rest of the Raptors combined to shoot 34.9 percent.
“It felt we were in control of the game but there were some hustle plays in the third and fourth quarter that went their way that really shouldn’t happen to us,” Poeltl said. “And that’s how you lose a close game.”