TORONTO - If the Nets are going to salvage this season, building off of Monday's epic comeback win over the Clippers would be a start.
First chance: Wednesday night's tough road game against the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors.
Jarrett Jack followed up his winning shot from Monday with 24 points and six assists as the Nets beat the Raptors, 109-93, at Air Canada Centre.
"You know what?'' Jack said. "Honestly, man, this is the fun part of the season: the unknown. You never know when all those hours of practice or film sessions, when they're really going to come together and materialize and you're going to hit that stride as to where you're going to start just bringing consistent, positive basketball. Hopefully, this is the stride for us.''
The Nets were coming off their astounding 102-100 win over the Clippers. The Nets erased a nine-point deficit in the final 1:35 and snapped a four-game losing streak on Jack's basket with 1.3 seconds left.
That win was the Nets' first at home in 2015. After Friday night's visit from the Knicks, the Nets will play their next eight games on the road (with the All-Star break in between).
Tough road, indeed.
Wednesday night, Alan Anderson had 22 points, Deron Williams scored 11 and had six assists in his second game back from a rib injury, and Joe Johnson offset a quiet scoring night (12 points) with a team-high seven assists.
"It's humbling to see your team start to get it,'' coach Lionel Hollins said. "You fight 'em, you're yelling, you're coaxing 'em, you're hugging 'em, you're doing all kinds of stuff and all of a sudden the light comes on and they start playing for each other and believing in each other.''
The Nets (20-28) trail Miami by one-half game for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Heat lost to Minnesota, 102-101, Wednesday night.
The Raptors had been 9-0 against division opponents this season. Terrence Ross led Toronto (33-17) with 23 points off the bench. Toronto beat the Nets in a 127-122 overtime thriller in Brooklyn on Friday.
On Monday, Williams had 15 points after missing 11 games with a fractured rib. Hollins stayed with Williams and Brook Lopez off the bench against the Raptors. Lopez, who had eight points, averaged 25.7 in his previous three games.
"We have a different energy about us,'' Lopez said.
On Wednesday night, the starters got the Nets off to a 17-11 lead. Williams and Lopez checked in together after Kevin Garnett picked up his second foul and (coincidentally or not) the Raptors went on a 17-5 run and ended the quarter with a 28-22 lead.
But the Nets stabilized things early in the second quarter and trailed 51-49 at the half. They went ahead by eight in the third quarter, and after Anderson scored the first five points of the fourth, the Nets expanded their lead to 81-72.
The Nets broke it open from there, and when Bojan Bogdanovic (11 points) hit a three-pointer with 5:41 left to make it 98-82, the game was all over but the hard fouling: Toronto's DeMar DeRozan was ejected with 1:02 left for a flagrant foul on Bogdanovic.