Raptors’ DeRozan shakes off struggles in debut

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TORONTO (AP) - DeMar DeRozan didn’t even want to think about basketball, let alone watch any, after a disappointing playoff debut.

Toronto’s All-Star guard had a game to forget in Saturday’s 94-87 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, making only 3 of 13 field goal attempts. DeRozan finished with 14 points, thanks mostly to an 8-for-8 showing at the free throw line, but he sure wasn’t happy about it.

“I sat in my room the rest of the day,” DeRozan said after the Raptors practiced Sunday. “I didn’t leave the room. I didn’t turn the TV on. I didn’t watch no games. I just cleared my mind.”

In the past, DeRozan has sometimes tried to shake off bad performances by taking late-night shots at Toronto’s practice gym.

“I really thought about it,” he said. “About 1 a.m. I was going to come back, but I was like, don’t put too much pressure on myself. Just get my rest, regroup today.”

Regrouping wasn’t on DeRozan’s agenda before the series started, when he claimed he’d make a smooth transition to postseason play, saying, “It ain’t like it’s rocket science.”

Now it seems DeRozan and the rest of the Atlantic Division champion Raptors have some serious figuring out to do if they want to extend their playoff adventure against the veteran Nets.

DeRozan wasn’t the only Toronto player who didn’t deliver Saturday. Second-year guard Terrence Ross picked up two quick fouls, then got his third early in the second half. Ross, who finished with three points in 16 minutes, called his introduction to the NBA playoffs “unreal.”

“I can’t even explain it,” Ross said. “The atmosphere was unlike anything I’ve ever been in in my life.”

Raptors coach Dwane Casey thought the referees didn’t help.

“I thought some of the fouls we got called for frustrated a lot of our guys,” Casey said. “Looking at the film, they should have (been frustrated).”

After reviewing video of Saturday’s loss, the Raptors sounded confident they’ll put their playoff jitters behind them for Game 2 on Tuesday night.

“I think the bright lights will dim a little bit for everyone; everything will calm down a little bit,” guard Kyle Lowry said. “I think that first game is always tough at home because of the excitement, and we have a bunch of young guys.”

Even though his total playoff experience is only one game, DeRozan said that’s enough.

“I don’t need a whole other playoff round to get ready,” he said. “I watched a lot of film. I understand. I’m definitely not going to make the same mistakes twice.”

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