- Associated Press - Thursday, April 24, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - If Dwane Casey has any concerns coming to Brooklyn, they aren’t about his players.

The Toronto Raptors have already proven they can handle the road just fine.

As for his boss, general manager Masai Ujiri, who figures to hear an earful Friday night?

“I told him I wasn’t going to sit next to him or anything like,” Casey said Thursday, “but he’s fine. He’s seen a lot, so he’s going to be OK.”

Casey is confident his young Raptors will be as well when they face the Nets in Game 3 of their first-round series, which is tied at one game apiece.

Some of the best action came before it even started.

Ujiri ended his comments at a rally before Game 1 in Toronto with an expletive about Brooklyn, earning a $25,000 fine from the NBA.

The lost money may be the least of Ujiri’s concerns if some of Brooklyn’s most passionate fans spot him in the Barclays Center crowd.

“Very, very eager to see how they respond to the ‘F Brooklyn,’” Nets center Kevin Garnett said. “Very, very eager to see how they respond to this kid.”

The Nets are counting on the usual home boost in a building where they were unbeatable for two months during the regular season. Brooklyn won a franchise-record 15 straight games, tied for the longest home winning streak in the NBA this season, in February and March before dropping two down the stretch after they had clinched a playoff spot.

Yet home-court advantage hasn’t meant much in this postseason, where Chicago and Houston both fell into 2-0 holes in their own arenas, so the Nets realize they can’t rely too much on it.

“We understand that this is not going to be easy by any means,” Nets veteran Joe Johnson said.

“You just look around throughout the playoffs, a lot of teams have been losing at home.”

The Raptors were one of them, with the Nets winning the series opener. Toronto bounced back for a 100-95 victory in Game 2, overcoming its turnover problems by overwhelming Brooklyn on the boards and getting 30 points from All-Star DeMar DeRozan, including a franchise playoff-record 17 in the fourth quarter.

Now the Raptors need a breakthrough on the road, where they have lost 12 straight in the playoffs since beating Philadelphia in Game 1 of the 2001 Eastern Conference semifinals, and are just 3-15.

Story Continues →