"Me, Richard Sherman, Ed Reed, we're all in the same category,"
the playful Patterson said.
Patterson not only stole guard Deron Williams inbound pass with 10.9
seconds remaining, but he also sank the game-winning 12-foot jumper
for Toronto, which won for the third time in four games.
Patterson, who scored 15 points off the bench, gained some personal
redemption after an air ball on a 3-point attempt with 42.9 seconds
remaining in the fourth quarter that would have given the Raptors
"That felt great," Patterson said. "I was saying to myself after
that air ball it would have been a perfect opportunity to pump-fake,
one dribble and pull up, but I'm thankful I had another
Kyle Lowry torched the Nets for 31 points — one shy of his season
high — on 10-of-18 shooting, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range.
However, the guard's biggest play came on his seventh assist, when
he found Patterson in the closing seconds.
"Honestly, it would have been tough passes to others," said Lowry,
who also had five rebounds, five steals and buried a 48-footer to
beat the halftime buzzer. "It was the safest pass for me, and I have
confidence in Pat. He shot the air ball earlier in the corner, but I
have confidence he is going to make that shot every time."
Toronto center Jonas Valanciunas had 20 points and 13 rebounds while
playing stellar defense against future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett
(six points). Guard Greivis Vasquez had 12, and swingman Terrence
Ross added 10 points for the Raptors (23-21). Toronto was playing
without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan, who missed the game due to a
sprained left foot.
"It takes a whole village to win the game, and we did," Raptors
coach Dwane Casey said. "We knew that. It took everybody tonight,
and everybody that stepped on the court contributed."
Paul Pierce scored a season-high 33 points, including three
3-pointers as part of a 15-2 run for the Nets (20-23) in the fourth
quarter. The veteran guard knocked down seven treys, but he missed a
desperation heave as time expired.
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"He was great, he was great on both ends," Nets coach Jason Kidd
said of Pierce. "That's a veteran guy understanding the magnitude of
a game like this at home against a team that's in front of you. He
definitely had a big game."
Forward Andray Blatche came off the bench to score 20 points, and
guard Joe Johnson added 12 points for Brooklyn, which had its
season-high, five-game winning streak snapped.
"It's tough," Pierce said. "We fought so hard to come back, but we
put ourselves in a bad position. We got down late, we got down in
the fourth quarter and we had to claw our way back. We gave
ourselves a chance to win. Sometimes that's all you can ask for. We
just didn't execute properly down the stretch."
Toronto did, though, in an airtight battle between the top two teams
in the Atlantic Division that featured 18 lead changes and nine
"It's just all about our toughness, our resiliency," Patterson said.
"No matter who is out there during the course of the game, no matter
who's not playing, the guys on this team, we step up every single
night and we put our hearts on the line."
NOTES: Toronto G DeMar DeRozan, who sprained his left foot in the
third quarter Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers, missed his
first game since April 26, 2012. The Raptors' leading scorer (21.8
points per game) did not make the trip, snapping a streak of 125
consecutive starts dating back to Oct. 31, 2012. DeRozan has missed
just eight games in five seasons with the Raptors. ... Also out for
Toronto was F Landry Fields (right wrist surgery). ... Several
players from the Seattle Seahawks watched the game from a Barclays
Center suite. Cornerback Richard Sherman sat courtside. ... The Nets
are the first team since the 1995-96/1996-97 Chicago Bulls to start
January 10-1 or better in back-to-back years, according to Elias
Sports Bureau. ... The Nets remain in Brooklyn to take on the
Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night. ... The Raptors return to
Toronto to play the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.
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