The Nets, who led by 12 points in the third quarter and still led
by 11 early in the fourth, needed a last-second stop on Raptors
point guard Kyle Lowry to hang on for a 104-103 in Game 7 of their
first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
The Nets meet the Miami Heat in the next round but they nearly
didn't make it past the upstart Raptors.
"They were very resilient, I tip my hat to guys like Kyle Lowry and
DeMar DeRozan," said Nets forward Joe Johnson, who scored 26 points
-- 13 in the fourth quarter. "They led that team the whole way. They
were tough. We knew this was going to be a tough series."
Lowry, who scored 28 points with seven rebounds and three assists,
had the final attempt of the game. But he was impeded by veteran
Nets center Kevin Garnett and Lowry's desperation shot from six feet
was blocked by forward Paul Pierce.
The rebound was grabbed by guard Deron Williams to clinch the win.
"It was a pick and roll, they did a good job," Lowry said. "I didn't
get the shot off that I wanted to get off."
"I thought KG did a great job on the pick and roll," Johnson said of
Garnett. "Trapping Kyle Lowry, putting him in a tough situation,
making him take a tough shot and Paul made the block. It was great
"You have to find ways to help your team win," said Pierce, who only
had 10 points with five fouls. "I just happened to be in the right
spot. I saw (Lowry) split defenders and I got my hand on the ball."
Lowry cut the Nets' lead to one with a driving bank shot with 16.7
seconds to play.
Nets guard Shaun Livingston, who finished with 10 points, made two
free throws with 13.2 seconds to play to put the lead at three
The margin was back to one after forward Terrence Ross, who had 11
points, made a driving layup. The Raptors took possession on a
turnover with 6.2 seconds left, but Lowry had his attempt blocked at
"We were feeling that Lowry was going to get the ball," Nets coach
Jason Kidd said. "I told KG walking on the floor that he needed to
trap. Once the ball comes in, maybe it's a pick and roll, I need you
to go hit it and stay with it and make him a passer. Paul steps up
and makes a great block."
"Kyle tried to split the defense and I ripped him a little bit and
got the ball out of his hands," Garnett said. "Then I saw Paul come
over the top for the block."
"You go back to experience, our spacing wasn't pristine," Raptors
coach Dwane Casey said. "Guys kind of panicked a little bit, turned
to the ball. We had two guys right in the same spot where (Terrence)
Ross was supposed to be in the corner. ... On that play a lot of
things happened but again I'm proud of our guys. Nobody gave them a
snowball's chance in you know where."
Guard DeMar DeRozan said that Lowry was the right player to take the
biggest shot of the season.
"Without him, we wouldn't have been here," he said.
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Reserve guard Marcus Thornton added 17 points for the Nets, Williams
had 13 and Garnett added 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Raptors forward Amir Johnson scored 20 points and grabbed 10
rebounds before fouling out with 7:53 left in the game.
DeRozan added 18 points for the Raptors and reserve forward Patrick
Patterson had 16.
The Nets entered the fourth quarter with an eight-point advantage.
Johnson's 3-pointer midway through the fourth bumped the lead to 10
points. After DeRozan trimmed the lead to eight again, Williams made
one of two free throws with 4:12 to play. DeRozan was called for an
offensive foul to negate an apparent field goal.
Johnson missed the free throw on a technical foul called against
DeRozan on the play. Lowry made both free throws after
center/forward Andray Blatche was called for his fifth foul with
3:16 to play. Lowry made a jumper to cut the lead to five. Johnson
responded with two minutes left.
Patterson cut the lead to five. Williams hit one of two foul shots
for a six-point margin. Patterson's two free throws cut the lead to
four. With 25 seconds left, Lowry made two free throws and the Nets
led by two. Williams hit one of two free throws with 22.5 seconds
left for a three-point Brooklyn lead.
The Nets led 81-73 after the third quarter that ended on DeRozan's
3-pointer at the buzzer.
The Nets took a 61-53 lead into the intermission with Thornton
contributing 14 points while Johnson led Toronto with 18 first-half
points. The Raptors led 28-26 after the first quarter.
NOTES: Raptors coach Dwane Casey, who was stuck in traffic because
of road closures for a marathon, opted to take the subway to Air
Canada Centre for Sunday's game. He was recognized by Raptors fans.
"They just said, 'Go get 'em.'" ... Nets players entered Sunday
having appeared in a Game 7 for a combined total of 27 games while
Raptors players had combined for seven Game 7 appearances. ... The
Nets were playing in the third Game 7 in team history and the second
in two years, having lost last season to the Chicago Bulls in the
deciding game of their first-round series. The Nets also lost to the
Detroit Pistons in Game 7 of the 2004 Eastern Conference semifinals.
... The Raptors lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2001 Eastern
semifinals in their only previous Game 7.
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