The Nets defeated the Toronto Raptors by a score of 102-98 in Game 3 at Barclays Center to take a 2-1 series lead.
Need To Know: Joe Johnson (11-of-17, 3-for-4 from deep) scored a game-high 29 points to go along with two assists.
Deron Williams (7-of-14, 2-for-5 from deep) added 22 points of his own and eight assists.
Andray Blatche had 12 points off the bench. He shot a perfect 8-for-8 from the line.
The Nets led by 15 in the fourth, but saw the Raptors trim the lead to as little as one before finally icing it in the closing seconds.
Brooklyn outscored Toronto 42-32 in the paint.
Kevin Garnett and Kyle Lowry both fouled out in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter.
Brian ErniWow. That was some finish. The Nets looked like they were in complete control of this one, up 93-78 in the fourth. But suddenly the young Raptors mounted a run and, after an amazing play by Demar Derozan, got this game to within one. D-Will’s two missed free throws with 39.7 to go loomed large, but Patrick Patterson missed two bigger ones with under 20 ticks to play. Give a gigantic assist to Shaun Livingston, who seemed to fake Landry Fields into touching a loose ball as it went out of bounds with 16.8 to go, which gave the Nets a gigantic possession.
Awesome jam by Paul Pierce back in the second quarter, which got the capacity crowd going. Pierce used a nasty crossover to deke Tyler Hansbrough out of his shorts, then shot past him and threw down a one handed tomahawk slam. Between that thunderous dunk and Garnett’s mad dash for a loose ball, which he came up after pumping his fist and flaring the Brooklyn insignia on his jersey, it seemed to send the fans into a frenzy.
This was such an important game, one the Nets could not have afforded to squander. When Joe Johnson hit those final two free throws, it felt like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Now, Brooklyn needs to get Game 4 and put Toronto on the ropes.
What’s Next: The Nets will host Game 4 of the series on Sunday night. Tip is set for 7:00 PM.