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NBA playoffs: Raptors blow big lead but hold on to beat Nets

Published April 30, 2014 10:24 pm

Kyle Lowry scores 36 and makes a key stop to help Toronto survive Nets' 44-point fourth.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Toronto • Kyle Lowry's prolific offense carried the Toronto Raptors to a big lead, and his defensive smarts saved the game.

Lowry scored a career playoff-high 36 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer after Toronto had blown a 26-point lead, and the Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 115-113 to take a 3-2 lead in their first-round series.

"He was definitely carrying them in the first half," Nets guard Deron Williams said. "He's just tough to guard when he gets like that. He's got a lot of confidence right now."

Joe Johnson scored 30 points and Mirza Teletovic had 17 for the Nets, who scored 44 points in the fourth quarter but lost their final chance when Andray Blatche fired a pass well over Deron Williams' head into the backcourt for a turnover.

Blatche said Lowry's defensive pressure on the play led to the decisive mistake.

"Shaun (Livingston) made a great play to keep the ball alive," Blatche said. "I tried to get the ball out to (Williams) so he could get the 3 and take the game home. (Lowry) ran out and was forcing me to make a tougher pass and I threw it in the backcourt."

Nets coach Jason Kidd said Lowry is someone who is "never going to stop playing."

"Tonight he made some big shots plays and made some big shots down the stretch," Kidd said.

DeMar DeRozan had 23 points, Jonas Valanciunas scored 16 and Greivis Vasquez added 15 for the Raptors, who would advance to face Miami in the second round with a victory in Game 6 on Friday in Brooklyn. The Nets, meanwhile, are facing elimination after consecutive losses.

"We've just got to play with a sense of urgency," Williams said. "We have to now. If we lose, we're done."

Game 7, if necessary, would be Sunday in Toronto.

"I think we'll play better on Friday at home and we'll see them back here Sunday," Nets forward Paul Pierce said.

Toronto led 94-72 on a 3-pointer by Vasquez with 11:23 remaining, but Brooklyn scored 15 of the next 18 points, including a four-point play by Alan Anderson, to make it 97-87 with 7:15 remaining.

"Every mistake you could think about, we made in the fourth quarter," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.

Johnson later converted a three-point play, then made a 3 to tie it at 101 with 3:16 left. —

Raptors 115, Nets 113

Brooklyn 25 19 25 44 — 113

Toronto 28 34 29 24 — 115

BROOKLYN (113)

J.Johnson 13-23 1-1 30, Pierce 3-5 3-4 10, Garnett 2-4 0-0 4, Williams 4-8 5-6 13, Livingston 4-11 1-2 9, Plumlee 1-2 3-6 5, Anderson 4-7 2-2 13, Blatche 1-2 5-6 7, Kirilenko 0-0 0-0 0, Thornton 2-3 1-1 5, Teletovic 6-10 1-2 17.

Totals 40-75 22-30 113.

TORONTO (115)

Ross 3-9 0-0 8, A.Johnson 4-5 3-5 11, Valanciunas 7-10 2-4 16, Lowry 11-19 8-10 36, DeRozan 5-12 12-13 23, Patterson 0-3 2-2 2, Vasquez 6-12 0-0 15, Hayes 1-4 2-2 4, Salmons 0-3 0-0 0.

Totals 37-77 29-36 115

3-Point Goals—Brooklyn 11-23 (Teletovic 4-8, Anderson 3-4, J.Johnson 3-6, Pierce 1-3, Williams 0-1, Thornton 0-1), Toronto 12-26 (Lowry 6-9, Vasquez 3-5, Ross 2-5, DeRozan 1-2, Salmons 0-2, Patterson 0-3). Fouled Out—A.Johnson. Rebounds—Brooklyn 44 (Teletovic 7), Toronto 46 (Patterson 8). Assists—Brooklyn 22 (Williams 9), Toronto 21 (Lowry 6). Total Fouls—Brooklyn 27, Toronto 25. Technicals—Livingston, Brooklyn defensive three second. A—20,393 (19,800).