Looking to keep home court advantage after stealing it away in game 1, the Brooklyn Nets survived a late rally from the Toronto Raptors to earn a 102-98 victory and take a 2-1 series lead.
Joe Johnson led the Nets with 29 points while Deron Williams scored 22 points and dished out eight assists and Paul Pierce added 18 points and five rebounds.
DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 30 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out five assists.
Patrick Patterson added 17 points and five rebounds and Jonas Valanciunas had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Kyle Lowry, who fouled out, had 15 points.
Down by 15 with 4:01 to go, the Wizards went on a 15-4 run to cut the lead to four (even though the Nets got the benefit of an iffy call and a technical foul on Greivis Vasqez). After two missed free throws from Williams, DeRozan completed a three-point play, pushing the run to 18-4. Livingston went one-of-two at the line and Patrick Patterson got the rebound and was fouled, but he missed both free throws. The Nets sealed the deal at the charity stripe on the other end.
Although the Nets have been going small, playing Paul Pierce at power forward, they absolutely dominated the paint for a majority of the night in game 3. They had 42 points to the Raptors’ 32 with most of the Raptors’ paint points coming late in the game.
The Raptors got off to a good start and had a five-point lead in the second quarter. Trailing 41-39 with under three minutes, the Nets staged a 12-0 run. Although the Raptors finished the half on a better note with four straight to end the half, the Nets had completely seized momentum in a game the Raptors could have taken control of in the first half. The Nets appeared to take complete control of the game in the second half before the Raptors staged their rally.
Game 4 will take place Sunday night in Brooklyn at 7:00 pm EST and the game is on TNT.