The Toronto Raptors looked like they were going to cruise to a 3-2 series lead in game 5 of their first round playoff series with the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night. The Nets, however, rallied from a 22-point deficit in the fourth quarter before the Raptors eventually hung on for a 115-113 win.
Kyle Lowry was masterful for the Raptors, scoring a game-high 36 points and dishing out six assists. DeMar DeRozan added 23 points, six rebounds and five assists while Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points and Greivis Vasquez chipped in 15.
Joe Johnson, who really anchored that Nets run, had 30 points. Mirza Teletovic had 17 points and seven rebounds while Deron Williams and Alan Anderson scored 13 apiece.
Trailing 94-72, the Nets staged an improbable run, outscoring the Raptors 29-7 over a span of seven minutes and 37 seconds to tie the game at 101. With the game tied at 106, Lowry buried a three. After an answer by Andray Blatche at the rim, Lowry’s runner put the Raptors back up three. DeRozan then hit two free throws but Anderson’s four-point play cut the lead back to one. Once DeRozan connected on two more free throws, the Raptors elected to foul Blatche. Blatche made the first free throw and missed the second. Blatche then got his own rebound, but threw the ball away and the Raptors ran the final second off of the clock.
The Raptors looked fantastic in the first half. They closed the second quarter out on a 7-0 run capped by a 31-foot three-pointer at the buzzer by Lowry to take an 18-point lead into the break. The Raptors were able to extend the lead during the third quarter and led 91-69 entering the fourth quarter.
Paul Pierce scored 10 points in 24 minutes and was the bench for the majority of the final quarter while Kevin Garnett could only give the Nets four points in 12 minutes.
Game 6 is Friday night at 7:00 pm EST at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.