Game five: The Nets were down by as much as 26 in the third quarter. The game looked to be over, but behind the likes of Joe Johnson, the Nets made an incredible comeback. They ended up tying the game at 101-101, but the late heroics of Kyle Lowry was just enough to lift the Raptors above the Nets. The final score was 115-113 and the Raptors took a 3-2 series lead.
The Nets got off to a poor start the first few minutes of the game, but went on a quick 7-0 run to get them into an offensive rhythm. As we've seen all series, the Raptors refused to give up. Despite being down, the Raptors finished the quarter on a 10-2 run, leading the Nets, 28-25.
The Nets had no answer for Amir Johnson, who scored nine points, but due to foul trouble, he was forced to check out of the game. When that occurred, Kyle Lowry stepped up and scored eight points, carrying the Raptors in the last few minutes of the first.
In his first six minutes of action in the second quarter, Mirza Teletovic scored eight of the Nets first 10 points. While Andray Blatche continued to be ineffective off the bench, Teletovic carried the Nets' second unit.
The Nets had opportunities to build off little leads and momentum swings, but the Raptors answered back every time. They went over two minutes without scoring, and as a result the Raptors answered with a 13-0 run, and a nine point lead. Too many offensive lapses this series has doomed the Nets. It didn't help that Joe Johnson picked up his third foul with just under four minutes remaining, once again forcing him to sit out earlier than usual. With Johnson out, Deron Williams needed to pick up his game, but he struggled, scoring only three points on 1-4 shooting.
That is being generous.
Towards the end of the half, the Nets looked like a team that didn't want to be there. The Raptors finished the last five minutes outscoring Brooklyn 26-4, highlighted by a superstar performance from Kyle Lowry. While the Nets had no answer for Lowry on the defensive end, they had no answer on the offensive end as well. Just when the Nets needed to score a basket to kill the Raptors' momentum, nobody stepped up.
Lowry finished the half with 21 points and to add salt to the wound, he hit a circus shot buzzer-beater to cap off a horrible half for the Nets. All together, the Raptors outscored the Nets 34-19 in the second quarter. Everything was pointing in Toronto's favor.
Score at the half: Raptors 62, Nets 44.
If you thought things would get better in the third quarter, you were dead wrong. While the Nets continued to look like a depleted squad, the Raptors continued to kick them while they were down. Playing with four fouls, Joe Johnson refused to give up. He scored 18 points in the third quarter alone, but it wasn't enough to give the Nets much hope. This game seemed to be a lost cause as the Raptors led the Nets, 91-69 after three quarters of play.
Quick note: Deron Williams had just three points in 24 minutes of action. To add insult to injury, Toronto fans chanted "Broo-klyn, Broo-klyn", mocking the Nets infamous chant.
The Nets sparked an 13-2 run to start the fourth quarter, cutting the 26 point deficit to 11. With eight minutes remaining, little hope suddenly arrived for the Nets. They built a ton of momentum off the 13-2 run, outscoring Toronto 20-6 with 5:38 remaining.
The Nets continued to make an absolutely ridiculous comeback, tying the game at 101-101, thanks to a fastbreak Joe Johnson three pointer with three minutes remaining! Do you believe in miracles?
The Nets continued to fight, but two huge buckets from Kyle Lowry in the last minute of the game were killing the Nets chances. After Blatche hit a reverse layup, they were down 111-108 with just 27 seconds remaining. Joe Johnson took the ball hard to the hole, but missed bad, leading to two free throws from the Raptors. The Raptors held a five point lead with 17 seconds, but Alan Anderson nailed a four point play, keeping the Nets alive. They just wouldn't go away, down 113-112 with 10 seconds remaining, DeMar DeRozan headed to the line.
DeRozan knocked down both free throws, putting the Raptors up three with six seconds remaining. Jason Kidd reluctantly had a 20 second timeout remaining, enabling him to draw up a play for the 'clutchest' player in the league: Joe Johnson.
The plan was to get Johnson the ball, but the Raptors fouled Andray Blatche, who missed the second free throw -- got the offensive rebound -- but threw the pass backcourt in attempt to feed a wide open Deron Williams! The game was over, and the Nets incredible comeback fell just short.
There was no giving up in the Nets game plan. They outscored Toronto 44-24 in the fourth quarter behind Joe Johnson's 30 points. This game can act as a catalyst heading into Friday night's game, where the Nets fight for their last hope.
Final score: Raptors 115, Nets 113.
Series count: Raptors 3, Nets 2.
For Brooklyn, Joe Johnson led the way with 30 points, followed up by Mirza Teletovic's 17 points off the bench. Paul Pierce, who led Nets' scorers in the last matchup, scored just 10 points and logged zero minutes in the fourth quarter. Deron Williams fell just short of a double-double, with 13 points and nine assists.
Kyle Lowry dominated the Nets defense; he scored 36 points and six assists. When Lowry was off the court, they had to worry about DeMar DeRozan, who had a stat line of 23 points, five assists, and six rebounds. Jonas Valaciunas & Greivis Vasquez continued to be the 'x-factors' for the Raptors, combining for 31 points in 25 minutes apiece.
For more on the Toronto Raptors, check them out at Raptors HQ.
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- NBA Playoffs Game 5 Thread: Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors, 7:30 PM - NetsDaily
- NBA Playoffs 2nd Half Game Thread: Nets at Raptors - NetsDaily
- Nets vs. Raptors: First Half (Video) - NBA.com
- The Way Back Machine (Video) - NBA.com
- Patterson Dimes Amir (Video) - NBA.com
- DeMar Takes Off (Video) - NBA.com
- Easy Deuce (Video) - NBA.com
- Running Right Hander (Video) - NBA.com
- Raptors Fight Off Nets To Take 3-2 Lead (Video) - ESPN
- Raptors Survive Late Rally (Video) - ESPN
- Raptors Hold Off Nets (Video) - ESPN
- VIDEO: Joe Johnson drives the incredible comeback - The Brooklyn Game
- Raptors Blow 26-Point Lead but Beat Nets 115-113 - AP
- Nets Make Stunning Comeback but Come Up Short - Andrew Keh - New York Times
- Nets rally from 26-point deficit, but Andray Blatche throws away final possession in Game 5 loss - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Raptors' Kyle Lowry tears up Brooklyn Nets and former All-Star Deron Williams - Mitch Lawrence - New York Daily News
- Nets' furious rally falls short as Raptors take Game 5, 3-2 series lead - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Deron Williams is outplayed by Kyle Lowry - Neil Best - Newsday
- Rapid Reaction: Raptors 115, Nets 113 - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- Blatche's blunder puts BK on slippery slope - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- NBA Starting Five: Where were the veterans? - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- 2014 NBA Playoffs: Toronto Raptors stem the tide with Kyle Lowry - James Herbert - ESPN New York
- Nets pushed to brink as Raptors win Game 5 - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets Closing in on Early Exit - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Hard to Say What Nets Coach Jason Kidd Thinks - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Nets’ furious rally falls short as Raptors take control of series - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- ‘Franchise’ player Deron Williams coming up small for Nets - Mike Vaccaro - New York Post
- Nets’ Kidd benches Pierce, Garnett in fourth quarter - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Passive Deron Williams Has Nets On Brink Of Elimination - Steve Lichtenstein - WFAN
- Three-Pointers: Kyle Lowry saves the day as Raptors stave off Nets to take Game 5 - Matt Dollinger - Sports Illustrated
- Raptors hold on to beat Nets in wild finish, just avoid world's dumbest goaltend (Video) - Eric Freeman - Yahoo! Sports
- The excruciating heartbreak of an almost incredible comeback -- in raw, emotional Tweets - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- So Close And So Far: Raptors 115, Nets 113 (GAME GRADES) - The Brooklyn Game
Kyle Lowry Abuses Deron Williams, Gets His Signature Highlight - Tom Ley - Deadspin
- Pick and Pod: April 30th - Game 5 and Beyond with NetsDaily's Tom Lorenzo - WFUV Radio
- Kyle Lowry, Raptors hang on late to top Nets in Game 5 - Jeff Zillgitt - USA Today
- Raptors in driver’s seat after nail-biting win over Nets - Bruce Arthur - Toronto Star
- Kyle Lowry lifts Raptors past Nets in Game 5 thriller - Doug Smith - Toronto Star
- Raptors fans pack Maple Leaf Square for Game 5 - Gemma Karstens-Smith - Toronto Star
- Raptors unveil official lint-rolling promotion, Drake included - Toronto Star
- Kyle Lowry, Raptors hang on late to top Nets in Game 5 - Eric Koreen - National Post
- Terrence Ross gets something to smile about in Raptors’ wild win - Eric Koreen - National Post
- Raptors avoid epic collapse, push Nets to the brink of elimination - Mike Ganter - Toronto Sun
- Toronto fans can breathe again after Raptors avert near-disaster - Steve Simmons - Toronto Sun
- Difficult for Raptors to celebrate win over Nets - Mike Ganter - Toronto Sun
- Nets have a rough night in Game 5 against Raptors - Ryan Wolstat - Toronto Sun
- Raptors turn romp-in-the-making to white-knuckled win over Nets - Cathal Kelly - Toronto Globe & Mail
- Raptors' Ross finally takes small step out of slump - Rachel Brady - Toronto Globe & Mail
Lowry’s Sensational Night Lifts Raptors Over Nets In Game Five - Holly MacKenzie - Toronto Raptors