Late in the first half during game 3, Kevin Garnett forced a turnover and lifted the crowd off their feet with a triumphant yell for some praise from the Nets faithful. From that moment on, the Nets had complete control of the game, despite almost giving it away. Sunday night, the Nets hoped to grab a 3-1 series lead at home, and head back to Toronto with a chance to take the series.
However, behind a horrible fourth quarter from Brooklyn, they let Game 4 slip away. The final score was 87-79, and the series is now tied 2-2.
It was a very slow start for the Nets. Within the first three minutes of the game, the Raptors jumped out to a 13-2 lead, forcing Jason Kidd to call a quick timeout. As a road team in the playoffs, it's extremely important to start off strong and get the crowd out of the game.
The Nets answered with a 7-0 run of their own, but from that moment on the Raptors continued to dominate. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry were absolutely manhandling the Nets defense. Both scored 10 points each, shooting a combined 7-13 from the field.
As usual, Kevin Garnett came out after his usual five minutes of action. The Nets backup big men struggled to stay sturdy in the paint after the substitution. Lost in the hot shooting from Lowry & DeRozan, Amir Johnson led the way with 11 points. As a team, the Raptors shot a scorching 62% from the field. Brooklyn on the other hand shot 44%. Deron Williams kept them somewhat close with eight points. The score was 35-22, in favor of the Raptors.
DeMar DeRozan continued to play at a superstar level. He scored 10 second quarter points and had his team shooting 56% from the field in the first half. The Nets defense improved from the first quarter, but it was the hot play of DeRozan that was giving them nightmares. Kyle Lowry, who scored 10 points in the first quarter was held scoreless in the second quarter due to early foul trouble. He was livid and had to be taken out of the game earlier than usual.
On the offensive side, it didn't help that the Nets were shooting 27% from three, a key aspect to their offensive plan. When their three ball isn't falling, they struggle to capitalize on their opportunities.
The Nets were down by as much as 17, but they made a push late in the quarter, ending on a 14-4 run. They outscored the Raptors 22-16 in the second quarter, and trailed 51-44 at the half.
Deron Williams & Paul Pierce were the only Nets' in double digits. They each contributed 10 apiece.
The Nets came out strong to start the second half. They jolted an 8-0 run, getting the Brooklyn crowd back into the game. They led 52-51 with their first lead of the night at the nine minute mark of the third quarter.
Paul Pierce did exactly what he was brought to Brooklyn for; show some heart. Pierce took the ball hard to the hole, getting the Raptors into early foul trouble and creating shots for all Nets' players. Pierce had 10 points alone in the quarter and had the Nets flowing in the third.
The Raptors on the other hand went ice cold. DeMar DeRozan suddenly couldn't hit a shot and was held to just two points in the quarter. But, with DeRozan struggling that meant Kyle Lowry had to step up; and step up he did. Lowry scored eight points in the quarter and had his team fighting until the very end of the quarter.
Mirza Teletovic was the spark the Nets needed off the bench. He scored 10 points in the third quarter and was the only Nets player off the bench in double digits.
The score was tied 67-67, heading into the fourth quarter. Credit to the Nets defense: The Raptors scored 35 points in the first quarter alone. In the second and third quarter combined, they scored just 32.
Through the early stages of the fourth quarter, both teams were exchanging buckets with a fast-paced, back and forth battle.
The Nets offense was atrocious in the fourth quarter. After ten minutes, they were 3-14 from the field. They certainly picked an awful time to get cold. They started off struggling and ended off struggling. The score was 83-79 with two minutes remaining. Deron Williams scored eight points in the first quarter. Since then, just two points and five turnovers for the Nets point guard.
The Nets went four minutes without a point. It was the 4:58 mark when Kevin Garnett hit on a pair of free throws, and from that point on the Nets had absolutely no offense. They didn't score a single point since the Garnett free throws, proving to be the worst drought to finish a playoff game since 1998. They ended the fourth quarter having only scored 12 total points.
But, Toronto deserves the credit. They were the better team most of the night, and took game 4 in Brooklyn thanks to their gritty defensive game plan. The series is now tied 2-2 heading back to Toronto.
Paul Pierce led all Nets with 22 points on 9-14 shooting. Following him was Mirza Teletovic who scored 12 points in 16 minutes of action.
Final score: Raptors 87, Nets 79.
Game 5 will be played Wednesday, when the Nets look to regain control of the series.
- Raptors at Nets boxscore - NBA.com
- NBA Playoffs Game 4 Thread: Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors, 7:00 PM - NetsDaily
- NBA Playoffs 2nd Half Game Thread: Raptors at Nets - NetsDaily
- Raptors vs. Nets: Game 4 (Video) - NBA.com
- Hook Shot by Jonas (Video) - NBA.com
- Plumlee Denies Amir (Video) - NBA.com
- Lowry Dimes Jonas (Video) - NBA.com
- Lowry Goes Hard (Video) - NBA.com
- Postgame: Dwane Casey (Video) - NBA.com
- Postgame: Jason Kidd (Video) - NBA.com
- Postgame: DeMar DeRozan (Video) - NBA.com
- Postgame: DeRozan, Lowry (Video) - NBA.com
- Postgame: Paul Pierce (Video) - NBA.com
- Block of the Night: Mason Plumlee (Video) - NBA.com
- Raptors Surge Past Nets To Even Series (Video) - ESPN
- Can Nets Stop DeRozan? (Video) - ESPN
- Kidd on the Nets needing to find ways to score (Video) - YES Network
- Shaun Livingston taks about Nets' mental game (Video) - YES Network
- Joe Johnson discusses the Raptors' defense (Video) - YES Network
- VIDEO: DeMar DeRozan Misses, Gets Ball Stuck in the Stanchion - The Brooklyn Game
- Raptors Even Series With Nets, Win 87-79 - AP
- Raptors take out Johnson, even series - John Schuhmann - NBA.com
- Nets Can't Call It a Comeback - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Series tied 2-2 as Nets fall to Raptors, 87-79 - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets weigh in on Sterling’s race rant - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Kidd, Nets give ugly, true-to-form effort against Toronto - Mike Vaccaro - New York Post
- Lowry a very sore winner after win over Nets - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Williams, Johnson vanish in Nets’ defeat - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Slow start, flat finish doom Nets - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets fall to Raptors, 87-79, series tied 2-2 - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets notes: The Raptors' Kyle Lowry is hurting - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets waste chance to take control of series in Game 4 loss - Larry Fleisher - Metro
- Nets Fizzle Late, Allowing Raptors to Tie Series - Andrew Keh - New York Times
- Brooklyn Nets fall in Game 4, Toronto Raptors tie first-round NBA playoff series - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets react to Donald Sterling racist remarks, Michael K. Williams tells Barclays crowd there's 'no room in NBA’ for Clippers owner - Mitch Abramson - New York Daily News
- Nets rally, but go cold down stretch as Raptors even series - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Nets let it get away in baffling fourth-quarter letdown - Neil Best - Newsday
- Jason Kidd empathizes with Clippers' Doc Rivers - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Raps raise questions about unsteady Nets - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- Rapid Reaction: Raptors 87, Nets 79 - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Kidd: Truth gained closure in Boston return - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Bad start, worse ending doom Nets in BK - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Nets lose to Raptors, 87-79, series tied at 2-2 - Craig Wolff - Star-Ledger
- Scrappy Raptors pull even in series - Gregory Hrinya - Examiner
- Rapped: Raptors 87, Nets 79 (GAME GRADES) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Desperation Trumps Experience As Brooklyn Nets Fall Flat In Game 4 - Steve Lichtenstein - WFAN
- Game Recap: Raptors 87 — Nets 79 - Jon Presser - SNY Nets
- Hamilton: Paul Pierce appropriately urges Nets to not dwell on missed Game 4 opportunity -
- Raptors even series with Game 4 victory in Brooklyn - Ryan Wolstat - Toronto Sun
- Lowry to Raptors: 'Let's be physical' - Mike Ganter - Toronto Sun
- Raptors' Landry Fields missed Game 5 - Mike Ganter - Toronto Sun
- Gritty effort gives Raptors Game 4 victory over Brooklyn Nets - Doug Smith - Toronto Star
- Raptors ride Lowry’s heart, grit to inspirational road win - Bruce Arthur - Toronto Star
- Passion the difference between Nets, Raptors fans - Gemma Karstens-Smith - Toronto Star
- Toronto Raptors ignore injuries for ‘courageous’ win over Brooklyn Nets - Eric Koreen - National Post