Game Seven: Do or die; win or go home; the greatest two words in sports. For the Nets, it was their second consecutive postseason with a Game Seven. But, Last season didn't turn out so well. This time around, the team looked to rise up to the challenge and get passed the Toronto Raptors on their home court. The Heat await the winner of this battle.
The game was in the Nets' control for most of the game, but a late Raptors comeback put the Nets chances in jeopardy. After a dreadful turnover, the Nets were able to stop Kyle Lowry's last attempt at a game winning shot. The Nets win 104-103, and advance to the second round against the Miami Heat!
The Air Canada Centre was absolutely rocking with thousands of fans inside and outside of the stadium. The veteran experience of the Nets had to come into play early with the rowdy Toronto fans.
The Nets looked good to start the game. Their offense was flowing very smooth and the duo of Joe Johnson & Paul Pierce were both off to good starts. The two combined for 12 points on 5-10 shooting. The Nets as a team shot 44% from the field with a promising 4-9 from three.
On the defensive side, Kyle Lowry & DeMar DeRozan were being contained with just four points combined, but Amir Johnson was absolutely scorching them. Within the first few minutes of the game, Johnson looked to be hurt, but stayed in the game and scored 12 early points. One quarter in the books and the Raptors led the Nets, 28-26.
The Nets continued to ride Joe Johnson in the second quarter. With Johnson attracting double teams, the entire floor was opened for the Nets offense to operate. Being that Johnson was playing with the second unit, the surrounding guys had to hit their open shots. This is where Marcus Thornton comes in. Thornton got into a rhythm and scored 14 key points, carrying the backup unit the length of their playing time in the second quarter.
Behind Thornton's lead, the Nets outscored Toronto 35-25 in the second quarter alone. Paul Pierce scored 10 points and Kevin Garnett chipped in eight. Shaun Livingston who played just nine minutes in game six, also contributed eight points in the first half. The Nets' as a team shot 55% from the field and three point.
The score at the half: Nets 61, Raptors 53.
Quick note: DeMar DeRozan was held to just four points in 21 minutes of action.
Three minutes into the third quarter, Amir Johnson picked up his fifth foul. Johnson was forced to check out earlier than usual, giving Brooklyn a huge break.
Without Amir Johnson, the Nets took advantage of the Raptors. The size of Johnson killed the Nets in the first half, so when he checked out of the game, they were able to find their small ball yet again and control the pace of this game.
They continued to work their offense through Joe Johnson and the surrounding Nets' players made the shots they needed in order to stay up in comfortable fashion. Andray Blatche provided a huge spark off the bench. He scored nine points and grabbed four crucial offensive rebounds.
Despite struggling all quarter, DeMar DeRozan knocked down a huge three as time expired. The three cut the deficit to eight and the Nets led the Raptors, 81-73. The Raptors didn't play their prettiest ball in the third, but it was just enough to keep them in this game. With the momentum and crowd on their side, they certainly wouldn't make it an easy fourth quarter for Brooklyn.
The emotions started to get high in the fourth. Within three minutes of the quarter, Amir Johnson tripped Joe Johnson, resulting in his sixth and final foul. He finished the game with 20 points & 10 rebounds. After the play, Kevin Garnett gave Kyle Lowry a 'bump' which resulted in Garnett's third technical foul of the series. Meanwhile, Joe Johnson was down on the floor grabbing his ankle. Fortunately for Brooklyn, he was able to return.
It was all Joe Johnson in the fourth quarter. He scored 11 straight points in the first eight minutes of the quarter, giving the Nets a 10 point lead with a little over four minutes remaining. The next play down, Andray Blatche took a huge charge. On the floor, Blatche let out a triumphant yell to fire up the Nets squad.
Deron Williams & Andray Blatche were both playing with five fouls.
The Nets were trying to pull away with Joe Johnson isolations, but the Raptors consistently hit big shots in order to stay close. The score was 101-97, in favor of the Nets with one minute remaining. It was an 8-3 run for the Raptors that got them back into this game. The crowd was loud and this game was coming down to the wire.
With 22 seconds remaining, Deron Williams was at the line to shoot two free throws. He missed one of the two, giving the Nets a three points lead. On the following possession, Kyle Lowry had no hesitation. He drove right into the throat of the Nets defense, getting an easy layup. Only six seconds came off on the clock, and now the Nets had to hit all of their free throws.
Shaun Livingston is as tough as nails. Similar to his clutch free throws in game three, Livingston stepped up to the line and knocked down a pair with 13 seconds remaining. But, thanks to a Terrence Ross layup, the Nets were up 104-102 with 8.8 seconds left.
The Nets attempted to inbound the ball to Paul Pierce, but Ross saved it and threw it off of Pierce's legs. Raptors' possession with six seconds remaining, and a chance to win the series. They can never make it easy.
Kyle Lowry took the ball hard to the hole. With the clock ticking, this would be it: do or die. Lowry drove all the way down with a promising chance, but Paul Pierce came with the help and swatted Lowry's shot as time expired! Game over, series over! The Brooklyn Nets win game seven to advance to the second round!
Nets win the series: 104-103.
It wasn't easy, but they did it. The first playoff series win in (Brooklyn) Nets' history. LeBron James and the Miami Heat await the Nets in the second round, this Tuesday in Miami.
For more on the Toronto Raptors, check them out at Raptors HQ.
- Nets at Raptors Boxscore - NBA.com
- NBA Playoffs Game 7 Thread: Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors, 1:00 PM - NetsDaily
- NBA Playoffs Game 7: 2nd Half Game Thread - Nets at Raptors - NetsDaily
- Nets vs. Raptors: Game 7 (Video) - NBA.com
- Nets vs. Raptors: First half (Video) - NBA.com
- Play of the Day: Paul Pierce (Video) - NBA.com
- Steal of the Night: Terrence Ross (Video) - NBA.com
- Dunk of the Night: Amir Johnson (Video) - NBA.com
- Lowry Scores 28 (Video) - NBA.com
- Joe Drops 26 (Video) - NBA.com
- Joe Scores 13 in the Fourth (Video) - NBA.com
- DeMar in the Paint (Video) - NBA.com
- Putback by Amir (Video) - NBA.com
- Livingston Takes Off (Video) - NBA.com
- Denied by Amir (Video) - NBA.com
- Johnson Steal, Pierce Slam (Video) - NBA.com
- Postgame: Joe Johnson (Video) - NBA.com
- Postgame: Paul Pierce (Video) - NBA.com
- Postgame: DeMar DeRozan (Video) - NBA.com
- Postgame: Kyle Lowry (Video) - NBA.com
- Postgame: Jason Kidd (Video) - NBA.com
- Postgame: Dwane Casey (Video) - NBA.com
- Nets Advance To Second Round (Video) - ESPN
Pierce's Block Tops The Rest (Video) ESPN
- VIDEO: The Season Game Down to This Play - The Brooklyn Game
- Images from Heart-Stopping Finale of the Game 7 - The Brooklyn Game
- VIDEO: Terrence Ross Mauls Joe Johnson, Scuffle Ensues - The Brooklyn Game
- Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors - Recap - AP
- Nets get past Raptors by thinnest of margins in Game 7 - John Schuhmann - NBA.com
- Brooklyn Nets hang on to beat Raptors in Game 7, will face LeBron James and Heat - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett give Nets shot to take down LeBron James and Heat - Mitch Lawrence - New York Daily News
- Joe Johnson 'gives Nets light' in Game 7 win over Raptors - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets hold off Toronto Raptors in wild Game 7 - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce come up big when it counts - Neil Best - Newsday
- Joe Johnson puts last year behind him with brilliant Game 7 - Neil Best - Newsday
- Pierce’s block saves Game 7, sends Nets to Miami - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Aging KG comes up big when needed most - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets show their mettle with last-second stop - Mike Vaccaro - New York Post
- A divine effort by Nets’ bench - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Pierce, KG brace for LeBron — again - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Victorious Brooklyn Nets Can Finally Exhale - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- With Late Block, Pierce Helps Nets Advance Past Raptors - Andre Keh - New York Times
The Truth prevails to book Nets' Miami trip - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- 'Joe Jesus' worth every penny in Game 7 - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Blatche, bench key Brooklyn's Game 7 win - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Rapid Reaction: Nets 104, Raptors 103 - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Starting Five: Bring it, LeBron! - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Nets force Game 7 with wire-to-wire win over Raptors - Larry Fleisher - Metro
- Nets beat the Raptors 104-103, face Miami Heat in semifinals - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets notes: Joe Johnson flies under the radar - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- WATCH: Brooklyn Nets win Game 7 as Paul Pierce blocks last-second shot (and Drake can't believe it) - Kevin Manahan - Star-Ledger
- After Brooklyn Nets beat Toronto Raptors in Game 7, Jay Z ends his Twitter drought - Kevin Manahan - Star-Ledger
- Nets send Raptors to extinction - Gregory Hrinya - Examiner
- Nets find toughness to advance past Raptors thanks to June trade - Matt Moore - CBS Sports
- Paul Pierce blocks Kyle Lowry’s shot at the buzzer, Nets hold on for Game 7 win over Raptors - Brett Pollakoff - NBC Sports
- NETS ESCAPE TO SECOND ROUND: Nets 104, Raptors 103 (GAME GRADES) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Raptors Fans Explain Why They Lost - RickBarry1971 - The Brooklyn Game
- Toronto Raptors’ comeback falls short against Brooklyn Nets in Game 7 - Lori Ewing - Canadian Press
- Doug Smith's sports blog - Toronto Star
- Raptors: Ross rewards Casey’s patience with impressive Game 7 performance - Doug Smith - Toronto Star
- Raptors: Heartbreaking loss ends heck of a season - Bruce Arthur - Toronto Star
- Gallery: Toronto Raptors fans pack Maple Leaf Square for Game 7 against Brooklyn Nets - National Post
- Toronto Raptors eliminated in heartbreaking Game 7 loss to Brooklyn Nets - Eric Koreen - National Post
- Brooklyn Nets’ investment in veteran savvy finally pays off as Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett help shut down the Toronto Raptors - Eric Koreen - National Post
- Raptors eliminated from playoffs after Lowry's last chance shot is blocked Mail - Rachel Brady - Toronto Globe and Mail
- Raptors bow out of playoffs, but Toronto fans proud of team - CBC News
- Jay Z is happy, Drake stunned as Nets beat Raptors in final seconds - Cindy Boren - Washington Post