What DeMar DeRozan lacks in playoff experience he more than makes up for in confidence.
The Raptors rebounded from their close Game 1 loss to tie their series with the Brooklyn Nets as DeRozan lit up the Air Canada Center, scoring 30 points, 17 of which came in a scintillating fourth-quarter performance to seal the win.
Selected as an All-Star for the first time this season, DeRozan put in a transformative performance after meekly scoring 14 points on 3-13 shooting in the Raptors 94-87 Game 1 defeat.
On top of his 9-21 from the floor, DeRozan converted 12 of his 14 free-throw attempts, hitting 9-11 in the fourth quarter, almost matching his total output in Game 1 from the line alone.
Jonas Valanciunas was a monster in the paint, scoring 15 points and grabbing 14 rebounds, providing an untamed energy to occupy Brooklyn’s big men and prevent them getting out to help slow DeRozan.
Amir Johnson added 16 points alongside Lowry’s 14.
Brooklyn was swamped on the boards through Valanciunas with the Raptors outrebounding Brooklyn 52-30, a dominant advantage.
Paul Pierce, the catalyst for Brooklyn’s Game 1 triumph, was held thoroughly in check by Toronto, forced into a horrid 2-11 from the floor and 0-6 mark from behind the three-point line on his way to seven points. He didn’t make his first field goal until the 3:48 mark in the fourth quarter.
Despite the Raptors coughing up 21 turnovers, Brooklyn could not take advantage, surrendering a slender 69-64 lead as the series heads to Brooklyn for Games 3 and 4 over the weekend.
DeMar DeRozan: 30 points, 9-21 FG, 12-14 FT
Jonas Valanciunas: 15 points, 5-9 FG, 14 REB
Amir Johnson: 16 points, 8-10 FG, 9 REB
Joe Johnson: 18 points, 7-13 FG
Deron Williams: 15 points, 5-15 FG, 5 AST
Kevin Garnett: 13 points, 5-6 FG
Game 3: Friday, April 25th, Tip: 7pm ET