The Toronto Raptors used a 12-2 run over the final 6:12 of the fourth quarter to put away the Brooklyn Nets and tie their playoff series at two games apiece. The victory was the Raptors first road playoff win since the 2001 postseason.
On a night that had already seen two blowouts, the Raptors were on course to make it a third in the first half, leading by as much as 17 – Brooklyn’s porous defense allowing the Raptors to score at will.
As it turned out, the Nets went on a run of their own in the third quarter to tie the game and take the lead, largely on the back of some great play by Paul Pierce.
Kyle Lowry played through injury and couldn’t live up to his billing, though he did plenty to help his team. DeMar DeRozan continued his own personal hot streak too as the Nets had no answer for his skillset.
DeRozan had 24 points with Lowry adding 22 of his own.
The Raptors, having thrown away their 17-point cushion, proceeded to hold the Nets without a field goal for the final 6:12 of the game after Paul Pierce made a layup. Brooklyn did not score a single point for the last five minutes.
One of the key issues for the Nets tonight was the startling inability of two of their star players to influence the game in any way. Deron Williams made errors, firing a pair of passes out of bounds and committing unnecessary fouls. Joe Johnson scored 7 points on 7 shots, a far cry from his 23-point average for the series so far.
Only one Brooklyn player not named Paul Pierce scored more than 12 points. Mirza Teletovic’s 12 points on 9 shots made him Brooklyn’s second-leading scorer in the game.
With Garnett limited to spot minutes and scoring just 10 points, the Nets needed to find offense from somewhere and didn’t. Alan Anderson provided some relief, as did Kirilenko and Teletovic.
The win means Toronto has regained homecourt advantage as the series switches back to the Air Canada Center for Game 5 on Wednesday night before the potentially decisive Game 6 at the Barclays Center Friday night.
DeMar DeRozan 24 points, 7-19 FGS, 9-11 FTS
Kyle Lowry: 22 points, 7-17 FGS, 5-5 FTS
Amir Johnson: 17 points, 7-11 FGS, 5 rebounds
Paul Pierce: 22 points, 9-14 FGS, 5 rebounds
Mirza Teletovic: 12 points, 5-9 FGS, 5 rebounds
Deron Williams: 10 points, 4-12 FGS, 6 assists
Game 5 @ TOR: Wednesday April 30th, Tip: 7pm ET