Nets hold on to take 2-1 series lead over Raptors

Cesar Tordesillas – 4E Sports Contributor

New Yrok, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Joe Johnson scored 29 points to help the Brooklyn Nets hold off the Toronto Raptors, 102-98 Friday night at Barclays Center.

Deron Williams added 22 points and eight assists while Paul Pierce scored 18 for the Nets who surged ahead 2-1 in their Eastern conference first-round series matchup.

The Raptors led 23-19 after one and held a small lead until early in the second when Marcus Thornton’s free throw shoved the Nets ahead 33-32 at 7:07 of the quarter.

It was back-and-forth from there until the Nets knocked in 10 unanswered points with Pierce and Williams scoring four apiece for a 49-41 lead with 39 seconds left in the half.

The Nets led the entire third and finished the quarter with a 6-0 run to bring a 77-66 lead in the fourth.

Johnson’s free throws and a 3-pointer extended the Nets lead to 15 twice at 90-75 and 93-78.

Then Patrick Patterson’s two 3-pointers fueled a 13-2 Raptors rally to close in at 95-91 with just over a minute left.

DeMar DeRozan scored five unaswered points for the Raptors to cut their deficit to 97-96 with 34 seconds left.

The Raptors were in position to tie when Patterson missed both free throws and Pierce knocked down two to make it 100-96.

DeRozan scored 30, Patterson added 17 points and Lowry fouled out with 15 points for the Raptors.

The Nets host Game 4 on Sunday night.

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