User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
More
Betting Tools

 
Nets win Game 3, but Raptors cover

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

NEW YORK (AP) - Paul Pierce climbed high for the dunk, Kevin Garnett went to the floor for a loose ball, and Brooklyn suddenly looked and sounded like Boston.

Advertisement
The Nets brought the two champions here so it would be like this, not the way it was for their last home playoff game.

''This is a totally different team, totally different feeling,'' guard Deron Williams said. ''I think we're poised to make a run.''

Joe Johnson scored 29 points, Pierce and Garnett brought a charge to their first playoff game in Brooklyn, and the Nets held off the Toronto Raptors 102-98 on Friday night for a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.

Johnson made the clinching free throws with 3.1 seconds left after the Nets blew almost all of a 15-point, fourth-quarter lead. Williams added 22 points and eight assists for the sixth-seeded Nets, who host Game 4 on Sunday night.

Pierce had 18 points, and he and Garnett provided the game's signature plays late in the second quarter, a reminder that the Nets brought the veterans here as much for their bravado as their basketball.

But all that experience almost didn't matter after the Nets made a series of mistakes down the stretch.

DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points for the Raptors, who have lost 13 straight road playoff games. Patrick Patterson added 17 points but missed two free throws with a chance to tie for Toronto, whose last postseason victory was May 6, 2001, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Philadelphia.

''I missed. First big free throws I've ever missed in my life like that,'' Patterson said. ''Unfortunately, it (stinks) but all I can do is look forward to the next opportunity.''

Kyle Lowry fouled out with 15 points, forcing the Raptors to try to complete the comeback without their point guard. And they almost did.

''This team tried to throw haymakers at us and go at us, and we did a good job of battling back and staying in the game,'' Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.

Toronto charged back and was in position to tie when Patterson went to the line with 19 seconds left. But he missed both and Pierce knocked down two to make it 100-96, and Johnson then made two with 3.1 seconds to go after Amir Johnson's follow shot as Brooklyn held on.

''It feels good to win, but at the same time you know you can be a lot better,'' Pierce said. '''I'm looking for down the road, I'm looking for when it's like that Game 6 or 7, if we're ever in that situation with this team, it's going to come to those little things and we can't afford those small mistakes.''

The Raptors beat the Nets in their first trip here this season, one of only four home losses for Brooklyn in 27 home games since Jan. 1. Toronto had a franchise-record 22 home victories during the regular season, and Casey hoped his team could handle its first road playoff test.

But the Nets' experience was evident for the first three quarters, especially once Pierce and Garnett made their impression on the game.

The Nets' last playoff game here was a disappointment, a Game 7 loss to Chicago in the first round last year in which they came out with surprisingly little fire in a do-or-die game. They traded for Pierce and Garnett on draft night, and on Friday they brought to Brooklyn the playoff passion they showed for so many years together in Boston.

Toronto led 23-19 after one and held a small lead until late in the second. Joe Johnson's free throws tied it, Pierce knocked then a pair, and then he left Tyler Hansbrough standing still near the foul line, driving for a dunk that made it 45-41.

The dunk got the fans on their feet, but Garnett's intensity really got them in a frenzy. He dove on the floor for a ball that had been kicked, wrestling it away from Amir Johnson, and when he got up, held the ball high and screamed toward the fans behind the basket, then pulled out the part of his jersey that read ''BROOKLYN'' toward them.

Pierce later had a three-point play and a 3-pointer in the Nets' big finish to the third, his jumper with 2.7 seconds left making it 77-66. That felt like a huge lead in a series where neither team led by more than five points after three quarters in their four regular-season games and first two in the playoffs.

But after the Nets extended it to 15 in the fourth, Toronto began its comeback that fell just short.

Notes: Toronto is 3-16 on the road in the playoffs. ... The NBA announced Friday that Barclays Center would host the draft on June 26. Tickets go on sale May 21.

---

Follow Brian Mahoney on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Briancmahoney

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Edwards: Sunday's Early Tips
Rogers: Sunday's Late Tips
Sportsbook: Sunday's Top Action
News: First Round Predictions
ASA: Handicapping the Playoffs
Lawrence: Playoff Zig-Zag Theory
News: Playoff Cheat Sheet - East
News: Playoff Cheat Sheet - West
Sportsbook: NBA Finals Best Bets
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
2-0 LN, 7-1 L8, 15-5 L20, +5,071 TY
8-1 L9 G-Plays, 14-4 L18 Picks
Perfect 5-0 Record Saturday
10-4 L14 Guarantees, +1,985 TY
13-3 L16 G-Plays, 19-9 L28 Picks
10-3 L13, 67% +2,318 This Season
13-5 L18 Plays, +1,961 This Year
59-33 L92, +1,260 This Year
5-1 Last 6 NBA Picks
12-6 L18 Over/Under Plays
3-0 NBA Playoff Record
10-6 Last 16 Guaranteed Plays
+1,094 Totals This Year
3-1 Last 4 Selections
8-0 Guaranteed Play Run
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Sports Picks- San Antomio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers
2014 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 5071
Dave Cokin + 2318
Kevin Rogers + 1985
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 804
Marc Lawrence + 395
Stephen Nover + 377
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Dave Cokin 67 %
Stephen Nover 61 %
Brian Edwards 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 1947
Dave Cokin + 1856
Stephen Nover + 1797
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 1393
Tony Stoffo + 1094
Jimmy Boyd + 771
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 1975
Michael Black + 1155
Marc Lawrence + 893
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy Sager Bomb