By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor – @JESchott19
The Brooklyn Nets held on for a gritty 102-100 win in Toronto over the Raptors on Tuesday night, ending a rough stretch in which they lost eight of nine games.
Andray Blatche led the Nets with 24 points on 10-for-16 shooting. He also authored the play of the night. The Nets were ahead 69-64 with 5:13 left in the third when Blatche stole the ball from Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan. He followed that with a layup at the other end, and he was fouled, so the three-point play upped the Nets lead to eight points and they never looked back.
Toronto pulled to within three at points throughout the rest of the third quarter, but could never tie it. The fact that the Nets did not budge in the third quarter was a big step, and they took an 81-76 lead into the fourth.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Nets, with Kevin Garnett, Tyshawn Taylor, and Blatche contributing to a run that saw the Nets take a 101-86 lead with 5:22 remaining.
The score stayed that way for two minutes, until Tyshawn Taylor unwisely fouled Raptor and ex-Knick Steve Novak behind the arc with 3:13 left. Novak made all three free throws, and that started an improbable 14-0 run capped by a Rudy Gay three with 23 seconds left that cut the Nets’ lead to 101-100.
Shaun Livingston got to the line with 11 seconds left and made one of two free throws (the Nets’ only point in the last 5:22 of the game, by the way) to make it 102-100, and Amir Johnson missed a three-pointer that would have won the game for the Raptors.
Kevin Garnett looked more like the KG that played in Boston the past six years as he had 12 points (5-11 FG), 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal. Paul Pierce had 16 points (5-8 FG), 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Joe Johnson had a nice follow-up to his 34 point game on Sunday with a 21-point effort in this one on 7-for-18 shooting with 3 three-pointers.