Nets escape Toronto in Game 7 thriller
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - The Brooklyn Nets will get their shot at the Heat in the second round of the playoffs after narrowly ousting the Raptors on Sunday in front of a rabid Toronto crowd excited for its first Game 7.
The Raptors nearly blew the roof off Air Canada Centre with a furious late comeback, but Paul Pierce blocked Kyle Lowry's potential game-winner in the lane as the seasoned Nets pulled out a frantic 104-103 victory.
The first Game 7 win in Nets history did not come easy, as Toronto cut a seven-point deficit with two minutes remaining to one down the stretch.
Terrence Ross drove for two to pull the Raptors within 104-103, then stole Shaun Livingston's inbounds pass and threw the ball out of bounds off Pierce's leg to give the hosts one final chance with 6.2 seconds to go.
Lowry was triple teamed at the top of the key and had the ball knocked away by Kevin Garnett before regrouping in the lane. With time ticking away and Pierce in his face, Lowry rose from six feet out, took some slight contact and had it batted away as the buzzer sounded to end an incredibly tight series.
Joe Johnson led the sixth-seeded Nets with 26 points, Garnett added 12 points and 11 rebounds and Marcus Thornton stepped up with 17 points off the bench for the Nets, who will open their next series in Miami on Tuesday.
Brooklyn swept the four regular season meetings against the two-time defending champions, though all were decided by a single point.
Lowry finished with 28 points to pace the Raptors, who have still not won a playoff series since 2001.
05/04 16:21:30 ET