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Nets force a Game 7 with blowout win over Raptors

May 2, 2014, 10:17 PM EDT

Toronto Raptors v Brooklyn Nets - Game Three Getty Images

The fans in Brooklyn once again had a tough time being seated for a 7 p.m. tip-off before Game 6, a situation that is the polar opposite of the love the Raptors have received from an entire nation of fans embracing the team during its first postseason run in six years.

But none of that had any effect on the Nets’ ability to focus.

Down three games to two and facing elimination, Brooklyn’s veterans brought an intensity level and a will to win that a much younger Raptors squad was simply unable to match. The Nets led by as many as 16 points before the first period was finished, and the lead reached 26 before Brooklyn settled on a 97-83 final that forced a Game 7 in Toronto on Sunday.

The veterans are the strength of this Nets team, and two of them made a point to set the tone early. Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce each scored nine first quarter points on a combined 7-of-9 shooting, and Brooklyn as a team was red-hot in finishing the opening frame shooting better than 68 percent.

Deron Williams has been largely missing in this series in the eyes of Nets fans, but he came through in a big way when the team’s season was on the line. Not only did Williams finish with a team-high 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting to go along with five rebounds and four assists, but he hit plenty of big shots after being noticeably hobbled by an ankle injury he sustained in the third.

Jason Kidd gets some credit here too for tweaking things, starting Alan Anderson in place of Shaun Livingston, and playing Andray Blatche almost 21 minutes, while rookie Mason Plumlee was all but dropped from the rotation.

The Raptors put together a couple of big runs during the second half, which might give them something to build on as they head back to Toronto for the deciding game in the series. They cut it to 10 twice in the game’s final five minutes, but Brooklyn was able to stabilize each time, before Williams hit a dagger of a three with 1:13 remaining to seal the win for the Nets.

The home court advantage that mattered little to the Nets in Brooklyn may be of a much larger benefit to these young Raptors in Game 7. But a team full of veteran star players is extremely difficult to eliminate no matter the venue, and Toronto will have to mature extremely quickly in order to put the type of effort together it will take to knock off these Nets, and advance to the second round.

  1. mazblast - May 2, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    “But a team full of veteran star players is extremely difficult to eliminate no matter the venue,”

    Wow, someone has been sampling from the official NBA Cliche Narrative file.

  2. ningenito78 - May 2, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    Nets in 7. Toronto had to close it out tonight. No way this team loses a game 7 in the first round.

    • asimonetti88 - May 3, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      Well, it will be at home in Toronto, with a great crowd, that will definitely give the Raptors a boost. Great series

  3. jzone954 - May 2, 2014 at 11:35 PM

    ATL and Toronto even though do have a chance, it’s seems as if they actually had there chance. I just can’t see the Nets, and especially the Pacers loosing game 7

  4. theoldgreybeard - May 3, 2014 at 12:03 AM

    All nationalism aside, the refs need to call a basketball game. Why does Kevin Garnet have different rules the J.Valenciaus? Why do Nets’s players have the right to physically obstruct while Raptor’s don’t. Still,Raptors laid back and need to be more determined.

    • cmehustle - May 3, 2014 at 12:16 AM

      Dam son have you watched Kyle Lowry at all this series?? He plays basketball like a linebacker lol!

      • Kevin S. - May 3, 2014 at 4:11 AM

        It’s hilarious. When the Raptors win, the Nets suck. When the Nets win, the refs didn’t call it fair. The Truthers can’t admit they didn’t have the better team on a given night.

  5. canadatude - May 3, 2014 at 7:31 AM

    It’s hilarious. When Raptors win, Kevin disappears. When Nets win, he gloats. He must be one of the empty seats at their home games.

    • jimeejohnson - May 3, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      Sorta like the PeaBrainCantonPunk who shows up to bash LeBron and the Heat but not when they WIN TWO NBA CHAMPIONSHIPS and also not when his pathetic loser Knicks lose. You have to excuse a New Yawk a$$hole; hate’s their way.

  6. Kevin S. - May 3, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    Yeah, because I didn’t talk about the Nets’ Game 5 loss here: http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/05/02/friday-nba-playoff-previews-nets-mavericks-rockets-look-to-avoid-early-vacation/

    Or comment on one of the game threads here: http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/05/01/kyle-lowry-punishes-nets-as-raptors-take-first-series-lead-in-13-years/

    Or outright praise Lowry for his righteous performance in Game 4: http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/04/27/raptors-use-fast-start-strong-finish-to-even-the-series-with-game-4-win-over-nets/

    Or post repeatedly about Game 2 here: http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/04/22/raptors-even-series-with-game-2-win-over-nets/

    When the Raptors lose, all you do is whine about the refs. Go hide under a bridge you little troll.

  7. Kevin S. - May 3, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    It appears PBT is eating my posts with links, but I’ve commented on the Game 2 recap, the Game 4 recap, the Game 5 recap and posted more thoughts about Game 5 in the Game 6 preview. You’ve cried about refs. Go away.

    • jimeejohnson - May 3, 2014 at 10:34 AM

      Go away = BEAT IT.

  8. Kansachusetts - May 3, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    Garnett has been awesome. As a Celtics fan, it gives me huge pleasure to see a subset of the Garnett haters having to eat their words and learn to love him.

    • jimeejohnson - May 3, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      You are correct and I love it too, but the ultimate in making haters eat their words: LeBron James. Peabrain Cantonpunk threw up many times from eating his hate.

  9. nykfanwakemeupin2015 - May 3, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    What fan base? Most people in Brooklyn are dirt poor and can’t make it out to games. The other coming are all Wall Street types showing up after work with free tickets. The Knicks will always have the fan base.

  10. jimeejohnson - May 3, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    But the Knicks suck.

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