Paul Pierce rejected Kyle Lowry’s shot attempt in the lane as time expired, and the Brooklyn Nets survived a frantic fourth quarter finish to beat the Toronto Raptors 104-103 from the Air Canada Centre. The Nets now advance to face the Miami Heat, who swept the Charlotte Bobcats and have not played for almost a week.
It was a wild game from Toronto, with the Nets pushing ahead in the second quarter and (although it didn’t seem that way) holding the lead for good after that. They were carried offensively by Joe Johnson, who poured in 26 points with 11 coming in the fourth quarter. He also played 45 minutes, easily the most of anyone on the Nets.
Toronto got a great game from Amir Johnson, who scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds before fouling out with about eight minutes to go in the 4th. Kyle Lowry was fantastic as well, scoring 28 points (including 12-for-14 on free throws) and providing several key plays down the stretch.
Ultimately, though, Pierce’s block will be the play most remembered from this game, as the savvy veteran made a season-saving play when his team needed it most. The Nets won’t have much time to recuperate; Game 1 against Miami is on Tuesday night in South Beach.