Raptors hold off late push by NetsApr 11, 2011 - 1:32 AM Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - The Toronto Raptors nearly had a 20-point fourth quarter lead erased, but held on late to top the New Jersey Nets, 99-92, at Air Canada Centre.
Jerryd Bayless paced Toronto with 19 points while DeMar DeRozan, Ed Davis and James Johnson each scored 18 for the Raptors, who snapped a three-game skid. Reggie Evans finished with a game-high 15 rebounds while Julian Wright scored 10 in a reserve role as the teams split the season series 2-2.
Brook Lopez paced New Jersey with a game-high 35 points and 11 rebounds. Sasha Vujacic scored 19 as the Nets dropped their third straight and ninth in ten games.
"It was a gutsy performance from our team," Nets coach Avery Johnson said. "We had such a bad first half in every way and we weren't very good in the third quarter. We had a solid performance in the fourth."
The Raptors took an 82-62 lead into the fourth quarter, however, the Nets slowly chipped away in the opening minutes and after a Lopez three-point play with 4:45 remaining the Toronto lead was down to 92-79.
Lopez's play started an 16-4 run that he capped with a driving hook shot with 46.9 second remaining, putting the game at 96-92.
Not wanting to allow the Nets' momentum to continue, Toronto head coach Jay Triano called a short timeout to regroup.
Out of the break, Bayless was fouled with 35.1 seconds remaining, and after he made both, Vujacic missed a three-pointer for New Jersey.
Forced to foul, the Nets sent Bayless to the line with 21.6 ticks left, and after making 1-of-2, New Jersey missed consecutive three-point attempts from Jordan Farmar to end the game.
The Raptors controlled the game from the opening tip. Toronto held a 16-6 lead after a Bayless three-pointer just under four minutes in and took a 31-22 lead into the second.
Johnson scored 11 on 4-of-4 from the field in the second as the Raptors widened their advantage to 61-42 at the half. The Toronto lead reached as high as 21, 63-42, with a pair of Evans free throws to open the third. However, the Nets kept it close, cutting their deficit to 67-55 just over seven minutes remaining in the quarter.
Stephen Graham connected on an alley-oop dunk to set the margin but the Raptors quickly called a timeout to end the New Jersey surge. Out of the break, the Raptors used a 17-5 run to end the quarter and widen their margin back to 20.
Evans started the run with a reverse layup with 6:45 remaining and Bayless capped it with a pair from the line to give Toronto a 82-62 lead entering the final stanza.
Prior to the game the Nets signed guard Mario West for the remainder of the season...Lopez went 11-of-14 from the line in the loss...Dan Gadzuric recorded five blocks for New Jersey...The Nets scored 27 points off 20 Toronto turnovers...Both teams have two games remaining. The Raptors will head to Milwaukee before hosting the playoff-bound Miami Heat. The Nets will host Charlotte before capping their season against the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed, Chicago Bulls.
- NEW JERSEY: 92
Apr 10 8:34 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 62
End of 3rd
Apr 10 7:52 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 42
Apr 10 7:09 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 10 6:13 PM
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