DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 30 points, including 17 in the 4th quarter, and the Toronto Raptors evened the series with a 100-95 win over the Brooklyn Nets in game two.
Free throws and rebounding were the difference in the game. Toronto was crashing the boards all night, out-rebounding the Nets 52-30. Jonas Valanciunas led the way with 14 rebounds, and Amir Johnson, Patrick Patterson, and Kyle Lowry each had 9.
At the line, Toronto made 24/29 of its free throw attempts (82.8%), while the Nets shot 20/28 (71.4%).
The Nets experience trumped Toronto’s youth in game one. Game two was a different story.
Paul Pierce scored just 7 points on 2/11 shooting, and after coming up so huge in game one, struggled to get in a rhythm in this one.
Amir Johnson, who was essentially a non-factor in game one scoring just 2 points, scored 16 points on 8/10 shooting and provided the Raptors with a huge boost.
In the end, there was no stopping DeRozan who was on another level all game.
Brooklyn started out the game two on an 8-1 run, but the Raptors responded to lead by two after one. Toronto kept its foot on the gas pedal and went into half-time up six.
The Nets dominated the 3rd outscoring the Raptors 27-19 leading by as many as 5, but Toronto finished the quarter strong and trailed by just two.
The 4th quarter was a back and forth affair with both teams tied at 85 with 3 minutes to go. That’s when DeRozan took over. The Raptors all-star guard scored 10 of Toronto’s final 15 points to seal the deal.
If the Nets are going to get back into this series, the bigs led by Kevin Garnett, Mason Plumlee, and Andray Blathce have to find a way to rebound the basketball. Brooklyn got away with it in game one, but Toronto’s 2nd chance opportunities proved to be too much game 2.
The series now shifts to the Barclays Center with game 3 tipping off on Friday night just after 7pm.