Toronto Raptors 115, Brooklyn Nets 113—Toronto leads series, 3-2
The Toronto Raptors blew a 26-point lead in the second half, but were able to hold off the Brooklyn Nets thanks to the brilliance of point guard Kyle Lowry.
After a tense back-and-forth first quarter, the Raptors blew Brooklyn off the court in the second. Toronto ended the first half on a brilliant 28-4 run, which was capped by a bank-shot buzzer-beating three from Lowry.
That wild shot gave the Raptors an 18-point lead going into the break.
Toronto kept up the pressure early in the third quarter, running their lead up to a seemingly unassailable 26 points.
The only Net able to stand up to Toronto in the period was shooting guard Joe Johnson, who single-handedly kept Brooklyn in the game with a 18-point third quarter.
What happened in the fourth? The team simply imploded, per Raptors coach Dwane Casey (via the National Post's Eric Koreen): "Every mistake you can think of we made in the fourth quarter."
No fewer than five Nets scored at least seven points in the final frame, led by Deron Williams and Alan Anderson, with 10 apiece.
Meanwhile, every Raptor with the exception of Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Greivis Vasquez completely imploded, shooting a combined 0-for-5. Brooklyn tied the game on a Johnson three-pointer at the 3:16 mark, and the Nets seemingly had all the momentum on their side.
But the Raptors still had Lowry, who scored five points and drew a crucial charge in the final three minutes to help Toronto secure the win.
Joe Johnson, Nets: 30 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST
Deron Williams, Nets: 13 PTS, 9 AST
Paul Pierce, Nets: 10 PTS, 1 REB
Kyle Lowry, Raptors: 36 PTS, 6 AST
DeMar DeRozan, Raptors: 23 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST
Jonas Valanciunas, Raptors: 16 PTS, 6 REB
The series will shift back to Brooklyn for Game 6 on Friday at 7 p.m. ET. The network broadcast has yet to be determined.
What to make of this series? Brooklyn led at home late in Game 4, and simply forgot how to score. Toronto led by 26 in the second half at home in Game 5, and forgot how to play basketball.
The good news for the Nets is that they are returning home for Game 6. The bad news is that Toronto no longer fears the Barclays Center after winning there in Game 4.