Raptors were up by 20 at the end of the 3rd quarter and the fans started to mock Brooklyn and chant “BROOKLYN” and from that point on, the Nets had enough and seized control of the game. Joe Johnson recorded 26 points in the 2nd half after playing the 1st half with foul trouble. Johnson was simply too much to handle in the 2nd half. Brooklyn had 44 points in the 4th quarter with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett not playing a single minute. The Raptors were in serious trouble but once again, Kyle Lowry came to the rescue. Lowry finished with a game high 36 points while shooting 11-19 from the field and adding 6 assists. Lowry hit a huge three to shift the momentum back but when everyone thought things were over; Alan Anderson, a former Raptor, hit a three plus the foul after getting tackled by Amir Johnson. The only thing remaining was free throws. DeMar DeRozan hit 4 clutch free throws late in the game to give the Raptors a 3 point lead. The Raptors just needed a stop to close this game.
The ball was inbounded to Andray Blatche and without a doubt Patrick Patterson committed a foul. Blatche, a 74% free throw shooter on the season, hit the first free throw but missed the 2nd. Everything else went crazy from that point on. Blatche grabbed the rebound near the Raptors bench and was double teamed right away and looked to pass the ball to Deron Williams but threw it way over his head committing a backcourt violation. Oddly enough Williams was able to gather himself and fire a desperation 3 point shot from half court. The Raptors, however, caught a break with that call with Jonas (The Rookie) Valanciunas in his 2nd season from Lithuania goaltended. Rookie mistake, Jonas has done things like this before, like in the amazing 3OT committing a basket interference which gave momentum to the Wizards, and they closed the game out. This time things were different. Brooklyn was called for a backcourt violation and the rookie was off the hook. Raptors inbounded the ball threw it to Ross, and Ross was able to escape Williams and toss the ball in the air to end the game and win game 5, taking a 3-2 lead in the series.
“Every mistake you could think about, we made in the fourth quarter” said Dwane Casey, Raptors really did make every mistake to let the Nets back in in the game but at least they kept composure and were able to win this game. Raptors fans would’ve thought that this was deja vu like the Warriors game earlier this year, but no. The Raptors did what they needed to do late in this game, whether it was Lowry’s crossover on Williams and the the bucket, or DeRozan hitting his free throws. Raptors won this game even if they gave up a 26+ advantage. Doesn’t matter about how much you win by, just depends on whether they got the job done which they did, and they did it as a “TEAM.”
The Raptors have a chance to end this series Friday in Brooklyn. The Nets will come out throwing elbows but the Raptors will try their best to avoid the rough style of play. Friday will be a dog fight, and just remember that it was Brooklyn who wanted the Raptors.
Kyle Lowry buzzer beater to end the first half