(NEW YORK) — Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson each hit two clutch free throws down the stretch to help the Brooklyn Nets fend off the Toronto Raptors, 102-98 Friday night, to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven first round playoff series.
The Nets led 93-78 with 4:02 remaining in the game, but the Raptors proceeded to go on a 13-2 run to whittle the lead to four with 1:07 remaining in the game.
DeMar DeRozan then completed an old fashioned 3-point play to cut the Nets’ lead to one with 34 seconds remaining. But the Raptors never got any closer, as Pierce and Johnson sealed the game at the line to clinch a Nets victory.
“It feels good to win, but at the same time you know you can be a lot better,” said Pierce, who finished with 18 points. “I’m looking for down the road, I’m looking for when it’s like that Game 6 or 7, if we’re ever in that situation with this team, it’s going to come to those little things and we can’t afford those small mistakes.”
Johnson finished with a team-high 29 points while Deron Williams added 22 points and eight assists in the win.
Game 4 is Sunday night in Brooklyn. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Eastern.
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Jill Martin, CNN