Game Sevens are rarely played this close and leave you wanting more. The way the Nets and Raptors have played during their 11 matchups this season, you would not mind seeing them play another seven games and expect it go 4-3 once again even in the opposite direction. These teams are that evenly matched.
The final game of this playoff series went down to the last possessions with Paul Pierce going from goat to hero all in the span of a few seconds. Brooklyn missed free throws and then turned the ball over trying to inbound their final possession. Terrence Ross intercepted the pass and threw it off Paul Pierce to guarantee the Raptors would have the final possession.
Kyle Lowry was determined to be the hero, it seemed.
He beat a triple team, losing the ball and splitting the defenders around him. He needed to beat one more. Paul Pierce saved the day for the Nets again, blocking Lowry’s shot right at release as the buzzer sounded and stunning the Air Canada Centre crowd. The Nets will advance to face the Heat with a 104-103 Game Seven victory.
There was disappointment and appreciation from the Toronto crowd as a great season came to a close. For the Nets, there was some relief as they nearly blew the game.
Brooklyn led by around 10 points for much of the second half before Toronto made a run to close the gap. That has been the theme of the series. These two teams just could not quit each other.
Ultimately, Toronto’s inability to defend Joe Johnson became their undoing. The Raptors gave up 26 points to Johnson, although he shot just 11 for 25. Toronto’s constant double teaming led to quick ball rotations and open shots in the opposite corner. That was what the Nets needed to do to break down the Raptors.
Lowry scored 28 points and Amir Johnson had 20 points before foul trouble limited him for much of the second half. Toronto had just 13 assists and relied heavily on one-on-one basketball. They needed just one more of those plays though to advance. It did not come. And every series has to end.