Nets hold off Raptors, Dunleavy powers Bulls
NEW YORK - Joe Johnson tallied 29 points as the Brooklyn Nets beat the Toronto Raptors 102-98 in game three of their opening round NBA playoff series Friday.
Deron Williams finished with 22 points and eight assists and Paul Pierce scored 18 points for the Nets, who almost squandered a 15-point lead with five minutes left in the fourth quarter of the Eastern Conference series.
"We got a little lackadaisical," said Johnson. "It was very uncharacteristic of us to blow a lead like that."
On Tuesday, Toronto beat the Nets 100-95 at home in game two.
DeMar DeRozan paced the Raptors' attack with 30 points in front of a crowd of 17,732 at the Barclays Center arena.
In the other East playoff contest Friday, Mike Dunleavy set a franchise playoff record for three pointers in a game with eight as the Chicago Bulls beat the Washington Wizards 100-97.
Patrick Patterson had 17 points for Toronto, who haven't won a playoff game on the road since 2001 in Philadelphia.
Patterson had a chance to tie the game with 19 seconds remaining, but missed two free throws.
The second attempt deflected off the rim and Toronto's Landry Fields touched the ball as he tried to save it from going out of bounds.
Pierce hit two free throws with 14 seconds left, but Amir Johnson's putback off a DeRozan miss made it a 100-98 game with three seconds on the clock.
Joe Johnson made two more from the free-throw line less than a second later to clinch the victory and send the Raptors to their 13th straight road playoff loss. The 29 points was the most by Johnson in a playoff game since 2011.
"We have to be aggressive for the whole game," DeRozan said. "Once they had the big lead we tried to fight back. We can't put ourselves in that situation."
Game four of this best-of-seven set is Sunday.
Dunleavy made eight-of-10 three point attempts and finished with 35 points for the Bulls, who narrowed the Wizards series lead to two games to one.
Dunleavy's 35 points were one shy of a career-best but shattered his previous playoff career-high of 17.
Jimmy Butler finished with 15 points, Carlos Boozer had 14 and Taj Gibson and D.J. Augustin put in 13 points apiece off the bench for the Bulls.
Game four is set for Sunday in Washington.
Butler drained his second three-pointer of the contest and series to give Chicago a 94-91 lead with 24 seconds left to play.
Wizard's Trevor Ariza then missed a three-point try at the other end.
Chicago moved the ball to halfcourt with a timeout, but Dunleavy's inbounds pass sailed over Joakim Noah and into Washington John Wall's hands. Wall went right to the rim and drew a foul, making both free throws, but Butler countered at the other end with a pair of his own free throws for a 96-93 lead.
Both teams made four free throws the rest of the way to cap the scoring. - Rappler.com