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Sports

Nets Take Game One Against Raptors

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TORONTO, ON - APRIL 19:  Joe Johnson #7 of the Brooklyn Nets plays against Terrence Ross #31 of the Toronto Rapters in Game One of the NBA Eastern Conference play-offs at the Air Canada Centre on April 19, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

TORONTO, ON – APRIL 19: Joe Johnson #7 of the Brooklyn Nets plays against Terrence Ross #31 of the Toronto Rapters in Game One of the NBA Eastern Conference play-offs at the Air Canada Centre on April 19, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

By IAN HARRISON
Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) _ Deron Williams and Joe Johnson each scored 24 points, Paul Pierce scored nine of his 15 points in the final quarter and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Toronto Raptors 94-87 Saturday in Game 1 of their first round playoff series.

Shaun Livingston scored 10 points and Kevin Garnett had five as the Nets won despite making 4 of 24 3-pointers.

Kyle Lowry scored 22 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and 18 rebounds for the Raptors.

Valanciunas is the second Raptors player to have a double double in his postseason debut. Tracy McGrady had 25 points and 10 rebounds against New York in his first playoff game in 2000.

Valanciunas also set a Raptors record for playoff rebounds by surpassing Keon Clark, who had 16 against Detroit in 2002.

Greivis Vasquez had 18 points for the Raptors and DeMar DeRozan had 14 in his playoff debut, making three of 14 field goal attempts.

The game was delayed midway through the third quarter when the shot clocks above each basket malfunctioned. Play eventually resumed with both clocks still dark, and the stadium announcer marking the remaining time at 10 seconds, then counting down from five before saying `Horn’ as time expired. The clocks remained inactive for the rest of the game.

Trailing by five to start the final quarter, Toronto tied it at 67-67 with 9:50 left thanks to a 3 and a fast break layup from Patrick Patterson.

Brooklyn moved back in front thanks to four points from Livingston and a banked jumper by Mirza Teletovic, but the Raptors tied it at 73-73 with 6:25 left on Lowry’s driving layup.

Toronto led 77-76 on a 3 by Vasquez at 5:15, but the Nets replied with a jumper by Johnson, a turnaround jumper by Garnett and a 3 by Pierce to lead 82-76 with 2:58 remaining. Garnett’s basket was his first made field goal in five tries.

Pierce added two more baskets on either side of a 3 by Vasquez, and the Nets sealed it with six free throws in the final 22 seconds.

A 3 by Lowry at 6:24 of the first gave Toronto an early 11-7 lead, but Brooklyn answered with an 18-2 run, including nine points from Williams, to lead 25-13 at 2:59. Lowry stopped the spurt with five straight points, but the Nets were up 29-21 after one.

Vasquez scored 10 points in the second but Williams had seven for the Nets, who led 50-46 at halftime.

Johnson scored six points for the Nets in the third, but a buzzer-beating 3 by Lowry cut the deficit to five, at 67-62, heading into the fourth.

NOTES: Nets coach Jason Kidd was asked before the game why he had shaved his beard. “I thought it would be a nice thing to do to start the playoffs,” Kidd said. … Raptors GM Masai Ujiri used a profanity about Brooklyn in a pregame address to fans watching outside the arena. Ujiri said he was “just trying to get our fans going.” … Game 2 is Tuesday at 7:30. … Rapper Drake and former Raptors guard Alvin Williams attended the game.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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