By Dhiren Mahiban
TORONTO — Guard DeMar DeRozan had 15 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 100-95 victory over the Brooklyn Nets in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series at Air Canada Centre Tuesday night.
The win, Toronto’s first postseason victory since April 24, 2008, evens the best-of-seven series with Brooklyn at a win a piece.
Toronto center Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 14 rebounds. Forward Amir Johnson went 8-for-10 from the field, finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds. Guard Greivis Vasquez had 11 points and forward Patrick Patterson had 12 off the bench for the Raptors.
Nets guard Joe Johnson went 7-for-13 from the field for a team-high 18 points in the loss. Forward Mirza Teletovic had 14 points, and guard Deron Williams finished with 15 points and five assists.
Nets forward Paul Pearce, who got into foul trouble early, was limited to just seven points and six rebounds.
For the second straight game, Toronto committed 19 or more turnovers, recording 20 turnovers Tuesday.
DeRozan walked in from the elbow and threw down a monster one-handed jam much to the delight of the 20,382 in attendance – part of an early fourth-quarter 6-0 run, allowing Toronto to retake the lead 70-69.
DeRozan later made a 20-foot shot with 2:45 left to break an 85-85 tie and give Toronto the lead for good.
Earlier, Brooklyn had scored on eight of nine possessions before Pierce missed a 3-pointer as the Nets used 17-6 run to take a three-point lead, 56-53.
Johnson led the way with 12 third-quarter points, including 3-for-3 from three-point range and 4-for-6 from the field. Guard Shaun Livingston added six points as Brooklyn carried a 66-64 led into the fourth.
Through three quarters, Toronto committed 17 turnovers while Brooklyn committed just five.
DeRozan led the way with 11 points and Vasquez had nine off the bench as Toronto led 45-39 at the break.
Teletovic had 11 off the bench for the Nets while forward Kevin Garnett and Williams each had seven for Brooklyn at half.
After falling behind 8-1 in the first quarter, Raptors coach Dwane Casey called a timeout to regroup his team. The moved paid off as Toronto outscored Brooklyn 20-11 in the final 8:35 of the quarter to take a 21-19 lead after one.
Valanciunas led the way for Toronto with eight points.
Garnett led the way for Brooklyn with five points as the Nets went through a stretch of missing nine straight field-goal attempts. Williams and Johnson each had four points in the first quarter.
NOTES: Raptors coach Dwane Casey finished fifth in NBA Coach of the Year voting. … Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri was fined $25,000 on Monday for the expletive he used Saturday outside the Air Canada Centre during a pep rally before Game 1. … NBA super fan James Goldstein was courtside for Game 2. … Toronto mayor Rob Ford also attended the game. … Ontario native and Kansas Jayhawks small forward Andrew Wiggins took in Game 2 of the Nets-Raptors series. … The series moves to Brooklyn for Game 3 on Friday night and Game 4 on Sunday.
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