Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson (7) looks to drive around Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) during the fourth quarter in game three of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center. Photo by Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.
Forward Joe Johnson scored 21 of his 29 points in the second half and the Brooklyn Nets opened a 2-1 series lead over the Toronto Raptors by holding on for a 102-98 victory at Barclays Center in Game Three of the Eastern Conference quarter-finals.
Johnson continued his strong showing in this series by shooting 11-of-17, taking him to 26-of-43 in this series with 67 points.
Toronto was within 97-93 after guard DeMar DeRozan made two free throws with 43.9 seconds remaining and after point guard Deron Williams missed a pair with 40.7 seconds left, DeRozan split the defense for a layup, drew a sixth foul on center Kevin Garnett and hit the foul shot with 34.3 seconds remaining, cutting the deficit to 97-96.
With 20.4 seconds remaining, guard Shaun Livingston split a pair at the line and it was 98-96. Reserve forward Patrick Patterson had a chance for the tie but missed both free throws with 19 seconds remaining and the Nets gained possession after Johnson tapped out the rebound.
The Nets sealed the win by getting two free throws by forward Paul Pierce and Johnson sandwiched around a put-back layup by forward Amir Johnson.
Williams added 22 points and handed out eight assists while forward Pierce spearheaded the third quarter by contributing eight of his 18.
DeRozan led the Raptors with 30 points.