TORONTO - The Toronto Raptors held off the charging Brooklyn Nets, hanging on for a 115-113 victory on Wednesday to move one win away from advancing in the NBA playoffs.
The Raptors squandered a 26-point lead, but escaped with a victory that gave them a 3-2 edge in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series.
The Raptors, who won game four in Brooklyn, can capture their first post-season series win since 2001 with a victory there in game six on Friday.
"My emotions? You wouldn't want to hear it," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said of the dramatic fourth quarter. "We just didn't play smart.
"They're a veteran team, they're going to take advantage of mistakes that you make, and we wrote a book on mistakes we made in the fourth quarter."
Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with 36 points. His six three-pointers included a go-ahead basket with 1:04 left in the game.
DeMar DeRozan added 23 points and Jonas Valanciunas chipped in with 16 for the Raptors.
Joe Johnson led the Nets with 30 points. Mirza Teletovic added 17 off the bench while Deron Williams and Alan Anderson scored 13 points apiece in the defeat.
The Nets trailed 91-69 to start the fourth quarter and had veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett on the bench.
Johnson, Williams and the Nets' largely untested reserves scored 44 points in the final quarter to almost steal it from the Raptors.
Teletovic opened the fourth with a three-pointer and converted a three- point play on the next possession as ignite a 19-3 scoring run.
Johnson drained a three-pointer with 3:19 remaining to knot the score at 101-101 and it was tied knocked down an open 3-pointer with 3:19 left to pull even at 101-101, and it was knotted at 106-106 before Lowry put the Raptors ahead for good.
DeRozan's two free throws stretched the led to 113-108, though Anderson's second four-point play of the quarter gave the Nets hope with less than 10 seconds left.
There were 11 ties and six lead changes in the contest, but the Nets led for the last time shortly before halftime.
"We got off to a slow start, but the guys fought to put ourselves in position to win late on the road," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "We just didn't do the little things we had to, but, again, the guys fought and we can build on that."
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