NEW YORK, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Patrick Patterson missed a pair of free-throws and the best chance to tie the game when the Toronto Raptors lost 102-98 to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday here.
The Nets took a 2-1 lead in the first-round series of the playoffs and Game 4 will be played at their home court on Sunday.
Leading as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter, the Nets almost let the Raptors turn the table in the last minute.
The Raptors used a 13-2 run to close it on 95-91 with just 1:07 minutes to go and DeMar DeRozan made a three-point play, which sent off Kevin Garnett, to make it 97-96 with 34.3 seconds left.
Shaun Livingston missed his second free-throw on the following possession of the Nets, but Andray Blatche committed a loose-ball foul, which granted two free-throws to Patterson on 98-96 with 19.0 seconds to go.
Patterson, who had 17 points and five rebounds from the bench, failed to make the FTs and the Nets made all the four FTs after that for the victory.
DeRozan had a game-high 30 points, as well as five rebounds and five assists, while Kyle Lowry had 15 points before he was fouled out with a bloody mouth.
Joe Johnson led the Nets with 29 points and Deron Williams had 22 points and eight assists. Paul Pierce had 18 points, including a driving dunk that sent the audience in ovation before the break.
The Nets had a good start for a 14-8 lead but let it loose as the Raptors made a 11-2 run to take the lead by 19-16.
The game was quite close in the first half and the lead was exchanged several times. But it was the home team that made the breakthrough as the Nets scored 10 straight points to lead 49-45 in the first half.
Pierce's baseline jumper with 2.4 seconds left in the third quarter gave the Nets the first double-digit lead of the game, 77-66.