Nets hold off Toronto to win playoff opener
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) – Richard Jefferson scored 28 points and Bostjan
Nachbar added 16, with a key three-pointer late in the fourth quarter, as the
New Jersey Nets held on for a 96-91 victory over the Toronto Raptors in the
opener of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Air Canada Centre.
Vince Carter was ineffective from the field in his first playoff game as an
opponent at his former home, making only 5-of-19 shots and finishing with 16
points. Jason Kidd contributed eight points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds in the
Chris Bosh, saddled with foul trouble for most of the first half, scored 22
points for Toronto, which won the Atlantic for its first-ever division title
and earned the third seed in the playoffs.
T.J. Ford added 21 points and Anthony Parker chipped in 16 for the Raptors,
who will try to even the best-of-seven series in Game 2 on Tuesday in Toronto.
The Nets blew most a 15-point lead and held a tenuous 84-83 edge with just
over 2 1/2 minutes to play when Nachbar drilled a three-pointer from the left
corner. It was just the second basket for the Nets in the fourth quarter.
Carter then hit one free throw and Nachbar made two to extend the New Jersey
lead to seven.
A few moments later, Toronto pulled within four on a three-point play by Bosh
with 1:15 left and had a chance to draw closer with 40 seconds to play, but
Bosh missed a baseline jumper.
Kidd missed a three-pointer for New Jersey, but Mikki Moore grabbed the
offensive rebound and was fouled. He made both free throws for a 94-88 lead
with 15.3 seconds to play.
Parker drilled a long three for the Raptors after a timeout, but Carter sank
one free throw and Kidd hit another in the closing seconds to seal it.