DeRozan scores 30 as Raptors beat Nets 100-95

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 22, 2014 at 11:00 pm •  Published: April 22, 2014
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TORONTO (AP) — DeMar DeRozan put his playoff jitters aside and turned in an All-Star performance for the Toronto Raptors.

DeRozan scored 30 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 14 rebounds and the Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 100-95 on Tuesday night, evening their first-round playoff series at one game apiece.

A first-time All-Star this season, DeRozan struggled in his postseason debut on Saturday. He went 3 for 13 from the field and scored 14 points in Toronto's 94-87 loss.

On Tuesday, DeRozan eclipsed that total in the fourth quarter alone, scoring 17 of Toronto's 36 points.

"We knew he was going to bounce back from the first game," Brooklyn's Deron Williams said. "He took over the game, hit some crucial shots, some tough shots. We've got to do a better job of stopping him, especially late."

DeRozan made nine of 21 shots and went 12 for 14 at the free-throw line, hitting nine of 11 attempts in the final quarter.

"He bounced back, refocused," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "Making those free throws down the stretch was huge. For him to come through after a tough first game and everyone doubting him, I was really happy with that."

So was Raptors guard Kyle Lowry.

"Tonight he showed what he can do," Lowry said of DeRozan. "He did an unbelievable job of attacking, being aggressive."

Amir Johnson scored 16 points and Lowry had 14 for the Raptors, who outrebounded the Nets 52-30. It was Valanciunas' second straight playoff double-double.

"There was no way we were going to lose that game," Amir Johnson said. "It was a must-win for us."

Joe Johnson scored 18 points, Williams had 15 and Mirza Teletovic 14 for the Nets, who will host Game 3 on Friday night.

"There's a lot of positive things that we've done in these first two games," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "Now we've got to go home and protect home."

Hampered by foul trouble throughout the game, Brooklyn's Paul Pierce went 2 for 11 from the field, including 0 for 6 from 3-point range. He finished with seven points.

Pierce was upset that the Nets failed to take a 2-0 stranglehold on the series.

"We had them on the ropes," Pierce said. "Definitely."