Raptors Top Nets to Knot Playoff Series
Toronto — DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 14 rebounds for his second straight playoff double-double and the Toronto Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 100-95 on Tuesday night, evening their first-round playoff series at one game apiece.
Amir Johnson scored 16 points and Kyle Lowry had 14 as the Raptors rebounded from a 94-87 loss in Game 1. Patrick Patterson had 12 points and Greivis Vasquez finished with 11.
Joe Johnson scored 18 points, Deron Williams had 15 and Mirza Teletovic 14 for the Nets, who will host Game 3 on Friday night.
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.
Kevin Garnett scored 13 points and Shaun Livingston had 12 for the Nets, who led 66-64 heading into the fourth and couldn’t take advantage of 21 Toronto turnovers.
A 3 by Alan Anderson gave Brooklyn a five-point edge, but Toronto responded with six straight points to lead 70-69 at 9:54.
The lead changed five more times before Lowry converted a layup, and then made a pair of free throws to put the Raptors up 81-78 at 6:02.
Pacers 101, Hawks 85
Indianapolis — Paul George scored 27 points and George Hill had all 15 of his points in the second half, leading Indiana over Atlanta in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.
The Pacers and Hawks are tied at a game apiece heading into Game 3 in Atlanta on Thursday.
George was especially effective even though he spent much of the night defending Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, who had 14 points. Paul Millsap finished with 19 for Atlanta.
The first 24 minutes looked like an exact duplicate of Game 1, but the Pacers pulled away with a 31-13 third quarter.
Spurs Coach Honored
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was named NBA coach of the year on Tuesday, making him just the third coach in league history to win the Red Auerbach trophy three times in his career.
Popovich has received the league’s top coaching honor in two of the last three seasons, joining Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only coaches to win the award three times.
The Spurs entered the season still thinking about the devastating loss to the Miami Heat in last summer’s classic NBA Finals. Once again thought to be too old to challenge LeBron James and the mighty Heat, the Spurs took the defending champions to seven games but couldn’t quite close it out for the franchise’s fifth NBA title.
Popovich led the Spurs to a league-best 62-20 record, which gives them home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. And he did it while deftly navigating a season filled with nagging injuries to several key players.
Tim Duncan was the only starter to play in at least 70 games. No Spur averaged 30 minutes per game and Tony Parker led the team with a modest 16.7 points per game.