LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Fred VanVleet had 24 points and 10 assists, Norman Powell had a big game off the bench with 24 points and the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors held on to defeat the Brooklyn Nets 104-99 on Wednesday.
The victory gave the Raptors a 2-0 lead in the first round plyoff series.
Kyle Lowry had 21 points, nine rebounds and forced a big turnover in the closing seconds for the second seeded Raptors.
The Nets were led by Garrett Temple’s 21 points.
The Raptors raced to a 33-point second quarter lead in Game 1 and blew out the Nets 134-110 after converting a franchise playoff record 22 3-pointers on 44 attempts.
But this game was much closer as the Nets built a 14-point lead in the first quarter.
The Raptors didn’t take their first lead of the game until nine minutes remained when OG Anunoby drove the lane and scored on a left-handed dunk. Toronto was in control after that, stretching the lead to eight on Powell’s drive and dunk from the right wing.
The Nets would have a final shot to send the game into overtime though after Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot’s 3-pointer with 40 seconds left trimmed it to 102-99 and Toronto was called for a shot clock violation on the ensuing possession. But Lowry swiped the ball away on a handoff near midcourt and Powell came up with the loose ball and scored on a breakaway dunk to seal the win.
“There is no situation we haven’t been in before,” VanVleet said after the game.
Caris LeVert had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Jarrett Allen and Joe Harris each had 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Nets.
Nets: Remain short-handed without Kevin Durant (right Achilles), Kyrie Irving (right shoulder), Nicolas Claxton (left shoulder), Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan and Taurean Prince (COVID-19) and Wilson Chandler (opted out due to personal reasons).
Raptors: Forced 17 Brooklyn turnovers, while committing just eight themselves.
Game 3 is scheduled for Friday.