With the series tied at 1-1, the Brooklyn Nets feel good about stealing homecourt advantage from the Toronto Raptors in this best-of-seven affair in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
The Nets feel even better that the series now shifts to Brooklyn for the next two games when they have the opportunity to get the series lead at home before the series returns up North.
Brooklyn turned to veteran trio of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce in the 94-87 Game 1 victory. Williams and Johnson finished with 24 points apiece while Pierce came up big down the stretch scoring 9 of his 15 markers in the payoff period to hold off the rallying Raptors.
The Raptors did a better job in containing two of the thosee key players in their 100-95 Game 2 win. Toronto held Pierce to just 7 points on 2-of-11 shooting and Williams to miss 10-of-15 shots for only 15 points.
On offense, Toronto got another big contribution from big man Jonas Valanciunas (15 points and 14 rebounds) and finally got a huge lift from DeMar Derozan who had 30 markers. Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry had 14 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists.
The Nets, particularly Johnson, have taken notes from what is happening around the league.
"We understand that this is not going to be easy by any means," said Johnson in the league’s official website. "You just look around throughout the playoffs, a lot of teams have been losing at home."
Higher seeds Indiana, Oklahoma, Chicago and Houston are all trailing in their respective series in this postseason so far.
For his part, DeRozan is ready for the big road battle in Brooklyn.
"We understand, you want to call the underdog, whatever you want to call it, we go in there with that mindset. We feel like everybody's against us and we're out there to go against everybody," said DeRozan also in NBA.COM. "That's our mindset, honestly, every time we step on the road."
Watch Game 3 of the Raptors-Nets match-up via NBA League Pass.