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October 31, 2014

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Pierce’s block leads Nets past Raptors 104-103

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Frank Gunn, the Canadian Press / AP

The Toronto Raptors’ Terrence Ross (31) drives to the net against the Brooklyn Nets’ Deron Williams (8) and Paul Pierce (34) as the Nets’ Kevin Garnett (2) boxes out the Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas during the first half of Game 7 of the opening-round NBA basketball playoff series in Toronto on Sunday, May 4, 2014.

TORONTO — Paul Pierce blocked Kyle Lowry's shot from the lane on the final play of the game, and the Brooklyn Nets held off the Toronto Raptors 104-103 in Game 7 on Sunday to advance to the second round of the playoffs.

The Nets will begin the conference semifinals at Miami on Tuesday night to play the two-time defending NBA champion Heat.

Leading by one point, Brooklyn used its final timeout after failing to inbound the ball. On the second opportunity, Shaun Livingston tried a lob pass to Pierce but Terrence Ross got a hand on the ball, then knocked it off Pierce and out of bounds for a turnover.

Toronto used a timeout and gave the ball to Lowry, whose driving shot was blocked by Pierce as time expired. Lowry lay prone in the key as the Nets surged onto the court in celebration.

Joe Johnson scored 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Nets. Marcus Thornton scored 17, Kevin Garnett had 12 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the series and Deron Williams scored 13 points.

Amir Johnson fouled out with 20 points and 10 rebounds for Toronto, which trailed by 10 points with just over six minutes remaining before storming back and having a chance to win it at the buzzer.

Lowry finished with 28 points and DeMar DeRozan 18 for the Raptors, who fell to 0-2 in franchise history when playing in a Game 7. Toronto lost Game 7 of the conference semifinals to Philadelphia in 2001.

The Raptors, who won the Atlantic Division and set a franchise record with 48 wins, have not won a playoff series since 2001, losing in all three appearances.

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