Rapid Reaction: Nets 102, Raptors 100

And breathe. The Brooklyn Nets snapped a five-game losing streak Tuesday night with a narrow 102-100 victory over the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.

The Nets nearly blew a 15-point lead with 3:13 left, but Amir Johnson missed a 3-pointer and Steve Novak missed a tip before the final buzzer sounded.

WHAT IT MEANS: About time. You think you were sick and tired of losing? So were they. All of a sudden, the Nets (4-10) are now two games back of the first-place Raptors (6-8) for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. There’s still no word on when Deron Williams (ankle), Brook Lopez (ankle), Andrei Kirilenko (back) and Jason Terry (knee) will be back. But the Nets couldn’t kick off a stretch of four games in five nights any better than this.

BREAKING NEWS! Whatever they decided to do at halftime, it worked. The Nets won the third quarter, 26-25. If you’ve watched them all season, you know just how significant this is. The Nets came in as the NBA’s worst third-quarter team in terms of average scoring margin (minus-5.2 points per game). Brooklyn came in 0-10 when losing the third, 4-0 when winning it.

THE BIG THING IS: The Nets outscored the Raptors 48-28 in the paint and shot 50.6 percent from the field. Joe Johnson is averaging 27.5 points in his last two games. Andray Blatche hit his first five shots and finished with 24 points. Kevin Garnett (12 points, six rebounds, four assists) had his second double-digit scoring game of the season, while Paul Pierce (16 points) picked up his play after four straight poor outings. Mason Plumlee (nine points) and Alan Anderson (six points) provided significant energy and minutes off the bench.

UP NEXT: The Nets come back to face the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday night at Barclays Center.