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Seventh-place Nets top Raptors behind Williams, Young, Lopez

NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets won a game two nights earlier when Deron Williams missed in the lane and Brook Lopez scored on a rebound.

Luckily for them, Thaddeus Young didn't count on that happening again.

Young swooped in to make the tiebreaking basket on a follow shot with 22 seconds left after misses by Williams and Lopez, and the Nets beat the Toronto Raptors 114-109 on Friday night for their season-high sixth straight victory.

"I know it's a crucial moment of the game, so you have to make those types of big plays," Young said.

Williams scored a season-high 31 points and Lopez added 30 points and 17 rebounds for the Nets, who have surged into seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Young, acquired from Minnesota for Kevin Garnett in February, tied his season high with 29 points.

DeMar DeRozan finished with 27 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the Raptors, who fell a game behind Chicago for third place in the East.

"We could have done a lot better job," DeRozan said. "If we would have got a lot of critical rebounds at the end of the game, we would have won."

Lopez had his fifth 30-point game in the last nine, while Williams also handed out 11 assists.

And the Nets needed all of it to win another thriller against the Raptors, the team they eliminated in seven games in the first round of last year's playoffs. This was the fifth straight regular-season game between the teams here decided by five points or fewer.

"Those guys were amazing tonight, hitting shot after shot, matching us," Williams said of the Raptors. "We thought we could pull away with some of the shots we were hitting and then they came right back."

Neither team led by more than three points in the fourth quarter until the final seconds. DeRozan followed Williams' 3-pointer with a jumper 10 seconds later to tie it at 109 with 36 seconds to play. But he missed on Toronto's possession following Young's basket, which came after Williams missed in the lane and Lopez missed the first tip attempt.

Lopez tied his career high with 10 offensive rebounds. He scored on one to beat the Knicks 100-98 on Wednesday and his work on the boards hurt the Raptors in this one.

"It started in the first quarter (with) rebounding, dribble penetration, us having to help and not finishing plays with rebounds," forward Patrick Patterson said. "Then we did a better job throughout the course of the game and got us that lead. But then in the fourth quarter, the same thing happened -- miscommunication, a couple of bonehead plays, mental bonehead plays and just offensive rebounds again."

Lou Williams scored 23 points for the Raptors, playing their fifth straight game without All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry, who said before the game he hopes to return from back spasms before the regular season ends.

Toronto then lost starting forward Amir Johnson to a sprained right ankle midway through the third quarter.


Raptors: Lowry has missed seven of the last eight games, and felt he came back too soon after he initially hurt his back on March 18 against Minnesota, lasting less than two quarters against Detroit on March 24. He worked out before the game, but said he won't come back this time until he's sure he's ready. ... Raptors coach Dwane Casey was chosen Friday as a finalist for the Rudy Tomjanovich award, given by the Professional Basketball Writers Association to recognize the coach who best combines excellence in his craft with cooperation with the media and fans.

Nets: Lopez has two 30-point, 15-rebound games in the last two weeks after never having one previously. ... The Nets finished with 21 assists and have had 20 or more in every game during their winning streak.


Lowry's back is feeling better thanks to treatment and exercise, though he realizes he can't rehab as hard as he would like. "At the end of the day, you need rest when it comes to the back," he said. "When it comes to the back, everyone knows it pretty much shuts down when it's not ready to go."


Raptors: Host Boston on Saturday.

Nets: Visit Atlanta on Saturday.