In just two minutes and seven seconds, the difference-maker in the first round series between the Nets and Raptors became clear -- Paul Pierce. The Nets hope he is as lethal in tonight's Game 2 as he was down the stretch of Game 1 on Saturday.
The Nets were clinging to a 79-76 lead with 2:58 remaining when "The Truth" came to life. Pierce drained a 3-pointer and, as the Raptors called a time out, exclaimed, "That's why they brought me here!"
He was absolutely right. After scoring just six points on 2-9 shooting during the game's first 45 minutes, Pierce then scored nine points on four consecutive Nets possessions and carried Brooklyn to a 94-87 victory in Toronto to take a 1-0 series lead.
Suddenly, the first round draft picks that the Nets sent to the Celtics in exchange for Pierce and Kevin Garnett do not seem like that big of a deal.
Pierce, 36, always has been a run stopper and a closer, and he proved that he still has some magic left in him.
The young Raptors lack playoff experience, something that Pierce and the Nets have plenty of.