BROOKLYN – In its second season since moving to Brooklyn, the Nets enjoyed another playoff home-opener victory over the surging young Toronto Raptors 102-98. As the Brooklyn fans entered the Barclays Center from the iconic Atlantic Avenue subway station, they soon were greeted by white “This Is Why We Are Here – Playoffs for Brooklyn” rally towels, showing the unity and togetherness of the borough.
With the series tied at 1-1 entering game 3, the Nets knew they had to capitalize after stealing home court advantage from the 3 seed Toronto Raptors. The Nets jumped out to a quick start, as the Nets saw an aggressive Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce lead the way in the first quarter. But, the young and inspired Toronto Raptors did not go away, taking an early 4 point lead, 23-19 after the first quarter.
But as the Nets principal owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, took his seat in his signature “Russian Posse” suite, Jason Kidd quickly went to the Russian assassin, Andrei Kirilenko, and within ten seconds of entering the game, Kirilenko had a pivotal steal in the second quarter.
Throughout the evening, Barclays Center was rocking with authentic Brooklyn entertainment. Hot97‘s own and Brooklyn native, DJ Enuff, dropped crazy hip-hop beats that got the crowd going during timeouts, at the half, and throughout the game to provide a one of a kind experience in Brooklyn.
But, no other entrance drew more eyeballs than Rihanna walking to her seat court side just as halftime concluded. The Barbadian pop star has been a frequent visitor to the Barclays Center, since her concert at the arena was postponed due to game seven of the first round series back in 2013.
Self-proclaimed to be the biggest Nets fan in the world, 78 year-old Bruce Reznick, better known as Mr. Whammy, brought out his signature customized signs pre-game for the playoffs. We caught up with Mr. Whammy, who showed his Nets fandom and passion for the team in his two signs below.
After a deep run by the Nets mid-way through the fourth quarter, building up a 15-point lead with 5 minutes and change to go, the surging Toronto Raptors came back to cut the lead down to one with just under a minute to go. But, with clutch free throw shooting from both Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce, the Nets were able to seal the deal in a 102-98 victory.
Game 4 tips off at 7:00 PM ET on TNT, and Daily Beat will have you covered live from Barclays Center.