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Roundup: Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett pace Brooklyn

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett showed in Game 3 why the Nets brought them to Brooklyn.

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Former Celtics Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett showed in Game 3 why the Nets brought them to Brooklyn.

Paul Pierce climbed high for the dunk, Kevin Garnett went to the floor for a loose ball, and Brooklyn suddenly looked and sounded like Boston.

Joe Johnson scored 29 points, Pierce and Garnett brought a charge to their first playoff game in Brooklyn, and the Nets held off the Toronto Raptors, 102-98, Friday night for a 2-1 lead in their first-round series.

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Johnson made the clinching free throws with 3.1 seconds left after Brooklyn blew almost all of a 15-point, fourth-quarter lead. Williams added 22 points and eight assists for the sixth-seeded Nets, who host Game 4 Sunday night.

Pierce had 18 points, and he and Garnett provided the game’s signature plays late in the second quarter, a reminder that the Nets brought the veterans here as much for their bravado as their basketball.

DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points for the Raptors, who have lost 13 straight road playoff games. Patrick Patterson added 17 points, but missed two free throws with a chance to tie the game for Toronto, whose last postseason road win was May 6, 2001, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semis at Philadelphia.

Kyle Lowry fouled out with 15 points, forcing the Raptors to try to complete the comeback without their point guard. And they almost did.

Toronto held a 23-19 lead after one quarter and owned a small lead until late in the second. Joe Johnson’s free throws tied it, Pierce hit a pair, and then he left Tyler Hansbrough standing still near the foul line, driving for a dunk that made it 45-41.

The dunk got the fans on their feet, but Garnett’s intensity really got them in a frenzy. He dived on the floor for a ball that had been kicked, wrestling it away from Amir Johnson, and when he got up, held the ball high and screamed toward the fans behind the basket, then pulled out the part of his jersey that read ‘‘BROOKLYN’’ toward them.

Pierce later had a 3-point play and a 3-pointer in the Nets’ big finish to the third, his jumper with 2.7 seconds left making it 77-66.

Bulls 100, Wizards 97 — Mike Dunleavy scored 35 points, 1 shy of his career high, Jimmy Butler hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 24 seconds remaining, and Chicago hung on in Washington, trimming its deficit to 2-1 in their first-round series.

Dunleavy went 12 for 19 from the field, hitting a career-high eight 3-pointers on 10 attempts, for the Bulls.

Game 4 is Sunday in Washington.

Bradley Beal scored 13 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter for the Wizards. During a walkoff interview at halftime, the Wizards guard guaranteed Dunleavy wouldn’t score in the second half.

Dunleavy scored 19 after the break.

Rockets 121, Trail Blazers 116 — James Harden had 37 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists, but it was seldom-used guard Troy Daniels’s 3-pointer following a scrum for the ball that won it in overtime and kept visiting Houston from a 3-0 series deficit.

Dwight Howard added 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockets.

Daniels, a rookie who had played in just five games for the Rockets this season, hit his third 3-pointer of the game with 11 seconds left. He finished with 9 points on 3-of-6 shooting.

Damian Lillard had 30 points and six rebounds for Portland, while LaMarcus Aldridge had 23 points and 10 rebounds.

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