Williams, Nets force Game 7
Former Illinois star scores 23 in win over Raptors
NEW YORK – Deron Williams scored 23 points, shaking off a second-half injury, and the Brooklyn Nets forced a seventh game in their first-round series by beating the Toronto Raptors 97-83 on Friday night.
Despite appearing to hurt his left foot or ankle early in the third quarter, Williams dominated his matchup with Kyle Lowry, and helped the Nets put it away with a 3-pointer with 1:13 left that made it 92-79.
Game 7 is Sunday in Toronto, with the winner advancing to face the defending champion Miami Heat.
It became the fourth first-round series ticketed for a do-or-die game in these playoffs, with the Atlantic Division champion Raptors trying to get by a Nets team that still has a chance to reach the high expectations it had entering the season.
DeMar DeRozan scored 28 for the Raptors.
Mavericks 113, Spurs 111: Monta Ellis scored 12 of his 29 points to lead a fourth-quarter comeback in Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki added 22, and Dallas became the fifth team to force a seventh game in their first-round series.
The eighth-seeded Mavericks bounced back from consecutive losses by handing the Spurs their first road defeat when leading after three quarters this season.
Tony Parker scored 22 to lead the heavily favored Spurs, who are stuck in a toss-up series after they won all four games against Dallas during the regular season. San Antonio took a nine-game winning streak against the Texas rival into the sixth postseason meeting between the teams.
Rangers 3, Penguins 2, OT: Derick Brassard scored 3:06 into overtime to seal the Rangers’ win in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semfinal in Pittsburgh.
Play continued after Brassard’s goal, with Benoit Pouliot pumping a shot past Marc-Andre Fleury seconds after Brassard’s shot. A review showed Brassard’s flip from in front beat Fleury cleanly.
Game 2 is Sunday.
Pouliot and Brad Richards gave the Rangers an early 2-0 lead. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 34 shots, and stuffed a late Pittsburgh breakaway in the final seconds of regulation.
Lee Stempniak and James Neal scored for the Penguins. Fleury made 24 saves, but was helpless on the winner.
Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby was held without a goal for the 12th straight playoff game.