- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Nets set a franchise record with 15 straight wins at home earlier this month.
They hope Brooklyn fans will make the Barclays Center a hostile environment for the Raptors on Friday, when the Nets return for Game 3.
Nets coach Jason Kidd said the team is excited about the prospects of playing in front of its home crowd with home-court advantage and the best-of-seven series tied at 1-1.
"We are excited to be home," Kidd said on a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. "This is an opportunity to protect home. So we understand our crowd will be behind us. We have the best fans. We are excited to be home. Our job is to hold serve."
The Nets were unbreakable at Barclays from Feb. 3 to April 4, defeating the likes of San Antonio, Charlotte, Chicago, Memphis, Toronto and Houston -- all teams in the playoffs.
And Kevin Garnett would like to see Nets fans let the Raptors hear it for general manager Masai Ujiri’s now infamous “F--- Brooklyn!” pep rally cry to Toronto fans outside the Air Canada Centre before Game 1.
“We know it's going to be a rowdy environment, like it should be," Garnett said after the Raptors evened the series with a 100-95 Game 2 win. "I don't know if you can say 'F Brooklyn' and then come into Brooklyn. So we're about to see what it's like."
Even though the Nets feel like they let Game 2 get away after blowing a five-point lead by giving up 36 points to the Raptors in the final quarter, they also say they haven’t played their best game yet against Toronto.
“We don’t feel like we played our best basketball by any means,” Deron Williams said. “We stole one here which is what we hoped to do. We wanted to be greedy and get tonight as well. It didn’t happen, [so] now we got to go home and protect home court.”
Williams likes shooting at home. He averaged 49.3 percent shooting at Barclays. He’s not alone as far as feeling more comfortable at home.
Paul Pierce averaged 46.4 percent shooting at Barclays. Joe Johnson made 44.9 percent of his 3-pointers at home. The Nets shot 47.7 percent overall and 39.1 percent from behind the arc at home during the regular season.
So far through two games in Toronto -- albeit under the intensity of playoff basketball -- Williams has shot 37.1 percent from the field. Pierce made 33 percent from the field and just 18.2 percent from behind the arc in Toronto. Johnson shot only 20 percent from 3-point range at Air Canada Centre, too.
Overall the team shot 43.3 percent from the field and 22.9 percent from behind the arc in Canada.
So the Nets are looking forward to returning home in more ways than one.
4dMarc Stein and Mike Mazzeo