Rapid Reaction: Raptors 87, Nets 79

NEW YORK -- So much for having that breakout game.

So much for gaining a stranglehold on the series.

The Brooklyn Nets had a bad start and an even worse finish in their 87-79 loss to the Toronto Raptors in Game 4 on Sunday night at Barclays Center.

The first-round Eastern Conference playoff series is now tied at 2-2.

What it means: Welp, the Nets let this one slip away. The Nets were up 79-75, but the Raptors closed the game on a 14-2 run to regain home-court advantage. Brooklyn had four straight possessions end with a turnover during that stretch. The Nets went the final 6:11 without a field goal.

Kyle Lowry, who battled injury and foul trouble, came up with a big steal and basket in crunch time. Lowry finished with 22 points in 34 minutes. DeMar DeRozan added 24 points in 42 minutes, though he missed his last nine shots after starting 7-for-10 from the field. Amir Johnson was a thorn in Brooklyn’s side before hurting his knee. He had 17.

Deron Williams shot 4-for-12, had only two points in the final three quarters and finished with five turnovers. Joe Johnson, who averaged 23.7 points in the first three games of the series, had just seven points in Game 4. Paul Pierce had 10 of his 22 points in the third quarter. Mirza Teletovic added 12 off the bench. Kevin Garnett had 10 points. The Nets were plus-two when Garnett was on the floor.

The Nets, who came in shooting 26.5 percent from 3-point range, went 4-for-20 from downtown in Game 4. Once again, they struggled from the free-throw stripe, going 19-for-29. They lost the turnover battle, 16-12. Surprisingly, for the first time in the series, the rebounding battle was tied (43-43).

Toronto’s drought: The Raptors missed 15 of their first 16 shots in the third quarter, but the game was tied at 67-67 going into the fourth. Toronto shot 28.9 percent in the second and third quarters combined.

And they lead: The Nets kicked off the third quarter on an 8-0 run to take their first lead of the game, 52-51.

Let’s call this the comeback: The Nets, trailing 47-30, closed the second quarter on a 14-4 run. Being down 51-44 at the half isn’t so bad when you once trailed by 17.

Bad basketball: So much for that fast start. The Nets forced just one turnover in the first quarter and trailed 35-22. They allowed the Raptors to shoot 61.9 percent in the frame.

Testiness: Shaun Livingston and Jonas Valanciunas were called for double technicals in the third.

DNP-CD: Marcus Thornton, just 2-for-12 from the field in the series, did not play.

Before the game: Michael K. Williams said during pregame intros, “There is no room in the NBA for Donald Sterling.” Nets fans chanted “Raptors suck!” before the Canadian national anthem. That chant returned in the third quarter, along with a “Lowry sucks!” chant.

Up next: Game 5 on Wednesday night at Air Canada Centre.