“He grew up today and that was huge for us,” Casey said.
Valanciunas also set a Raptors record for playoff rebounds by surpassing Keon Clark, who had 16 against Detroit in 2002.
Greivis Vasquez had 18 points for the Raptors and DeMar DeRozan had 14 in his playoff debut, making three of 14 field goal attempts.
“DeMar didn’t have the best of games” Lowry said. “He’ll bounce back for sure.”
The game was delayed midway through the third quarter when the shot clocks above each basket malfunctioned. Play eventually resumed with both clocks still dark, and the stadium announcer marking the remaining time at 10 seconds, then counting down from five before saying ‘Horn’ as time expired. The clocks remained inactive for the rest of the game.
“It was definitely tough because you’re used to looking up to see the time,” DeRozan said. “We just tried to help each other out when the announcer called down from 10 seconds.”
In a written statement, Raptors ownership blamed the outage on a “signal path failure” that also affected the backup clocks. The team said new cables will be installed and inspected by the league before Game 2 on Tuesday night.
Vasquez called Tuesday’s game “a must-win” for the Raptors.
Trailing by five to start the final quarter, Toronto tied it at 67-67 with 9:50 left thanks to a 3 and a fast break layup from Patrick Patterson.
Brooklyn moved back in front thanks to four points from Livingston and a banked jumper by Mirza Teletovic, but the Raptors tied it at 73-73 with 6:25 left on Lowry’s driving layup.
Toronto led 77-76 on a 3 by Vasquez at 5:15, but the Nets replied with a jumper by Johnson, a turnaround jumper by Garnett and a 3 by Pierce to lead 82-76 with 2:58 remaining. Garnett’s basket was his first made field goal in five tries.