NEW YORK -- Plagued by foul trouble in the first three quarters, Paul Pierce came up big down the stretch for the Brooklyn Nets. Nike NFL Jerseys 2020 . Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston each scored 18 points and an ailing Pierce hit a key late 3-pointer to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 101-97 victory over the Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors on Monday night. Pierce scored 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and Joe Johnson added 14 for the Nets, who won their season-high eighth straight at home. Brooklyn moved three games behind Toronto in the Atlantic. The 35-year-old, who had been battling through a "stinger" in his right shoulder felt fine during the morning after receiving treatment and admitted that he wasnt expecting to play but he couldnt pass up on the opportunity Brooklyn had to close the gap in the division standings. "I knew the implications of this game. Maybe if it was a different type of game, (I sit out)," Pierce said. "But this was one of our biggest games of the year. Division rival, a lot on the line tonight, so you can always pen me in with those type of games." Pierce was all over the floor in the final 12 minutes of the game, hitting a pair of shots beyond the arc, making four free throws and stealing the ball twice. The victory was critical for the Nets, who lost to Toronto last time they played, on Jan. 27, after Williams turned the ball over on an inbounds play with 12 seconds left and Patrick Patterson hit the eventual game-winner with 6 seconds left on the clock. "This was a big game. It give us the split," Williams said. "We didnt want them to get three up on us in case of tiebreakers. We gained a full game on them. That much closer to catching them." The Nets next big test comes on the road as they go for a season-series sweep over the two-time defending world champion Miami Heat on Wednesday night. Kyle Lowry scored 21 points to lead Toronto, which had won three straight and nine of its previous 11. Tyler Hansbrough and Amir Johnson added 16 points each. The Nets played their sixth straight game without Kevin Garnett, who was in the starting lineup but was scratched minutes before tip-off. Nets coach Jason Kidd said the 38-year-old veteran, who has been bother by back spasms, "tightened up, so we pulled the plug on him". Brooklyn also missed Andrei Kirilenko, who was out because of a sprained right ankle. The Nets trailed 94-92 after Lowry split the defence in the lane for a lay-up with 2:15 left. Brooklyn then answered with five straight points as Andray Blatches reverse lay-up tied the score at 94 and Pierce followed with his 3 with 1:14 left despite Lowrys attempt to block the shot. Brooklyns small lineup gave the Raptors trouble. "Their lineup is funky, man. When you have Paul Pierce at the 4, it is tough to guard," Lowry said. "Amir is an unbelievable defender but he is also our help guy and sometimes it is tough for him to get back out. I mean, Paul made a 3 over me and I was literally on him, in which I could smack him in the face." DeMar DeRozan then beat Livingston to the basket but was fouled and made two free throws to pull to 97-96 with 1:03 to go. On Brooklyns next possession, Williams drove to the lane but his shot was blocked by Johnson, setting the stage for a go-ahead or game-tying shot. However, Terrence Ross lost control of the ball and Pierce came up with the steal. Livingston hit two free throws to extend the Nets lead to 99-96 with 22.8 seconds left. Lowry had a chance to tie with a 3 but missed. Blatche was then fouled with 6.5 seconds left and was only able to hit the second free throws to push the lead to four points. As the Raptors proceeded to move the ball up the court, Lowry was fouled. He hit the first shot to make it 100-97 with 5.2 left. He purposely missed the second one but was called for a lane violation. Pierce, who exited Sunday nights game in the first quarter with 10:45 left due to a sore right shoulder, then hit two free throws to seal the win and even the season series between both teams at two games apiece. The matchup between Toronto and Brooklyn, who are in third and sixth place, respectively, in the Eastern Conference, had a playoff atmosphere to it with the home crowd at the Barclays Center on its feet once Pierce hit that 3-pointer. In the long run, it would definitely help Raptors coach Dwane Caseys inexperienced post-season squad. "Again, it was playoff type of basketball with physicality. Ive said it forever that we have to get ready to play that style of basketball", he said. "We had three big time turnovers because they got into us at the end of the game." Brooklyn trailed 30-19 at the end of the opening period but had a strong second quarter, pulling to 51-50 at the half. Down 60-59 after a tip-in shot by Jonas Valaciunas in the third quarter, Johnson and Williams each hit two 3-pointers to spark Brooklyn on a 14-0 run, leading 73-60 with 4:28 left. But the Raptors answered with an 11-0 run over the next 3 minutes, capped by two free throws from Hansbrough. NOTES: Kidd said the Nets will re-evaluate Garnett on Tuesday. Rookie Mason Plumlee started in Garnetts place and had six points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes. Theyre 5-1 in Garnetts absence. . Brooklyn last won eight straight at Barclays Center back on Dec. 28, 2013 to Jan. 28, 2013. . The Nets 22-9 record since Jan. 1 is tops in the East. Cheap Nike MLB Jerseys . -- Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias says he has stress fractures in both legs and isnt sure when hell be able to play again, leaving the Tigers two weeks to fill his spot for opening day and perhaps a lot longer. Nike Baseball Jerseys . The former central defender calmly nodded it down and quietly went about celebrating a win with his staff. For a man who has had a lot on his shoulders this season, it was an appropriate moment.San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - With their first West Coast Conference win under their belts, the Gonzaga Bulldogs return to action on Monday night when they challenge the San Diego Toreros at Jenny Craig Pavilion. Gonzaga is off to another sensational start, the team winning 12 of its first 13 games, including the last five in a row. The Zags won at BYU in their conference opener on Saturday, 87-80, running their current winning streak in WCC lid lifters under head coach Mark Few to 16 in the row, and 19 straight overall. San Diego enters this fray a game over .500 on the season (7-6), but it is coming off a 61-58 loss to visiting Portland in Saturdays WCC opener. That setback snapped a three-game win streak for the Toreros, who are hoping to get back on track and improve to 5-1 at home this season with an upset victory tonight. Gonzaga owns a 63-21 lead in the all-time series with San Diego. Three of the last four matchups have been decided by three points or less, including the last meeting (last season) in which the Toreros earned a 69-66 win at home. Kyle Wiltjer scored 24 points and Kevin Pangos finished with 21 points and seven assists in leading Gonzaga to its recent win at BYU. With his effort, Pangos became the 14th player in school history to reach 1,500 career points. Byron Wesley added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs, while Przemek Karnowski chipped in with nine points and 10 boards. GU outscored BYU in the paint, 36-24, and had 22 assists to just 13 for the hosts. The Cougars did manage to score 40 bench points to only 15 for the Zags. Overall, Gonzaga made good on 49.2 of its field goal attempts, draining 8-of-19 3-point tries along the way,, while permitting just 39. Jermaine Marrow Jersey. 7 percent success to the Cougars, who made 7-of-25 long-range launches while logging a 27-15 edge in points at the foul line. Gonzaga boasts five double-digit scorers on the season, led by Wiltjer and his 17.3 ppg. The Bulldogs net 83.9 ppg, while yielding 61.5 ppg. The Zags are hitting an eye-popping 53.2 percent of their field goal attempts, which includes a 3-point shooting percentage of .398. Foes are shooting just 38.7 percent from the floor, which includes a 31.0 percent showing from beyond the arc, and the Bulldogs are +10.4 in rebounding margin and +2.2 in turnover differential. San Diego played well on defense in Saturdays clash with Portland, holding the Pilots to 37 percent field goal efficiency, although that included an 8- of-14 showing from beyond the arc. UofP was also guilty of 19 turnovers, but scored 13 points at the foul line compared to only five for the Toreros, who made good on only 37.1 percent of their total shots, missing eight of their nine 3-point tries in the process. Chris Anderson was high man for USD with 14 points, while Thomas Jacobs tallied a dozen and Johnny Dee had 11. Dee is the only player netting double figures for San Diego this season, as he is shooting a stellar 44.1 percent from long range in averaging 18.8 ppg. Anderson is close to joining him, as he puts up 9.3 ppg, but his real worth is as a playmaker as evidenced by his whopping 93 assists (7.2 apg). Collectively, the Toreros are scoring 70.2 ppg thanks to solid shooting efforts of .457 overall and .379 from downtown, while permitting 64.8 ppg and logging favorable margins in both rebounding (+2.4) and turnovers (+0.7). ' ' '