The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Sophomore forward Ross trying to find his groove in post-season debut

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TORONTO - Raptors forward Terrence Ross couldn't hide his body language throughout most of the first half in Toronto's 115-113 win over Brooklyn on Wednesday night.

His post-season struggles appeared to be weighing on him. The Toronto sophomore's shoulders seemed to slump with each missed shot.

Ross, who was in the starting lineup again despite being without a point in Game 4, had some good looks early on but couldn't make a basket. He would shake his head with each miss as the frustration built.

Ross had an open look midway through the second quarter but his three-point attempt clanked off the rim. Teammate Kyle Lowry ran over to him during a break in the action and gave him some words of support.

His message?

"Keep shooting and they're going to fall. We need you. We need you to keep shooting," Lowry said.

Ross was set up in the final minute of the second quarter with another open three-point attempt. He drained it and the Air Canada Centre crowd roared its approval.

"It felt good, I'm just trying to get a rhythm back," Ross said. "Any little bit helps."

Ross, who had a 51-point game in January, averaged 10.9 points and 3.1 rebounds a game in the regular season. However, he scored just three points in the series opener, two points in Game 2 and five points in Game 3.

With eight points and two rebounds in Game 5, there is still much work to be done. But it was still his most productive game of the series.

"I'm happy for him, he finally got into a rhythm," said teammate Chuck Hayes. "Hit some timely shots, some big shots. He was in tune defensively. That's all it is, it's just rhythm. He's been out of rhythm for a couple of games and now he was able to get going.

"Hopefully he can continue that in Brooklyn."

Lowry voiced similar thoughts.

"This was probably one of his better games," he said. "Even though he shot 3 for 9, but his activity, his running the floor, he made two huge threes that we needed.

"We need him and his effort tonight was unbelievable."

The Nets will host Game 6 on Friday night. Game 7, if necessary, will be played on Sunday in Toronto.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

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