In a season without too many great moments of victory waiting for them down the road, you cherish anything you get. Beating the San Antonio Spurs 95-93 in overtime in what should have been one final meeting between Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan is probably one of those season highs.
We shouldn’t be dissing the Nets like this. They had a much worse start to the season under Jason Kidd a year ago and ended up reaching the conference semifinals, although they looked bad and old in them against the Miami Heat, a team they swept in the regular season. Much has changed in that year. Overall, the Nets have gotten worse, although you might not tell it by their OK’ish 8-9 record so far, which is pretty good in the Eastern conference.
Maybe it’s because it was impossible to shake the feeling of the Nets escaping with something they didn’t deserve from their win over the Spurs. After Danny Green hit a 3-pointer to narrow the lead down to two points, both teams failed to score a single point for the final 90 seconds of the game. With the clock running down and the Nets having one final possession to run out the clock, Manu Ginobili and Cory Josep trapped Bojan Bogdanovic just past the half court line and forced a turnover.
The ball was inbounded, Ginobili went for the win and was fouled after the shot by Bogdanovic. The referees ignored what should have given Ginobili and the Spurs three shots to tie the game, but instead let the two teams fight for a loose ball which the Nets won, giving them the victory. They were led by Mirza Teletovic with 26 points and 15 rebounds. Brook Lopez had a 16-15 double double while Deron Williams, scoring 17 points, was one assist short from the Double D as well.
Duncan was all ready to face a player he hates and hates him, but Garnett didn’t show up. The two arrived at the same time in the NBA, but Garnett hasn’t lasted with the longevity or all around respect Duncan has had. Injuries are a matter of fortune and luck, but it’s hard to think of anyone putting Garnett above Duncan when the two will be ranked among the greatest of all-time. Duncna played 36 minutes, Garnett struggles having consecutive nights of over 20.
Duncan was only 5-of-18 from the field, scoring 14 points but grabbing 17 rebounds. Danny Green led the Spurs with 20 points, but shooting just 35.6% from the field and hardly doing anything with their 18 offensive rebounds meant we witnessed another rare case of an elite Western Conference team dropping a game to a quite standard team from the Eastern conference.