It was December 28, 2000. The Nets led the Boston Celtics 111-109, with less than two seconds left, and had the ball at half-court. "Luscious" Lucious Harris was the inbounder. The anti-hero? An NBA journeyman named Milt Palacio.
That was a certified Nets disaster, and it was nearly topped last night.
When you're the NBA’s hottest team, holding a lead and the ball with only 12 seconds left, you expect that team to win. So a loss in a situation like that stings. But not only did the Nets manage to lose that game, but lost significant ground in the Atlantic Division standings: a win would have brought them within 0.5 games of first place, instead of sitting 2.5 games back today.
How did it happen?
Every end-of-game situation boils down to a series of split-second decisions. Nail most of the decisions, and you'll come out on top. Bungle just a few of those decisions, maybe you can recover. But treat those decisions as you would 10-day old milk like the Nets did, and you’ll experience a gut-wrenching loss.
Let’s take a deeper look at how that end of game played out, taking it from 17.4 seconds left with the Nets leading 103-100 and the Raptors with the ball.
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