Winner Take All: A History of Nets Elimination Games

Jason Kidd
Didn’t end as planned. (AP)

 May 9, 1993:    Game 5    New Jersey Nets 89, Cleveland Cavaliers 99 

After losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 3/6 matchup in 1992, the Nets would have a 3/6 re-match with the Cavs in 1993.  With no team winning consecutive games throughout the first four, the series came down to Game 5 in Cleveland. Despite losing the game and thus the series, The New York Times had this to say:

Despite the loss, this was a great series for the Nets, a franchise that is growing, and that is trying to shake the image of a perennial loser. The Nets played with confidence, poise and heart and Coleman, who finished with a game and career playoff high of 33 points today while adding 16 rebounds and 2 blocked shots, displayed before a nationally televised audience why he now must be considered one of the top five players in the league.

Reason #345 why Derrick Coleman is one of the biggest waste of talents in NBA history, but I digress.

Another odd tidbit from the game: disgraced ref Tim Donaghy claimed in his tell-all book that Charles Barkley racing foe Dick Bavetta purposefully called fouls on Nets star Drazen Petrovic to help the Cavs win the game.  Petrovic played his last basketball game that night, as a tragic car accident in Petrovic’s native Europe killed him on June 7, 1993.

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