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Game 35 Final: NJ 91 @ SA 96

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What a peculiar game that was:

-Michael Finley started the game defending Vince Carter while Bowen was on... Jacque Vaughn? I presume Pop was in the midst of trying to figure what type of defender Finley is at this point in his career. He needs to find some way of reducing Bruce's minutes; his 34.9 MPG is the most in his career (by 2.2 MPG) and he'll turn 35 in June. Those minutes cannot go to Manu for obvious reasons and Nick and Brent together couldn't guard a dead stick.

-Speaking of Brent, he helped provide one of the highlights of the night. By a cruel twist of fate he ended up isolated on the wing with Vince Carter. Carter took a jab step forward and Barry's knees buckled but he managed to stay on his feet. Vince then crossed him over and Brent just sort of, well, fell over. Like an old man who just broke his hip or a leaning statue placed on an old mattress. Half of the Nets bench jumped up and down while giggling. I did the same. Except for the jumping. And the giggling. I definitely chuckled though.

-Duncan got two quick fouls and was replaced by Nazr, making it the second time all year Mohammed and Rasho have played together.

-Manu started off well in the first quarter but significantly dialed it back afterwards. He's still not right.

-The Spurs set a record for FT in a quarter, going for 21ish in the fourth.

-25 points were scored in the last minute of the game, leading to another Great Moment in Gambling History when Scott Padgett's 3 with mere seconds on the clock put the game over the total. Bowen apparently had some money down, fouling Carter on 3 point attempts on consecutive possessions. You would think after the first he would have stayed the hell away, but the second call was even more obvious. Pop summed the Spurs 4th quarter performance quite nicely:

"Total lack of concentration, lack of effort, lack of cohesiveness, lack of leadership -- both on the court and from me as a head coach," Gregg Popovich said in his only postgame statement. "It was a disgusting performance."

Quit mincing words Pop.

-And the BIGGEST news of the night? Tony Parker and The Sickness are wearing new shoes! Parker had been wearing the 2005 Huaraches (or Total Packages, which look pretty similar) and Manu had been wearing the Air Force Baller. They both switched over to Air Uptempo Pros which come out soonish. I think I'd like them better if the strap thingy didn't fade from black to silver. Of course it doesn't matter because Nike probably won't release this colorway. And if they do it will be a Tibet exclusive or some bullshit.

-My DET preview will be coming around 1 PM Pacific time on Thursday.