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Miracle buzzer-beater by Harris gives Nets win over 76ers

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The Sports Network
2/24/2009 1:15:40 AM
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East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Devin Harris' miracle halfcourt heave narrowly beat the buzzer to give the New Jersey Nets a memorable 98-96 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Harris went from goat to hero after his foul put Andre Iguodala on the free throw line with 1.8 seconds left of a 95-95 game. Iguodala missed the first but made the second free throw to give the Sixers the lead.

With no timeouts, the Nets had to throw the ball in from under the basket. Harris caught the ball around the three-point line, took two dribbles and appeared to be stuffed by Iguodala at midcourt. But the All-Star guard somehow regained possession and tossed up a desperation shot that hit nothing but net.

Officials reviewed the play and determined the ball left Harris' hands before the buzzer sounded, and the Nets were awarded the dramatic win.

"When I saw it go in I didn't think it was good because the first reaction I got from the referees was that it was no good," Harris recalled. "So it was hard to get excited...but it was a good feeling [when they told me it counted]."

Harris finished with a game-high 39 points while handing out eight assists to single-handedly snap the Nets' five-game losing streak. Keyon Dooling nailed four three-pointers for 16 points, and Vince Carter added 10 points for the victors.

Six players finished in double figures for the Sixers but it wasn't enough to halt their three-game slide. Iguodala paced Philly with 21 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Andre Miller posted 17 points and 10 helpers, and Thaddeus Young chipped in 14 points in the heartbreaking loss.

Philly owned a 75-74 advantage to open the fourth and three straight Iguodala jumpers early in the final stanza stretched the lead to 84-77.

Dooling's three and Brook Lopez's free throw got the hosts within three with 6 1/2 minutes showing. It remained a three-point affair, 92-89, five minutes later.

Carter followed Harris' free throw with a jump-ball victory to give the Nets the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead with less than a minute left. Miller bit on a pump fake and fouled Bobby Simmons in the right corner. Simmons' three-ball fell for a 93-92 lead but he missed the ensuing foul shot.

Marreese Speights' jump-hook from the right baseline gave the visitors a one- point lead with 26.4 seconds on the clock.

Royal Ivey then forced a Harris turnover on the defensive end, and Miller made 1-of-2 from the stripe for a two-point edge with 19.1 ticks left. Carter tied things by making his way into the lane and laying in a basket, leading to the unforgettable ending between the Atlantic Division foes.

"It was no good," Miller said of Harris' game-winner, referring to the clock apparently not starting as soon as the guard touched the ball. "I mean, we all know that. We can't sit and argue it and risk the consequences of talking about it. It's over now...I guess that's just how our season has been going."

New Jersey quickly erased Philly's 31-19 lead heading into the second quarter by scoring 16 of the first 20 points of the frame. Dooling's three-pointer tied the game at 35-all with 7:20 remaining, and the team's played to a 51-51 score at halftime.

The Nets built a 71-64 edge in the third but watched the Sixers score 11 straight points -- seven via free throws -- over a four-minute stretch to regain the lead.

Game Notes

New Jersey leads the season series, 3-0...Philly made just 23-of-37 from the free throw line, while New Jersey connected on 18-of-23 at the stripe...The Nets made 12 three-pointers, compared the Sixers' three...Samuel Dalembert finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for Philly, which also received 14 and 10 points from Willie Green and Lou Williams, respectively.

Harris hits the winner (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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