Graham's 3-pointer at buzzer rallies Nets over 76ers

October 9, 2010 2:31:07 PM PDT
Former Nets president Rod Thorn was in disbelief after New Jersey staged an improbable comeback in the final 15 seconds to beat his current team, the Philadelphia 76ers, in a preseason game.

"Do you believe that?" Thorn said in the 76ers locker room after the Nets' 90-87 win Saturday. "Have you ever seen anything like that?"

Stephen Graham hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer and the Nets rallied from a seven-point deficit by hitting three 3-pointers in the final 12.5 seconds.

"That's not typical, but we will definitely take it," said Nets point guard Devin Harris, who set up Graham's uncontested game winner. "It's a tribute to the guys executing and making shots. You have to make shots to give yourself a chance and that's what we did."

Anthony Morrow started the comeback, cutting the 76ers' 88-81 lead to four points with a 3-pointer from about six feet behind the arc with 12.5 seconds to go.

The 76ers then played Santa Claus with some poor free throw shooting.

Jrue Holiday missed two with 12 seconds to play to keep the Nets alive and Jordan Farmar nailed a turnaround 3-pointer from the left corner with 9.0 seconds to go to cut the lead to 88-87.

"We didn't do a lot of things well, but I like the fact we fought and didn't give up," said Farmar, who finished with 15 points. "That's just as important as anything."

Andres Nocioni had a chance to push the lead back to three points, but he made only the first of two free throws with 7.9 seconds to go.

With no timeouts remaining, Harris rushed the ball upcourt and found a wide-open Graham for a high-arcing 3-pointer that hit nothing but net.

Graham was supposed to set a screen for Morrow, but he was left open.

"I just turned and shot it," said Graham, who had not hit a game-winner since his days at Oklahoma State five years ago. "It went in; we'll take it."

Nets coach Avery Johnson was thrilled that one of his hardworking defensive specialists had a chance to be a star.

"It couldn't have happened to a better person," Johnson said. "We had a chance to drive on that final play but it was a set play. It was a set play coming out of the free throw because we thought they were going to make both of them. We were looking for Morrow first but he wasn't open so Graham was the next option."

The win was the second for the Nets (2-1) over Philadelphia (0-3) under new coach Doug Collins.

"We did so many good things. I was just discouraged for our players," Collins said. "They played so hard. It would have been nice for them to win this game. It was a great learning tool. Better it happened now than in a regular-season game."

Brook Lopez led the Nets with 23 points. Travis Outlaw had 15 and Morrow 14.

Andre Iguodala, who spent the final minutes on the bench, had 20 points to lead the 76ers, who until the three late 3-pointers had held New Jersey to four points in the final six minutes.

Thaddeus Young added 16 points, Williams had 13 of his 15 in the second half and rookie Evan Turner added 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the 76ers, who nearly won despite shooting 35.4 percent from the field.

"You take some good things and bad things out of it, hopefully we learned a lot," Iguodala said. "Our defense is going to get us going, that philosophy works for any team. We have some room to work, progress, and get better - that's what preseason is for."


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