EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Nets needed something outrageous to beat the Philadelphia 76ers. Devin Harris provided it with a half-court heave to beat the buzzer that needed a long review before it counted.
Harris hit an unbelievable lunging 47-footer at the horn and the Nets snapped a season-high five-game losing streak with a 98-96 victory over the slumping 76ers on Monday night.
"It's the great thing about this game," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "These players are so talented, they make freakish shots. Not that it's a rehearsed shot. I don't know if Devin's doing it in the gym, but the basketball gods were with us tonight."
While there was no question the shot swished, officials Derrick Stafford, Violet Palmer and Pat Fraher had to watch replays of the heave for 2½ minutes with players from both team staring over their shoulders.
"I didn't want to look at the replay," said Harris, who stood near the center jump circle while the review took place. "I just kept my head down, waiting for a reaction. On the court, I was looking at Violet and she was telling me 'no good.' That was the first thing that I saw."
Stafford said the original call on the court was that the basket was not good.
However, the replay showed conclusively that the shot left Harris' hands before the clock hit all zeros, and Stafford eventually gave a touchdown signal, setting off a celebration among Nets players and fans.
"After the review, everyone was jumping up and down, going crazy," said Harris, who scored a game-high 39 points. "We'll take it any way we can."
The loss was the fourth straight for the 76ers, and it was tough to take.
"This was a real disappointment because I felt we played well enough to win the game," Philadelphia coach Tony DiLeo said. "To put up a shot like Devin Harris did was heartbreaking for our team."
Seconds earlier, the 76ers seemingly nailed down the victory when Andre Iguodala sank the second of two free throws to give them a one-point lead with 1.8 seconds to play.
With no timeouts left, the Nets inbounded from under their defensive basket to Harris, who bobbled the ball after bumping with Iguodala and then heaved in the winner from in front of the scorer's table.
"I thought a lot was going on for 1.8 seconds," Iguodala said. "I thought for sure it wasn't good and I still don't think it was good."
While Harris' 22nd shot of the night will be remembered by Nets fans, it helped him atone for a bad final minute. He turned over the ball with 20 seconds to go and the Nets down by a point, and he committed the foul that sent Iguodala to the line in the waning seconds.
"It was a little disheartening after the turnover and the foul," Harris said. "I was definitely hoping to make up for those mistakes."
Vince Carter added 10 points, including a driving layup with 13.2 seconds to play that tied the game at 95.
Philadelphia worked for a final shot and gave the ball to Iguodala, who led it with 21 points. He didn't begin his move down the left side of the lane until about 6 seconds remained on the clock and he got hit by Harris.
Iguodala missed the first and made the second, setting the stage for Harris to steal the game.
"It happens in this league," said 76ers point guard Andre Miller, who added 17 points and 10 assists. "We just have to move on."
Seconds later, Miller got up from the bench he was sitting on and kicked a bottle on the floor.
Willie Green and Thaddeus Young had 14 points apiece for Philadelphia. Samuel Dalembert had 13 points and 10 rebounds as the 76ers lost to the Nets for the third time in as many games.
The final 2 minutes seemed to last forever, with the Sixers opening a 92-89 lead on a rebound follow by Dalembert.
Harris made a free throw to cut the margin to two points with 1:14 to go. After a miss by Miller, Bobby Simmons hit a 3-pointer from the left wing with 35.3 seconds to play and was fouled, putting the Nets ahead 93-92. However, he missed the free throw.
Marreese Speights, who had five points, gave Philadelphia a 94-93 lead with a 10-footer with 26.4 seconds to go.
Harris then committed a horrible turnover, getting caught off his feet and throwing a pass directly to Miller with 20.6 seconds left. The Nets had to foul Miller twice to get him to the line, but he only made the second of two to give Philadelphia a 95-93 lead and set the stage for the wild ending.
Notes:The Sixers missed their last 18 shots in losing to the Nets 85-83 on Jan. 31. They missed their first two Monday and then hit seven straight and 10 of 13. ...Philadelphia outrebounded New Jersey 41-33. ...Yi Jianlian returned to the Nets' starting lineup and had seven points. ... The 76ers lost the game from the foul line, missing 14 of 37 free throws. New Jersey was 18-for-23. The Nets also were 12-of-25 from 3-point range, with the last one being the best.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
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