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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 June, 2003, 05:03 GMT 06:03 UK
Nets level NBA finals
San Antonio's Tim Duncan and Dikembe Mutombo of New Jersey tussle for the ball
Mutombo (right) kept Tim Duncan well shackled
New Jersey levelled the NBA finals at 1-1 with an 87-85 victory over San Antonio.

Dikembe Mutombo's immense presence and Jason Kidd's return to form were the key factors in the Nets' first finals win in their franchise history.

A forgotten man in the post-season, Mutombo reminded everyone why he is a four-time Defensive Player of the Year.

Previously relegated to the bench, the 7ft 2in star emerged to anchor the defence of the Nets, who slowed down Tim Duncan and speeded up their offence.

Playing the second and fourth quarters, Mutombo made it difficult for Duncan to dominate.

You couldn't ask any more from Deke than what he gave us
Jason Kidd

The third and most effective defender on the two-time NBA MVP, he helped limit Duncan to 19 points and 12 rebounds.

He also took away the penetration and second shots that the Spurs enjoyed in their series-opening win.

With Mutombo manning the defence, Kidd controlled the offence, scoring 30 points, including New Jersey's last seven.

He made 11-of-24 shots and shook off Wednesday's 4-of-17 disaster.

Only two other New Jersey players made double points - Kenyon Martin had 14 points and two blocks, and Lucious Harris came off the bench to score 10.

I showed so many things in a positive way... I hope the coaches will take a good note of it and give me a chance to play more
Dikembe Mutombo

Tony Parker scored 21 points for San Antonio, with Jackson adding 16.

The Spurs had a chance to win right at the end but Stephen Jackson missed a three-pointer with three seconds left.

New Jersey is the venue for the next three games.





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