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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 June, 2003, 03:37 GMT 04:37 UK
San Antonio close in on title
Spurs' Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan recorded 29 points and 17 rebounds for San Antonio
San Antonio Spurs are just one win away from taking the NBA title after a potentially crucial 93-83 win over the Nets in the final game at New Jersey.

Tim Duncan hit 29 points, leaving the Spurs on the brink of their second NBA title in five years.

The Spurs lead the finals series 3-2 with only two games remaining, both in Texas, on Sunday and if necessary on Wednesday.

The Nets will now have to make NBA history if they are to return home with their first championship trophy.

No away team has ever won games six and seven since the league switched to the 2-3-2 format in 1985.

"You talk about must wins, this is a must win," Nets coach Byron Scott said.

"The bottom line is we have to go up there and concentrate on game six and win that game before we can think about game seven.

"It's a tough loss, we had a golden opportunity and we didn't get the job done."

Duncan, the Spurs' two-time league MVP, overshadowed another brilliant performance from Nets all-star point guard Jason Kidd, who also scored 29 points in what could have been his final home game in a Nets shirt.

This season's prize free agent, Kidd is rumoured to be heading west next year to join Duncan and the Spurs.

"If happens to be case, if it was my last game I think it was pretty good," Kidd said.

Nets' Jason Kidd
Kidd was impressive in possibly his last home game for the Nets
"It was do-or-die, you had to go out there and leave it on the court and that was my mindset tonight.

"I gave everything I had, I left everything out there and unfortunately we came out on the wrong end of the stick."

Kidd got the contest off to an explosive start hitting for nine points in the opening six minutes.

The six time all-star finished the first quarter with 12 but it was the Spurs, led by an eight point effort from Duncan, who carried a slim 19-18 edge into the second.

The Nets then struggled to find their range shooting just 26% from the field as the Spurs patiently constructed a 42-34 half-time advantage.

The second half began the same way as the first, with Kidd hitting 12 of the Nets first 16 points as New Jersey surged back to grab a 50-49 advantage.

But again, despite Kidd's best efforts, the Nets found themselves trailing entering the final quarter, Duncan countering with nine points to keep the Spurs ahead 66-57.

Down by nine with 6:25 on the clock and the capacity crowd of 19,280 on the edge of their seats, New Jersey mounted a rally slicing the deficit to two 78-76.

But the Nets would get no closer, their comeback stalled by costly turnovers, shaky shooting and some clutch play from the Spurs seldom-used veteran Steve Kerr.

The four-time NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls and the Spurs hit two pivotal three-pointers to give San Antonio a winning cushion.

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NBA FINALS 2002/03





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