SI Vault
Ian Thomsen
April 15, 2002
Rapid DeflationInjuries only partially explain the Bucks' fall from Finals contender to bubble team
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April 15, 2002

The Nba

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Tipping Point
The Nets were leading 94-92 on April 3 with 2.5 seconds remaining when the visiting Lakers almost pulled off their version of an onside kick. Rick Fox intentionally missed his second free throw, and as the ball bounced high off the left side of the rim, Kobe Bryant charged in from behind the free throw line, soared for the tip-in—and missed. Bryant's bungle may have significant impact on the race for the top seed in each conference. At week's end the Nets held a 2�-game lead over Detroit in the East, while the Lakers were 3� games behind Sacramento in the West.

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