Erving hit just two more free throws to finish with 31 points, but in this game his fury was felt on the boards, where he swiped 19 rebounds, many plucked with four fingers of a single hand. He also passed for 5 assists and made 5 steals and 4 blocks. Most of the late rebounds and assists wound up in the hands of John Williamson, the Nets' muscular streak shooter, who scored 13 points in the last 8:45 as the Nets furiously caught up, finally went ahead and won the clincher 112-106.
Within months, the Nets and Nuggets, along with the Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs, would join the NBA. The rumors about Dr. J that had been heard in Boston and Los Angeles and Philadelphia would be confirmed. But though he was only 26, his best games were behind him.