Ladner laughed. "I damn near did. For two points. Then I saw Brian back-pedaling." He threw to Taylor, who had managed to get just beyond the 25-foot line. With Erving and Gale shouting for a time-out, Taylor shot.
"I didn't realize how big the play really was," Taylor said. "If I had, I might have froze. The only thing I could think of was that I wished Julius would stop yelling in my ear. It was disconcerting."
Almost as one, the buzzer ended the game and the ball dropped through the hoop. In the overtime, the Nets won quite easily 103-100, and were up 3-0 instead of 2-1. The Stars won the fourth game (97-89) before the Nets took the ABA championship by winning 111-100 last Friday night in New York.
"It's strange," said Taylor, the ABA's top rookie last year. "I'm not a real good outside shooter. I only made eight out of 29 three-point shots all season. Yet when it left my hand, I knew the game was tied. I thought it was just another of our typical big plays by an individual. Then later Billy Paultz, our center, came over and said, 'Hey, B, you're a hero.' Finally it sank in. I thought, 'Oh, wow.' But we aren't heroes. We're just guys who went out and showed the beauty we have, the gifts that someone gave us to play this game. It was destiny."