Hot Sprewell Goes Cold at End
Jun. 26, 1999
NEW YORK (AP) _ In the end, it wasn't the unbelievable string of shots that Latrell Sprewell made but the two he missed that the New York Knicks will remember all summer.
Sprewell went on a second-half tear, scoring 14 straight points at one point Friday night, trying to singlehandedly keep the Knicks alive in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
Then, with the game hanging in the balance, the Knicks went to their hot shooter twice and each time Sprewell missed as San Antonio hung on for a 78-77 victory that clinched the Spurs' first NBA championship.
Sprewell finished with 35 points in a gallant one-man show that simply fell a little short at the end.
It was ironic that Sprewell, who did not start for New York until the playoffs, turned out to be the player the Knicks were depending on to keep their season going.
And for a long time, he seemed perfectly capable of doing it all by himself.
He was hitting shots from all over the floor, driving dunks, long-range jumpers, even a 3-pointer that gave New York the lead down the stretch.
When the Spurs caught the Knicks at 68, Sprewell turned passer, setting up Marcus Camby for a clutch three-point play. Then Camby followed with another basket for five straight points _ the only ones that Sprewell didn't score for New York in the final 12 minutes.
So it stood to reason that when New York needed one more basket in the final minute, Sprewell was the shooter they went to. Both times, he came close. Both times, the shots missed.
Sprewell finished 13-of-27 from the field and 8-for-10 from the foul line. He led New York with 10 rebounds, had a couple of steals and a couple of assists.
And at the worst time, he also had a couple of misses.