A masterful performance by Jason Kidd nearly proved enough to dethrone Charles Barkley and Shazam!, as the tournament's No. 7 seed, the Purple Gang From PHX, fell just short in an upset bid.
The Purple Gang enjoyed strong first quarter play from Eddie Johnson (10 points) and Clifford Robinson (seven points) to earn a 29-23 advantage. Shazam! appeared to cut the deficit to three on a bank shot by Gail Goodrich with one second left in the half, but the Purple Gang called a timeout and Kidd connected on a three-pointer to put his team ahead 57-51 heading into the break.
Shazam! could not be held at bay in the second half, as they captured the lead and watched it balloon to as many as 15 points with just under seven minutes remaining in the game. The Purple Gang fought back, however, and Johnson's three-pointer with 30 seconds left closed the gap to two. Kidd then picked Barkley's pocket on the ensuing possession and found Johnson for the tie, but his jumper missed with three seconds remaining. Shazam! secured the rebound and the 110-108 victory.
Though the player of the game customarily comes from the winning team, Kidd's line is too impressive to ignore. He finished with 19 points, 22 assists, 11 rebounds and four steals. Tom Gugliotta added a double-double with 13 points and 13 boards, while Johnson finished with 23 points in the loss.
Barkley earned his Round Mound of Rebound moniker, collecting 17 boards for Shazam! to go along with 16 points. Marcin Gortat notched 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Goodrich led his squad with 21 points and 10 assists.
Rosters: Shazam! (GM: Al McCoy) - Purple Gang From PHX (GM: Greg Esposito)
Player of the game: Jason Kidd (18 points, 22 assists, 11 rebounds) Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: Shazam! 52.5% - Purple Gang From PHX 47.5% Average Score of 1,001 Simulations: Shazam! 109.9 - Purple Gang From PHX 109.4%
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