Williams sets Nets rebounding record
Oct. 31, 1997 - On opening night, Jayson Williams helped ruin Larry Bird's head coaching debut by grabbing a career-high and Nets-record 17 offensive rebounds in leading New Jersey to a 97-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Williams finished with 20 total rebounds, including one off a Sherman Douglas airball that Williams laid in with 38 seconds remaining to boost the Nets' lead to 97-92. "That was a pass," Williams said laughing. "If I don't say that, I won't get the ball."
Williams turned to mental warfare in the final moments of the game. When the Pacers' Rik Smits was awarded two fouls shots with four-tenths of a second remaining and Indiana trailing by two, Williams told him, "You know you're going to miss them both." Smits obliged.
Odds and ends