Malfunction makes Game 1 shot clock become human

Nets' Paul Pierce, left, and Toronto Raptors' Jonas

Nets' Paul Pierce, left, and Toronto Raptors' Jonas Valanciunas dive for the ball during the first half of Game 1 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series in Toronto on Saturday, April 19, 2014. (Credit: AP / Darren Calabrese)

TORONTO -- Herbie Kuhn's vocal cords got more of a workout than expected. Kuhn, the Raptors' public address announcer, spent the better part of the second half of the Nets' 94-87 win over Toronto in Game 1 of their playoff series as a human shot clock. Because of a mechanical malfunction that knocked out the power to the clocks atop both baskets early in the third quarter and couldn't be fixed, both teams had to listen in for Kuhn's voice periodically counting down the shot clock.

When the clock was set to expire, Kuhn actually said the word "Horn."

"Yeah, that was weird," Shaun Livingston said. "It's like the backyard, somebody calling it out. But we got used to it, the conditions . . . So it's just another factor we had to deal with. It's the reality of the situation."

Paul Pierce couldn't recall being in such a situation. "I don't remember if I've ever played [without one]," he said before poking fun at a local tabloid headline depicting him and Garnett as something from the Jurassic period. "Since I'm a dinosaur, it's been so long."

In a statement, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment explained the problem and suggested it won't happen again in Game 2: "We experienced a signal path failure midway through the third quarter of today's game. Our backup system for the temporary shot clocks relied on the same source. New cables will be run tonight and tomorrow to ensure no issues arise on Tuesday and the NBA will inspect both the fixed and backup systems before Game 2."

 

Garnett struggles

Kevin Garnett's shot was way off for most of the game. He misfired on his initial four attempts. But he swished a huge turnaround fadeaway with 3:41 to play to give the Nets a three-point edge just before Pierce took over.

Garnett, who was heckled by the fans throughout the game, had five points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes. "Obviously, I didn't shoot the ball the way I know I can," he said. "I thought I got stops, I blocked some shots, got a couple of assists here and there. I was very talkative. I had a ton of energy today."

 

No time for Kirilenko

Andrei Kirilenko was the odd man out, never peeling off his warm-ups. Jason Kidd went only 10 deep into his rotation. "I can't play them all," he said. "That's something that we talked about . . . that at some point you might not play, but that you always have to be ready and that everybody in that locker room is going to have a chance at it."

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