Battles with longtime rival Miller motivation for Terry

Battles with longtime rival Miller motivation for Terry
February 11, 2013, 4:56 am
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BOSTON Motivation comes in many sizes, shapes and in the case of Jason Terry, periods of time.

Terry delivered a slew of big shots in Boston's 118-114 triple overtime win against Denver, finishing with a season-high 26 points.

But the biggest play he made was the steal on Andre Miller with 34.1 seconds to play in the third overtime.

"That was just individual defense," Terry said. "I know Andre ... many battles. He wants to get right, he got right. I cut him off, he exposed the ball, I got the strip, and I was able to knock it out."

In a later interview with CSNNE.com, Terry elaborated on his longstanding battles with Miller that date back to when both were in college at Arizona and Utah, respectively.

"This is a guy I been going against for years," Terry told CSNNE.com. "He was the 8th pick (in the 1999 NBA draft), I was No. 10. He ended my chance at a second national championship. So this was an old rival."

Terry won a national championship at Arizona in 1997, and the Wildcats were on track at a possible repeat.

That is, until they ran up against Miller and Keith Van Horn who led Utah into the West Regional Finals in 1998 against the favored Wildcats of Arizona. Miller delivered one of the best NCAA tournament performances ever, tallying 18 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists as Utah easily defeated Arizona, 76-51.

Although it has been nearly 20 years since that loss, Terry admits he still thinks about it whenever he's facing Miller.

And yes, Terry admits that it did serve as added motivation heading into Sunday's game.

"When you've had so many battles like I've had, it's always going to be something extra that's going to motivate you," Terry said.