(2004) Derek Fisher’s 0.4 game winner vs the Spurs
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“One lucky shot deserves another.”
That’s what Shaq had to say about Derek Fisher’s game-winning heartbreaker with .04 seconds vs the Spurs in Game 5 of the 04 Western Conference Semis. The unbelievable shot happened right after Tim Duncan hit a Hail Mary jumper in the face of Shaq.
“I couldn’t believe it went in, honestly,” Duncan said of his shot and believed game-winner. “They played the dribble-handoff great and I just had to take a shot, let it go as high as I could, knowing that Shaq was there.”
Fisher was just as surprised by his miracle 18-foot game-winner but was smart enough to not show it.
“I just wanted to get out of there and not give them an opportunity to think that we didn’t believe it went in.”
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich argued that the shot clock “definitely started late” and I (a Laker fan) agree. I’m a believer that it’s humanly impossible to catch and shoot a shot in .4 seconds, but I accept that it is possible to make a shot in the NBA with that amount of time considering a shot clock has to be started when they think the ball has touched the hands of a player. So, did the shot clock start at the exact tenth of a second it needed to? Probably not, but the refs said it was good and the league didn’t want to hear otherwise: the Spurs filed a protest the following day claiming the clock didn’t start in time and the league rejected the protest the same day.
The loss in Game 5 ended a 17-game home winning streak by the Spurs and was especially heartbreaking for the Spurs’ Robert Horry. A year earlier, Horry, as a member of the Lakers, missed a potential game-winner in Game 5 vs the Spurs. Now he’s watching his ex-teammate take and make a big shot that Big Shot Bob was so famous for doing.
The celebration didn’t last long as the Shaq/Kobe/Mailman/Payton Lakers faced off against the underdog Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals and lost (because Malone got injured).
BONUS VIDEO: FISHER & FARMAR RECREATE THE SHOT