AUBURN HILLS, Mich., June 19 (Ticker) --
For "Big Shot Rob," this may have been the biggest shot of all.
drilled a 3-pointer with 5.8 seconds left in
overtime to give the San Antonio Spurs an nerve-jangling 96-95
victory over the Detroit Pistons in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
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With control of the series teetering with each possession, Horry
added yet another memorable clip to his career-long postseason
hightlight reel and tilted the title heavily toward the Spurs,
who head home with a 3-2 lead and the security of the next two
games on their floor.
Known as "Big Shot Rob" for clutch shooting that has given him
five championship rings, Horry scored all 21 of his points in
the final 17-plus minutes, shaking off a painful shoulder
"It's the playoffs, man," Horry said. "If you don't get excited
about the playoffs, you don't even to deserve to be playing
"That's what he's been doing his whole career," Pistons center
said. "He's a proven winner."
Horry also bailed out Tim Duncan
, who had 26 points and 19
rebounds but faltered down the stretch. He missed 6-of-7 free
throws and a potential game-winning follow shot in the fourth
quarter and missed two shots and committed a turnover in
"He pulled me out of an incredible hole that I put myself in,"
Horry made 7-of-12 shots, including five 3-pointers, as he tied
his career high for a Finals game. All but three of his points
came with the Spurs trailing and either tied the game or
provided a lead.
"That was probably the greatest performance I've ever been a
part of, to see him there and to see him as calm as he was and
willing to do whatever," Duncan said.
"He was unbelievable," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich
Horry's last two baskets were monumental. A jumper by
gave the Pistons a 95-91 lead with 1:43 to play. At the
other end, Horry drove for a thunderous lefthanded dunk,
drawing a foul and injuring his shoulder, which led to his
missed free throw.
"When I was going through the air, I was like, 'Please let me
get there, please let me get there,'" Horry said. "I took off
so far, I kind of hurt my shoulder, just an old injury that
keeps flaring up."
, who scored 34 points, missed shots on
consecutive possessions while being hounded by Bruce Bowen
Duncan rebounded the second miss and called timeout with 9.4
"I got a good look at it; I just could not get it down," said
Billups, the MVP of the 2004 Finals.
Horry inbounded into the left corner to Manu Ginobili
Wallace went to trap and Ginobili whipped a pass back to Horry,
who rattled in his shot from the left wing, bringing the sound
of silence over The Palace of Auburn Hills.
"It was supposed to be a pick-and-roll with (Manu and) Tim and I
saw Rasheed bite and I said, "Oh, let me stay out here,'" Horry
said. "Since I was shooting well, I wanted to let it fly. I'm
the type of player, I want to win a game. I don't want to go
to overtime. I'm always going to go for a three."
"I couldn't do anything in the corner with Rasheed coming to me,
so I just gave him the ball," Ginobili said. "I had nothing
else to do. All the credit goes to him."
The Pistons had one last chance and went Hamilton, who was
guarded by the smaller Tony Parker.
There was plenty of contact
before Hamilton badly missed a jumper and time expired.
"It was shocking how we lost," Hamilton said.
Time also may be expiring on Detroit's championship reign. Game
6 is Tuesday in San Antonio, where the Spurs are 45-5 this
season and the Pistons have lost 10 straight games since April
"I have to get over this one," Pistons coach Larry Brown
"This was tough."
Ginobili had 15 points and nine assists and Parker scored 14
points for the Spurs, who for the second time in three years won
Game 5 of the Finals on the road to snap a 2-2 deadlock.
They also did it to New Jersey in 2003.
A series which had featured four blowouts could not have had a
closer contest. There were five lead changes and eight ties in
the fourth quarter, when it was a one-possession game for all
but 42 seconds.
"It's two teams fighting for every inch on the court," Ben
Horry answered two free throws by Billups with a 3-pointer for a
79-79 tie with 3:47 left.
"One time I shot a three from way out deep and I made it," Horry
said. "(I said), 'Oh, I'm ready now.' I just had that
He went strong to the basket and drew a foul, sinking two free
throws, then put home a follow shot, answering baskets by
Hamilton and Wallace and forging two more ties.
"He's a big-time player," Brown said. "In moments like that,
he's the difference."
Billups, a clutch shooter in his own right, sank a fadeaway
jumper for an 87-85 lead, but Horry drilled a 3-pointer with
Duncan missed two free throws and Billups drove past Bowen for a
hoop before Duncan was fouled again with 33 seconds left. This
time, he split the pair to tie it, but failed to put home
Ginobili's missed drive before the horn.
"(An) absolute nightmare," Duncan said.
"I was very upset that that we could not finish in regulation,"
Hamilton scored 15 points and Ben Wallace added 13, 12 rebounds
and four blocks for the Pistons, who had all five starters in
The Spurs opened leads of nine points in the second quarter and
seven in the third period before giving them away with a flurry
of turnovers, which have been a problem for them the entire