2012-13 Top 10 Moments: #6

June 19, 2013 12:25 pm PDT
Moment #6 - Pau Gasol

For much of the 2012-13 campaign, Pau Gasol played through various ailments, most notably plantar fasciitis and tendinitis in both knees, which played a large part in his early season struggles.

Yet on December 25, in a Christmas Day clash with the New York Knicks at Staples Center, the 7-foot Spaniard found that extra lift that had been lacking in his offensive game during the final seconds of a close ballgame.

Up 97-94 with 14.4 seconds left and the ball out of bounds, Dwight Howard and Gasol set staggered screens for Kobe Bryant near the top of the key. Bryant came off, followed both by Carmelo Anthony – Gasol’s man –and Jason Kidd – his defender. Steve Nash inbounded the ball to a wide-open Gasol near the right wing, where he took two dribbles to his left past a late recovering Kidd and took off outside the restricted area for a two-handed flush in traffic.

The dunk essentially sealed the victory for the Lakers, their fifth consecutive win that came on the heels of a then season high four-game skid. It also marked the second straight victory with Nash in the starting lineup, just days after the club’s overtime win at Golden State.