Derek Fisher's game-winner was captured for posterity in Wednesday's photo gallery.
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

'One Lucky Shot Deserves Another'
Shaquille O'Neal perhaps hit the nail on the head with that comment immediately following Thursday's fantastic finish that saw the Lakers snatch a 74-73 victory from the Spurs.

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Postgame: Play
If Shaq was on the mark, then that simply followed an incredible string of marksmanship in the final seconds of Game 5 of this West semifinal, which Los Angeles can wrap up on its home floor Saturday night (10:30 p.m. ET, TNT).

A synopsis of the 11.9-second masterpiece of hoop theater:


Bryant

Act I: Enter Kobe, Stage Left
Kobe Bryant, who finished with a game-high 22 points, dribbled across from the left sideline, shot a 16-footer over Devin Brown and connected with 11.9 seconds to go. Lakers, 72-71.

Act II: Duncan's Big Monologue
O'Neal probably called this a "lucky shot" because of the stellar defense he played. It didn't matter to Tim Duncan. The Spurs superstar took Manu Ginobili's inbounds pass with 5.4 seconds to go, battled his way to the top of the circle and launched a shot over Shaq. It hit nothing but net as Duncan fell to the hardwood with four-tenths of a tick left. Spurs, 73-72.


Fisher

Act III: Fisher the Surprise Hero
The Lakers couldn't put the ball on the floor, but "I was halfway into my shot as I was catching the ball," said Derek Fisher, who took Gary Payton's throw-in, immediately spun around and let it fly from approximately 15 feet. The shot splashed through as the buzzer sounded. Lakers, 74-73. L.A. elation ensues. In a sprint, Fisher exits stage right.
May 13, 2004


VIRTUAL GM TOP EFFICIENCY
Tim Duncan, S.A.
VGM value: 26.1
Thursday: Duncan committed seven turnovers yet posted an efficiency rating of plus-30 with his 21-point, 21-rebound performance.

VIRTUAL GM BEST BUY
Devean George, L.A.
VGM value: 7.0
Thursday: George made 6-of-9 from the floor and scored 11 of his playoff-high 16 points during the Lakers' 17-4 third-quarter run.

TIME TO TUNE IN
Friday on TNT
Nets at Pistons, 7 p.m. ET
Kings at Wolves, 9:30 p.m. ET

SPEAK IT, MAN
"That's the cruelest loss I've ever been involved with."
-- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich

WHAT IS EFFICIENCY RATING?
Here is the formula:
((Pts + Reb + Ast + Stl + Blk) minus
((FGA - FGM) + (FTA - FTM) + TO))

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