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:
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.
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