Wait … did that really happen?
Even 10 years after Derek Fisher swished an improbable dagger with just 0.4 seconds left on the game clock to beat the San Antonio Spurs in Game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference Semi's, it still deserves a double take.
Among his biggest shots in a career full of clutch moments, Fisher's left-handed fling came in direct response to a shot of similar difficulty from Tim Duncan, who hit a fadeaway jumper over Shaquille O'Neal's massive frame to put the Spurs up 73-72 with 0.4 on the clock in a slug fest of a contest. Fisher, who played 23 minutes off the bench, had hit two of his previous six field goal attempts before catching the ball running to his left and flinging a high-arching dream over Manu Ginobili's outstretched hands.
Kobe Bryant had drawn a double team at the top of the key, allowing Fisher the room to catch Gary Payton's inbounds pass. You may have forgotten that it was Bryant's 20-foot jump shot with 11.9 seconds remaining that had given the Lakers the lead, answering a fierce San Antonio comeback – L.A. had led by nine heading into the fourth quarter – and setting them up for potential heartbreak when Duncan got his prayer answered.
But thanks to Fish, the Lakers would go on to knock out the defending NBA champion Spurs in an 88-76 Game 6 in Los Angeles, advancing to face the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Finals. They'd win that series 4-2, before eventually falling to the Detroit Pistons in five at the 2004 Finals.