Lakers History: 'Big Shot' Robert Horry Stuns the Kings
The third-leading scorer in NBA history couldn’t get a bucket. Neither could the most dominant big man ever.
Fortunately for the Lakers, they also had a guy who went by the name of “Big Shot Rob.”
Down by two in the final seconds against Sacramento, Kobe Bryant drove to the rack but couldn’t get the layup to fall. Shaquille O’Neal was there to clean up, but his put-back grazed the rim as well.
Sacramento’s Vlade Divac tried to bat the ball out of harm’s way, but instead it found the hands of one of the greatest clutch shooters of all-time.
Robert Horry did not hesitate, firing a 3-pointer at the buzzer and finding nothing but net.
It was the third straight time the Lakers faced the Kings in the playoffs, but this Sacramento squad was different.
This was Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, and the Kings were hungry to beat the Lakers on their own court and seize a 3-1 series lead.
The top-seeded Kings even throttled the Lakers to begin the game, exiting the first quarter with a 40-20 lead.
But L.A. started chipping back from there, and Horry — who finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds and five assists — had a part in a wild finish to the first half when he grabbed a one-handed board and pushed ahead to reserve Samaki Walker for the buzzer-beater from mid-court.
Horry always seemed to make a play when the Lakers needed it, while Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant spearheaded the attack.
O’Neal racked up 27 points and 18 rebounds, while Bryant poured in 25 points and put the locks on Kings guard Mike Bibby, who had torched the Lakers in the opening quarter.
Down by five with just over a minute left, Bryant sliced through the lane and provided a clutch runner to bring the game back within one possession.
The sides exchanged free throws from there, until it was time for Horry to line up his 25-foot bucket while time expired.
Horry’s shot gave the Lakers a crucial 100-99 victory in what became an unforgettable seven-game series en route to their third straight title.
Divac was one of several Kings to call the play “lucky,” which Horry didn’t appreciate.
“A luck shot is one of those guys who has no form,” Horry told reporters. “If you look at the shot, it was straight form. He shouldn’t have tipped it out there. It wasn’t a luck shot. I’ve been doing that for all my career. He should know. He should read the paper or something.”
There was one play that both players could probably agree wasn’t lucky: Horry’s one-handed slam over Divac.
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