Horry Scale: Jae Crowder clips Nets with straightaway, game-winning 3
Memphis' veteran swingman comes up big for the young Grizzlies
Matt Petersen, NBA.com
A reminder on The Horry Scale: It breaks down a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time?), importance (playoff game or garden-variety night in November?) and celebration. Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, named for the patron saint of last-second answered prayers.
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The Ja Morant–Kyrie Irving duel dominated most of the night. But when the young Grizzlies needed to calm down and come up with their first win of the season, they turned to one of the few veterans on their roster as the final moments of overtime ticked away. Morant used as much of the remaining 3.7 seconds as he dared to advance the ball before shoveling a pass to Jae Crowder, who drilled the straightaway 3-pointer for Memphis’ 134-133 win over the Nets.
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DIFFICULTY: Morant did all the table-setting, speeding downcourt and drawing two defenders to him like a magnet. That allowed Crowder to receive a simple shovel pass with ample space to shoot north to south, a beeline look the veteran coolly hit as time expired.
GAME SITUATION: It looked as though Brooklyn’s Joe Harris was going to wind up the hero on the previous possession. His unlikely high-flying tip-in put Brooklyn up 133-131 with just 3.7 seconds left in overtime. Between that, Ja Morant’s turnover on the previous possession and the fact that Crowder had not scored at all until overtime, the game’s momentum was not on Memphis’ side heading into the final possession.
CELEBRATION: For a young Grizzlies team seeking to establish an identity, a veteran like Crowder draws immediate credibility and respect. Some of his younger teammates had already started sprinting toward him before the ball hit bottom, and the entire team had run him down by the time Crowder was pounding his chest in triumph.
GRADE: An impressive and potentially foundational win for a rebuilding Grizzlies squad. Memphis can look back on what they did right to come away with the victory — and to Crowder as an example of cool-headed clutchness that doesn’t seem quite so out of reach for a young team. 3.5 Horrys.