Horry Scale

Horry Scale: Randy Foye delivers 3-point Christmas gift for Nets

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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It may have been a day late, but Randy Foye delivered a Christmas gift worth celebrating for the Brooklyn Nets. Thanks to Randy Claus, the Nets pulled off a last second victory at home over the Charlotte Hornets, winning 120-118 to come from behind on an inbounds play with 2.3 seconds remaining in regulation.

It was particularly sweet for Brooklyn after they struggled down the stretch. While they held a 117-113 lead with just over a minute to go, Brooklyn used a lot of clock on two of their final possessions, but was unable to get quality looks.

With 4.6 seconds remaining, Hornets guard Kemba Walker had a driving layup attempt partially blocked by Brooklyn’s Trevor Booker, but Charlotte big man Cody Zeller tipped the rebound up and in, putting Charlotte ahead 118-117, with 2.3 seconds remaining.

Which is when Randy Foye went to work. Let’s go to the Horry Scale…

DIFFICULTY: It looked to be a play drawn up to get Brook Lopez a look, with Foye setting a screen to free Lopez. But as Lopez was briefly doubled, Foye sprinted to the three point line, wide open, and received the inbounds pass. Kemba Walker, who recovered and sprinted out at Foye, quickly squashed any hope for an open shot. Foye took one dribble and stepped to his left, creating space, and then rose for the big shot with under a second remaining on the clock. It’s tough to knock down any important shot, much less when a defender is in your jersey.

GAME SITUATION: As we said earlier, the Hornets had just taken a lead, and the Nets had come up empty on their two previous possessions. Luckily for him, there was enough time on the clock that Foye didn’t have to catch and shoot, and instead was able to use that one dribble to leave Walker long enough to get the shot up.

CELEBRATION: Probably my favorite part of this play for a couple of reasons. First of all, all the Nets immediately sprint back to their bench and start to mob Foye. If you watch the broadcast, Nets coach Kenny Atkinson tries to be practical and wants to make sure everyone stays calm until the referees have reviewed the play and the win is certain. But he’s quickly seemingly enveloped by celebrating Nets, and he disappears from view. The Nets then devolve into a pile of cheering players on the court. For a team that hasn’t won many games this season (8, to be exact), this was a big deal.

GRADE: Wasn’t the toughest shot, but it was clutch and it clearly meant a lot to the Nets. And since this is the giving season, I’m giving this one FOUR HORRYS.

Lang Whitaker has covered the NBA since 1998. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here or follow him on Twitter.

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