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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Welp, that’s one way to close out the 2022 NBA schedule.
With the final NBA shot of 2022, Tyler Herro beat the buzzer in Utah, saving the Heat from an improbable meltdown and taking souls from the Jazz in front of their home fans.
It marked the 10th game-winning buzzer beater of the season, and a spectacular finish to a year that closed with prolific performances across the league.
GAME SITUATION: In a game that featured 14 ties and 20 lead changes, perhaps it coming down to the final possession was inevitable. And it was a march of free throws that got us there. Down five with 19.7 seconds to go after Bam Adebayo split free throws, Jordan Clarkson was fouled shooting a 3. He nailed all three from the stripe, moments after missing a pair that would’ve pulled Utah within two.
Victor Oladipo was fouled, and split for Miami, who somehow managed to foul Lauri Markkanen while he attempted a game-tying 3 from the right wing. He then sank all three free throws, setting up the fateful, final possession with 6.3 seconds to go.
DIFFICULTY: Herro took the inbounds and nearly got pinned in the backcourt along the right sideline. A behind-the-back dribble cleared enough room to advance up the middle. With Clarkson on his hip, Herro skip-stepped across midcourt, right into a runner from just behind the line as Mike Conley swiped without committing enough to risk the foul. Markkanen similarly contested while backing up, allowing ample space for Herro’s clean release. The shot rattled right on home as the backboard light signaled there would be no overtime.
CELEBRATION: Herro started backing away while watching the shot drop, always a good look just in case because it makes it seem you knew and were just waiting for confirmation. His momentum carried him right toward awaiting Heat teammates. He spun-jumped into the crowd as the hyped shoves ping-ponged him around.
HELL YEA‼️ pic.twitter.com/d7C8nw0V9P
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 1, 2023
GRADE: Racing the length of the court, nearly losing possession, shooting on the move between three opponents, and avoiding overtime on New Year’s Eve? That’s Tyler playing Herro. 4 Horrys.