Tony Parker had nowhere to go, and with LeBron James, who has about six inches and 65 pounds on him, towering over him with the shot clock winding down, the Spurs point guard seemingly needed a miracle to even get a shot off, let alone make one.
But there Parker was, following a possession that seemed to take forever to even the players involved, rising for an off-balanced jumper with his team up two and less than 10 seconds left in regulation. The ball clanked around the rim a few times, but it eventually dropped in, clinching a 92-88 victory for the Spurs in a thrilling Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.
The possession seemed destined to be an empty one. After a pair of pick-and-rolls, Parker found himself matched up with Chris Bosh on the perimeter. The Spurs guard tried to take Bosh off the dribble, but Bosh and James quickly closed the gap, and Parker was forced to turn away toward the Spurs’ bench. With James all over him, Parker stumbled, but he kept his dribble, made a spin move and took one step past the Heat star before launching a desperation jumper right before the shot clock expired.
“I thought I lost the ball three or four times,” Parker said after the game.
The shot was reviewed, but the officials did not overturn the call, sealing the Spurs win. One camera angle shows the ball clearly out of Parker’s hands before the backboard light turned on.
“Tony did everything wrong and did everything right in the same possession,” James said after the game. “That was the longest 24 seconds that I’ve been a part of.”
Check out the crazy play in the video below.