On this date: Derek Fisher makes the shot of a lifetime against Spurs
The 2003-04 season was a turbulent one for the Los Angeles Lakers due to key injuries, renewed tension between Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant and uncertainty about what the team would look like in the future.
But somehow, they won 56 games and claimed the second seed in the Western Conference on the strength of their star power.
They went into the second round of the playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs – and promptly dropped the first two games.
Just when it looked like the sharks were circling the Lakers, they won the next two contests in L.A. to tie the series, setting up a pivotal fifth game back in San Antonio.
Game 5 was as ugly as a game could be, as both teams were only able to barely score in the 70s. When Bryant hit a jumper with just over 11 seconds left to give L.A. a one-point lead, it looked like it was about to take a 3-2 series lead.
But Tim Duncan answered with an improbable off-balance long jumper to give the Spurs the lead again. With 0.4 seconds left in the game, the Lakers looked done.
Instead, Derek Fisher came to the rescue and hit perhaps the most incredible shot anyone will ever see in an NBA playoff contest to win it for L.A.
His shot was a gut punch to the Spurs, and they didn’t have much fight left, as they fell to the Lakers in Game 6 at Staples Center.
Although L.A. fell apart in the NBA Finals in catastrophic fashion to the Detroit Pistons, Fisher’s shot still stands as one of the most legendary in the annals of league history.