3. 2004 Western Conference semifinals Game 5: Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs
In what ended up being one of the final legs of a Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs playoff rivalry during the early-2000s, Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals in 2004 is commonly what most remember from their battles – more so Lakers fans than Spurs. With the series tied at 2-2, a crucial Game 5 was being played in San Antonio. It was a great opportunity for the Spurs to take a huge step in dethroning the Lakers for a second-straight season, and Game 5 certainly changed the trajectory of the series outcome.
The most interesting part of this game is that there were about three shots that we all thought were game-winners. It started when Kobe Bryant hit a long jumper with 11 seconds left to give the Lakers a 72-71 lead. On the other end, Tim Duncan hit a falling-way jump shot with Shaquille O’Neal draped all over him with 0.4 seconds left to give the Spurs a 73-72 lead.
The celebration was on and the Spurs and their fans were celebrating as if they had just taken a 3-2 series lead over the Lakers. However, Derek Fisher would have the last word. Using Kobe Bryant as a bit of a decoy, Fisher broke loose and took a turnaround jump simultaneously as he caught the inbounds pass and hit the shot. 0.4 seconds was enough.
Fisher hits the shot and the Lakers shock the Spurs on their home floor to take a 3-2 series lead. They would go on the close the series on their home floor in Game 6.