2. 2002 Western Conference Finals Game 4: Lakers vs. Sacramento Kings
During the early-2000s, the playoff rivalry between the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers had everything. And in the final battle between the two teams in 2002, it finally appeared that the Kings were going to break through. However, the series as a whole ended up being the epitome of what the rivalry was for both these teams. And Game 4 of this series is a game that lives in Lakers’ lore.
Already down 2-1 in the series, the Kings had all the momentum as they looked to grab a 3-1 series stronghold on the road. And after the first quarter, it looked like they were well on their way. The Lakers bounced back after being down 20 in the first but still found themselves down seven heading into the fourth quarter. The Lakers battled behind 12 points combined from Shaq and Kobe in the fourth but were still down two with 11 seconds remaining in the game.
And that’s when it happened. Lakers coach Phil Jackson drew up an isolation play for Kobe Bryant who managed to get to the rim but missed a running layup. Shaq would get the offensive rebound, but his putback attempt was swatted away by Vlade Divac.
As fate would have it, the deflection fell right into the hands of Robert Horry who was standing at the top of the 3-point line, dead center. Horry hits the shot at the buzzer to give the Lakers a 100-99 victory. It was a brand new series, tied at 2-2. The Lakers would go on to win in seven games but that doesn’t happen without the heroics of Game 4.