I can't say 'I love this game,' but ...

May 16, 2004|By MARK KELLER

I have to admit, as shocking as it may come to some, I did watch the last two minutes of Thursday night's San Antonio Spurs-Los Angeles Lakers NBA playoff game.When I made that confession in the office Friday, one of my colleagues pointed out, "Well, you picked a pretty good two minutes to watch."

It wasn't that it was great basketball, because it wasn't. It was actually pretty sloppy, though I'm sure much of the sloppiness could be attributed to two good teams playing very good defense.

I really only stopped on the game because as I was surfing by that channel, I heard Al Michaels say that the Spurs had come back from a 16-point deficit.

Hey, any day you get to see the Lakers self-destruct is a good day.

At any rate, I stayed until the very end - through three straight timeouts that dragged the final 11 seconds out to what seemed like 11 minutes and two unbelievable shots that had no business going in.


Shaquille O'Neal summed it up best: "One lucky shot deserves another."

Tim Duncan's fadeaway hoist that ripped the net with 0.4 seconds remaining looked as if it would give the Spurs a one-point victory.

Then - somehow, some way - Derek Fisher catches and shoots what The Associated Press amusingly tabbed "a turnaround jumper" in said 0.4 seconds to steal the victory for the Lakers.

Fisher subsequently set a land speed record as he dashed from one end of the arena to the L.A. locker room as the Spurs and the officials checked the replay to see if the bucket would count.

It was an exciting, dramatic conclusion to what must have been a largely entertaining game. I guess I've been wrong in my thinking about the NBA all this ...

(Hey you ... what do you think you're doing? Step away from the keyboard.)

Mark Keller is sports editor of The Herald-Mail. His column appears every Sunday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2332, or by e-mail at

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