The Portland Trail Blazers faced a 96-92 deficit to the San Antonio Spurs with 32 seconds left on Friday. San Antonio is experienced, battle-tested and really freaking good. They don't lose leads like that. But the Blazers were simply magical on Friday. Andre Miller stripped Tony Parker near midcourt and dashed in for a lay-up to close the gap to 96-94.
After a timeout, Manu Ginobili whittled the shot clock down, but was stripped by Wesley Matthews with seven seconds. After Matt Bonner blocks the ensuing fast break lay-up, Nicolas Batum gets the rebound and draws a foul. He sinks both. Tied game, but the Spurs have the ball with 0.9 seconds left. Spurs win or overtime, right? Wrong. Steve Novak (he's a Spur) inbounded the ball ... to no one, as it sailed out of bounds. Blazers ball. And then ...
That's right: the Spurs got fooled on the inbounds, with Manu completely losing a back-cutting Batum, who soars over countryman Parker for the alley-oop drop-in. Just a magical set of circumstances to lead to the play, and a tremendous finish by Miller and Batum. I don't believe that actually happened.
Rubbing your eyes in disbelief doesn't do this fourth quarter justice; you're better off rapping on your forehead like it's a doorknocker to make sure you're still on this planet.