Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Despite Late Meltdown, Lakers Have Spurs on Brink of Elimination

The Lakers won their Game 4 matchup against the Spurs last night, 93-91, but not without quite a bit of drama. As one viewer put it, the Lakers did their best to "monkey clusterfuck" their way to a loss. Let's review the final 56.5 seconds, shall we?

--Lamar Odom hits two free throws to give the Lakers a 93-86 lead with 56.5 seconds remaining.

--The Spurs run a play for Brent Barry (a good one drawn up by Greg Popovich in the timeout) and he misses a three pointer. On the rebound, Pau Gasol is fouled by Tim Duncan with 50.8 seconds left.

--Gasol misses both free throws.

--The Spurs come down and Ginobli hits a three pointer with 42.1 seconds remaining. Score: Lakers 93, Spurs 89.

--Here's where the monkeyclusterfucking really gets going: the Lakers inbound the ball, and it ends up in Kobe Bryant's hands; instead of dribbling around the court and waiting to get fouled so that he can shoot what will surely be two money free throws, he drives the length of the court, puts up a tough shot from the right block, and misses. This occurs with around 34 seconds on the game clock and 16 seconds left on the shot clock.

--The Spurs quickly push the ball back upcourt, and Lamar Odom's block of Tony Parker's layup is ruled goaltending. Score: Lakers 93, Spurs 91. 28.1 seconds left.

--After a timeout, the Lakers put the ball in Kobe's hands to run down the clock. He is double-teamed and throws to Fisher, who launches an airball that mercifully goes out of bounds off of Robert Horry's leg with 5.6 seconds remaining in the game and only 2 seconds on the shot clock. (Ed. note: Fisher's shot DID hit the rim, but the refs and/or the shot clock operator missed it.)

--After a timeout, the Kobe shoots a fallaway jumper with two hands in his face and misses. Tim Duncan rebounds and the Spurs call timeout with 2.1 seconds left.

--Popovich draws up a play guessed it, Brent Barry! He tries a pump fake that gets Fisher about two inches off of the ground and then flings a shot from about 28 feet that misses. The game ends as Barry pleads for a foul call on Fisher.

That, ladies and gents, is how you go about completely pissing away a game you have completely wrapped up. You don't drive the length of the floor trying to be Superman when all you have to do is get fouled and make your free throws (that goes for you, too, Pau).

And as far as the final "no call" on Fisher when Barry had the ball, both Barry and Popovich said afterwards that it wasn't a foul, which is code for "You're damn right it was a foul! He fouled the everliving dog mess out of him!"

Ultimately, though, the Lakers are now up 3-1 and have a chance to close the series out Thursday night in L.A. BTW, as soon as I have a YouTube video of Tim Duncan's egregious four-step dunk from the first half last night, I'll post it.

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