The San Antonio Spurs have been called boring, dull, and workmanlike at many times during their 15 years of NBA championship contention. While basketball fans are free to argue over the validity of those labels, there's no question that the Spurs' last possession of Thursday's Game 1 of the NBA Finals was absolutely amazing.
With 31 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Spurs holding on to a 90-88 lead after two LeBron James free throws, point guard Tony Parker held the ball for what figured to be San Antonio's final possession of regulation. With mere seconds left on the shot clock, Parker drove down the middle of the lane on Heat center Chris Bosh, who forced him to the right side and towards LeBron. After more stellar defense, Parker fell to the ground, got up, pivoted to his right to slip under James, and put up a desperation 16-footer that went off the backboard, settled on the front rim, and dropped through the hoop for the game-clinching bucket and a 92-88 win.
It initially looked as if Parker might not have gotten the shot off before the shot-clock buzzer, but one replay angle showed that Parker just barely got the ball out of his hand before the clock went down to 0.0 seconds. It was a thrilling, improbable play, a big-time basket that will be remembered for years no matter what happens to the Spurs in the rest of this series.