Tony Parker spent the majority of the most important possession of Game 1 of the 2013 NBA Finals nearly losing the ball. First, he almost lost his handle while trying to split Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. He then nearly stumbled into LeBron James before awkwardly spinning away. Off the spin, Parker lost his footing, going to the ground. After that, the play really got dramatic.
"It was so crazy, that play, that after a while I was just trying to get a shot up," Parker told Stuart Scott of ESPN after the game. "I lost the ball like three times. It didn't work out like I wanted to but at the end it was a big shot. And it's like that in the Finals. You need a little bit of luck and we had it tonight."
With the San Antonio Spurs clinging to a 90-88 lead and game clock ticking under 10 seconds, Parker lost his footing but kept his dribble. The 31-year-old point guard then rose up only to have to duck under James' outstretched arm. Just before the shot clock expired, Parker loosed his improbable double clutch shot. It caromed off the backboard, bounced up off the rim ... once ... twice ... and then dropped through the net, stretching the Spurs lead to 92-88 with just 5.2 seconds to play. The officials reviewed the play to see if the shot did beat the shot clock. It did, barely. Right?
WATCH VIDEO ABOVE
"Tony did everything wrong and then he did everything right in the same possession. He stumbled two or three times. He fell over. When he fell over, I was like 'OK, well I'm about to try and tie this ball up.' And he got up and went under my arm. I got a great contest and he even double pumped it and barely got it off," James told reporters after game, recounting Parker's shot. "I mean that was the longest twenty four seconds that I've been a part of."
The remaining 5.2 seconds came and went too quickly for the Heat, who had no answer to Parker's ridiculous circus make. That unlikely basket capped a 10-point fourth quarter for Parker. The Spurs outscored the Heat 23-16 in the final quarter and held on for the 92-88 win in Game 1 of the 2013 NBA Finals.