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Stephen A. Smith Names His Top 5 NBA Playoff Buzzer-Beaters

Stephen A. Smith attends a playoff basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors at Arena on May 08, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)


Now that the NBA playoffs are in full swing, many analysts and writers are thinking about past games and memorable moments that have shaped league history.

On Friday morning, Stephen A. Smith excitedly talked about his favorite buzzer-beaters from postseasons of yesteryear.

He listed Damian Lillard’s amazing shot that sent the Oklahoma City Thunder home in 2019 as well as Michael Jordan’s magic bucket from 1989.

But the Los Angeles Lakers took three spots on his top-five list.

Kobe Bryant’s dagger against the Phoenix Suns in 2006 was number five, and Robert Horry’s shot over the Sacramento Kings in 2002 was number four.

But it was Derek Fisher’s amazing game-winner from 2004 that took the top spot.

Fisher’s bucket, which came with just 0.4 seconds left on the clock, is still talked about by many to this day.

The 2004 Western Conference semifinals were deadlocked, with both the Lakers and San Antonio Spurs having two victories.

When Tim Duncan of the Spurs landed a shot with less than a second left, it looked like LA was about to experience defeat.

But head coach Phil Jackson wrote up a play that had Fisher receive the ball and immediately put it up with just 0.4 seconds left.

It all worked exactly like they wanted.

Even with an intense defense and the clock speeding down, Fisher was able to stay centered, break away from the Spurs, and land his shot.

He immediately earned his place in Lakers history.

The playoffs haven’t experienced a buzzer-beater like this since.

Many fans are hoping that something like this will happen in the upcoming weeks as we approach the Finals.

It’s unlikely because even nearly 20 years later, this is still an all-time great shot.

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