There are moments in sports that leave an indelible impression and evoke feelings of sorrow or elation, depending on your rooting interest and the result of the contest.
Two years ago today, Ray Allen hit one of the greatest shots in NBA history to save the Miami Heat from elimination at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs.
Down 3-2 in the NBA Finals, the Heat found themselves trailing by three points with just under 20 seconds remaining in the game.
Mario Chalmers received the inbound pass and pushed the ball up the left side of the court, triggering a three-man action with LeBron James and Chris Bosh. James – ever so slightly – got in the way of Tony Parker’s pursuit of Chalmers, just before receiving a screen from Bosh to free himself.
Then, Chalmers delivered a pass to James, who found himself slightly open after momentary confusion from Parker and Boris Diaw.
Immediately upon receiving the pass, James rose up and launched a three-point attempt to tie the game at 95 apiece. But the shot clanked off the rim, causing just about everyone to sink into the lane to grab the ever-important rebound.
Not having to contend with Tim Duncan – who was replaced by another perimeter defender in order to switch all screens – Bosh swooped in to grab the offensive rebound and immediately located Allen back-peddling toward the three-point line. He quickly got the ball to Allen, who needed just a millisecond to look down to see where he was in relation to the three-point line and the sideline.
Then, with 5.2 seconds left and in the face of a desperate closeout from Parker, Allen knocked down the game-tying 3-pointer to stave off elimination and send the game into overtime.
[Sidenote: If there were any player in the league who could pull that off, it was Allen. Before every game, he went through a meticulous shooting routine that was borderline obsessive, and it paid off throughout his career.]
The make sent the fans in American Airlines Arena into a frenzy and forced the NBA officials preparing for the trophy presentation to return to the tunnel. More importantly, however, it gave new life to the Heat, who went on to win the game as well as Game 7 to capture the franchise’s third championship title.
Allen’s shot was truly one for the ages, ultimately altering the legacies of the many Hall of Famers on the court at the time.
Re-live the moment below and let us know how you think Allen’s shot holds up against the other monumental shots in NBA history.
Photo: AP/Lynne Sladky