San Antonio Spurs: Big Shot Rob earns his name, again (2005 NBA Finals, Game 5)
The San Antonio Spurs are one of the teams that would be slotted into the category of “hard to pinpoint a singular moment” when it comes to their playoff successes. With five NBA championships to their credit and the likes of all-time greats like David Robinson and Tim Duncan having led the way, you’d probably expect one of their victories or moments to be at the top of their great memories. However, it instead goes to an unlikely — albeit deserving — candidate in Robert Horry.
Three years prior with the Los Angeles Lakers, Robert Horry earned the nickname Big Shot Rob thanks to his heroics. After a move to the Spurs, the veteran made sure that the moniker would stick for life.
San Antonio found themselves in a battle with the Detroit Pistons in the 2005 NBA Finals. In Game 5 on the road, Horry’s impact was inconsequential for almost 36 minutes of play. With one second remaining in the third quarter, however, Horry drilled a 3 to give the Spurs the one-point lead. That set the wheels into motion and they only turned faster. Horry hit another triple as the first field goal of the fourth quarter and then continued to go off.
Horry scored 13 points in the fourth quarter alone, including three 3-point makes overall in the period, to help force overtime. He didn’t stop in the extra frame, either. With just under two minutes on the clock, Rasheed Wallace scored for the Pistons to go up four. On the ensuing possession, Horry got a good look at the rim and fought through a foul to score. He missed the free throw, but would soon make up for it.
After a run of defensive stops, the Spurs had the ball with under 10 seconds on the clock. Coming out of a timeout, they looked to the hot hand as Manu Ginobili found Horry and the latter put up another 3-point shot. And he earned another 3-point make to put the Spurs up one, a lead they held. It may not have ended the series, but as San Antonio lost the next game, it kept them alive on the road and thus allowed them to get to Game 7 and ultimately win the title.