AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Big Shot Bob did it again.
Robert Horry (search), the veteran player whose clutch postseason 3-pointers have defined his career, knocked down a wide-open 3-pointer with 5.8 seconds remaining in overtime Sunday night to give the San Antonio Spurs (search) a 96-95 victory over the Detroit Pistons (search) in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
The Spurs took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series, bouncing back from a pair of lopsided losses to defeat the defending champs in their own building and send the series back to San Antonio needing just one more victory for their third title in seven years.
Horry inbounded from the left sideline near midcourt with 9.4 seconds left, finding Manu Ginobili in the corner. Detroit's defenders collapsed on Ginobili and left Horry wide-open for the return pass.
Bad idea, as so many of Horry's opponents have learned in the past.
Detroit had one final chance after Horry's shot, but Richard Hamilton missed a runner from the lane and Bruce Bowen rebounded to end it, allowing the Spurs to run off jubilant.
After four blowouts, this was the type of game everyone had been waiting almost two weeks to see — an intense, closely-fought nail-biter befitting of a championship series. The fourth quarter was close throughout, with clutch shots coming from Billups and Hamilton for the Pistons, and Robert Horry and Manu Ginobili of San Antonio.
The player who wasn't hitting the big ones was two-time NBA Finals MVP Tim Duncan (search), who missed six straight foul shots and a putback at the end of the fourth quarter that would have won it for the Spurs.