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With just two seconds left in the third quarter of a nip-and-tuck Game 4 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Indiana Pacers didn't have much time to make a play. Adding onto their lead before the buzzer would require sharp execution, a perfect pass, an accurate shot and a little bit of luck.
Check, check, check and check. Well done, George Hill and Lance Stephenson. (Not quite so much, Dwyane Wade, who left the Pacers' shooting guard alone to help in the paint, leaving the corner 3-pointer — admittedly a less threatening option than a dump-in to the lane since it would require a cross-court pass — wide open.)
"I guess if there's one guy you want shooting a fadeaway 3 from the corner, it's Lance Stephenson." I'm not sure I agree with your premise, Steve Kerr, but the results sure worked out in the Pacers' favor here, as Indiana extended its lead to seven heading into the fourth quarter and held on for a 99-92 win that knotted up the Eastern Conference finals at two games apiece. Stephenson was huge in the win, scoring 20 points on 9 for 15 shooting, grabbing five rebounds and playing tough defense in nearly 41 minutes.
The shot was so good and the moment so stirring that it appeared to overwhelm one young fan — after Stephenson's make, you can see her grab her head and hit her knees, prompting a security guard to help her up and off the court. As it turns out, according to CBSSports.com's Royce Young, the young lady's dad's a pretty big wheel down at
the cracker factory Bankers Life Fieldhouse:
We can certainly appreciate being overcome with emotion in high-leverage situations; we just hope the Pacers will consider installing a fainting couch near the scorer's table in the future to avoid further on-the-court swooning forays.
Here's another look at the buzzer-beater from the NBA's super-slow-motion Phantom camera — it doesn't give us more insight into the travails of young Ms. Simon, but it does introduce us to another gentleman of note, and shows us that Lance's shoulder-lean game remains on point even after assuming a seated position:
Looking good, everyone. Especially you, Pacers.