In basketball, there are game winners, and then there are game winners.
Friday’s matchup between the lowly Orlando Magic and the Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder featured a type of game-winning shot rarely seen: A dunk.
It takes a special kind of timing to throw down a dunk and have the buzzer go off as the ball passes through the net. You rarely see this happen at the end of a quarter, much less the fourth quarter. Sometimes you’ll see players try to dunk off an alley-oop from out of bounds near the end of games, but that’s not what Orlando forward Tobias Harris did Friday night.
The Thunder had a one-point lead and the ball as the shot clock was winding down in the fourth quarter, and star forward Kevin Durant had to take an off-balance jumper to avoid a turnover. Durant’s shot caromed off the rim for a long rebound and led to a 3-on-1 Magic fast break with under four seconds left.
The ball passed between two Magic players’ hands before being tossed to the trailing Harris, who threw it down with both hands as the final buzzer went off, much to the excitement of the home crowd.
Officials reviewed the play and counted the basket, giving the NBA’s second-worst team an upset victory over the league’s second-best team. The season is not going well for the Magic, but Orlando fans will probably remember the game’s finish for years to come.