With time running out in Game 1 between the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat and Paul George merely seconds from winding up an unlikely scapegoat, Indy's young star nailed a game-tying triple from way beyond the arc to send the contest to overtime.
The play was nearly a disaster, as George initially had Udonis Haslem switched onto him. Despite the mismatch, he inexplicably picked up his dribble and gave up the ball at the top of the arc. When his pass to George Hill was deflected, it ended up in David West's hands as time ticked away.
I was just thinking how brutal it was that George didn’t pull up when he had the ball initially. Then …— Brett Pollakoff (@BrettEP) May 23, 2013
George raced to his left, took a clumsy handoff and elevated from a good three steps behind the arc. LeBron James, somewhat surprised by George's decision to fire, didn't even leave his feet to contest the shot.
The play helped erase an egregious throwaway by George that made it seem as though the Pacers were finished just moments earlier.
With 20 seconds left, the Pacers found themselves down two points in the midst of a scrambling, broken play. George drove the lane, left his feet and threw the ball to teammate Sam Young—who was on the bench.
On the ensuing Miami possession, the Pacers fouled Ray Allen, who—incredibly—missed one of his two free-throw attempts. That unlikely miss gave the Pacers the ball back with only a three-point deficit. The next play was almost poetic.
PAUL GEORGE IS REDEEMED— Paul Flannery (@Pflanns) May 23, 2013
When George drilled the improbable bomb to tie the score, everyone was completely stunned.
Well, everyone except James, who merely shrugged in the aftermath.
Shrug. vine.co/v/b992ET5BMeL— Jacoby_ (@Jacoby_) May 23, 2013
I guess when you're actually a superhero, the occasional heroic act by a mortal isn't all that impressive. Superman probably doesn't get all fired up when he watches World's Strongest Man competitions on ESPN 2.
And there was one Heat "fan" who was a little too busy to follow the action.
Somebody should explain to her that a pretty cool play just happened. Either that, or immediately have her thrown out of the arena and banned from the premises. Like, OMG, right?
Anyway, after Allen missed a prayer with less than one second remaining on the other end, fans were assured of one of life's great pleasures: overtime playoff basketball.
Why yes, I would like some more basketball.— Rob Mahoney (@RobMahoney) May 23, 2013