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Kobe Bryant 36 points vs Spurs WCSF Game 5 2002-03 *Horry's miss

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Uploaded on May 25, 2008

*NOTE: skip to 10:10 for Robert Horry's in and out game winning miss

May 13th, 2003
SBC Center
San Antonio, TX

Boxscore: http://www.basketball-reference.com/b...

The glamorous Los Angeles Lakers had won 3 consecutive championships. But ask any Laker fan on why the 4th never happened, 2 things will come into mind: Horry's in and out miss on a potential game winner and the Laker's lethargic play in the 2nd half of Game 6 that advanced the San Antonio Spurs into the WCF and ultimately the championship. What people forget about Horry's heartbreaker in Game 5 of the 2003 Western Conference Semifinals was Kobe Bryant's all around brilliance that set up the stage.

It appeared as if the San Antonio Spurs would run the Los Angeles Lakers out of the building who exploded out of the gate. The Lakers were 0-5 in the Spur's new home, the SBC Center. No matter what the Spurs did, nothing was wrong tonight. Tony Parker was unstoppable as Tim Duncan dominated the paint. The Laker offense was smothered by the Spur defense while every shot that went up in the Spur offense went through the net. The Spurs put past memories behind them as they led by as many as 25 in the 3rd quarter. But one roadblock stood in their way - Kobe Bryant. Bryant was not ready to give up Game 5 that easily.

Bryant sparked his team by knocking down 2 threes to end the 3rd quarter to bring the game to 16. Then it was Kobe time in the 4th quarter. Sensing that his team needed him more than ever, Bryant took the game into his own hands. In the 4th quarter, Bryant either scored or assisted on 7 of the 11 baskets by the Lakers. Bringing the crowd into disbelief, Bryant hit every crucial basket when his team needed it to cap off an important run. He led the Lakers to an 18-5 run to bring the game within 4 points, 90-86. He hit another three point shot to bring the game to 95-91. After Shaq connected on a three point play and Stephen Jackson made 1 of 2 free throws, the stage was set for Horry's potential game winner. It was only a 2 point game and Bryant had faked out Bowen in the corner. But instead of taking the three point shot, he unselfishly passed it out to the open Robert Horry who had a line of postseason game winners a mile long. He could've easily taken the game winner himself given how hot he was in the 4th quarter. But this time Horry's shot went in - and out again, giving the Spurs the 96-94 win. The Lakers never recovered from that miss in Game 6. The Spurs proceeded to blow out the Lakers in the next game giving them the series victory and the NBA championship.

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