A recreation between the New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder shouldn’t garner a lot consideration this season. The Pelicans have been with out Zion Williamson all season, and he’s not getting back from a foot damage any time quickly. The Thunder are taking the long-term view on their rebuild, and don’t anticipate to be aggressive for a pair extra years. Solely the Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons have been worse than these two groups all season.
It makes good sense, then, that Thunder-Pelicans gave us not solely the most effective ending of the season, but in addition one of many best buzzer-beaters of all-time.
Right here’s the scene: the Thunder have been inbounding down three with 4.5 seconds left after a pair of free throws from Brandon Ingram. The Pelicans didn’t need to danger OKC hitting a game-winning three-pointer, in order that they supposed to foul straight away. New Orleans coach Willie Inexperienced even stated he instructed the refs they have been going to foul earlier than the ball was inbounded.
The Thunder obtained the ball in to their star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Pelicans veteran Garrett Temple tried to foul. Gilgeous-Alexander launched a shot from 31-feet away hoping he would draw a three-shot foul. The refs by no means referred to as the foul. The shot went in anyway. Tie recreation.
New Orleans inbounded the ball beneath their very own basket with 1.4 seconds left. Devonte’ Graham did this:
That’s a 61-foot buzzer beater for the win. There’s by no means been a farther game-winning shot on the buzzer in league historical past.
Pelicans win, 113-110. They transfer to 9-21 on the season, whereas OKC drops to 8-19.
Take a look at how for much longer Graham’s shot is than each different game-winning shot since 2000.
Graham’s shot is the longest game-winning buzzer-beater in NBA historical past, in accordance with Basketball-Reference. It’s truly eight-feet farther than the following longest game-winning buzzer-beater.
The longest buzzer-beaters in NBA historical past
Devin Harris wins it from 43-feet away in 2009
I’m nonetheless not over this Devin Harris shot greater than a decade later. This was credited as a 43-foot game-winner throughout a Feb. 2009 recreation towards the 76ers.
Tyreke Evans stuns the Grizzlies with the 50-foot game-winner
That is the buzzer-beater that’s most much like Graham’s. After OJ Mayo hit a go-ahead jumper to place the Grizzlies up one, Tyreke Evans launched a shot from past halfcourt that was straight money. Kings win.
This was credited as being from 50-feet away.
Julius Erving beats the Mavs with a 53-foot buzzer-beater in 1986
Erving was a 35-year-old in his second-to-last season.
Graham’s comfortably seems longer than all of these. Whereas it wasn’t a game-winner, Jerry West’s 60-foot bomb to ship a recreation to additional time in 1970 additionally deserves a point out.
Baron Davis’ 89-footer is the longest shot in NBA historical past
Our pal Jon did a video on it:
Devonte’ Graham now stands alone in NBA historical past, a minimum of by way of game-winners.
Who would have thought a Pelicans-Thunder recreation in 2021 could be so enjoyable?