The Los Angeles Lakers needed a win over the New York Knicks on Christmas Day. Pau Gasol needed one season-changing, triumphant moment. The play that would ultimately kill both of those birds with one stone came with 14 seconds remaining in yesterday’s game and the Lakers up by just three.
While everyone (the fake fans in Staples, the real fans at home, analysts, commentators, etc.) figured that either Kobe Bryant or Steve Nash would take the shot during the sequence in question, Mike D’Antoni had other plans. Instead of giving the rock to either of his two clutch players, he instead drew up something for the guy who he had relegated to the bench in crunch time on numerous occasions over the past month.
That proved to be the smart move.
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The Lakers ultimately prevailed 100-94.