Throwback: When Derek Fisher Dropped a Game Winner 20 Years Ago With Just 0.4 Seconds Remaining

Relive the intense NBA moment when Derek Fisher's 0.4-second buzzer-beater shook the basketball world - a deep rewind you won't forget.

Published on May 13, 2024  |  11:51 PM IST |  40.7K
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0.4 seconds enough for Derek Fisher

In a thrilling moment of NBA history, Derek Fisher left fans and opponents awestruck as he sank a remarkable game-winning shot just when the clock seemed to run out. 

The iconic match we are delving into was the Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference Semifinals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs that was orchestrated on May 13, 2004.

Locked in head to head, the Lakers found themselves in a pivotal Game 5 against the San Antonio Spurs, with the series tied at two games each. In the closing seconds, Tim Duncan's clutch jumper put the Spurs ahead 73-72, leaving San Antonio confident of victory. 

With the tension rising on both sides, the Lakers were trailing by one point, courtesy of an impressive shot by Tim Duncan that left merely 0.4 seconds on the game clock. 

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Phil Jackson’s Crucial Timeout Call Deserves the Credit

Lakers' head coach Phil Jackson, with a calm demeanor, called a crucial timeout to regroup his team. He designed a play that breathed new life into the Lakers' chances. 


With Gary Payton handling the inbound pass, Derek Fisher made a decisive move to the left elbow, taking the shot in one swift, fluid motion. Fisher's fadeaway shot, released the moment the ball touched his fingertips, swished through the net before finally securing a dramatic victory for the Lakers.

However, the onlookers would still agree to this date that odds were stacked against them, but what followed would etch Derek Fisher's name into basketball folklore.

Proudly laden with all the high hopes of the team purple, Fisher executed one of the most iconic shots in basketball history. 

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Derek Fisher’s Demeanor was Unparalleled 

Derek Fisher's impact transcended traditional scoring metrics, as exemplified by his instrumental role in forcing three crucial turnovers against the Spurs, including a pivotal play that neutralized a made three-pointer by Tony Parker early in the fourth quarter. 

Furthermore, his ability to outshine future Hall-of-Famer Gary Payton within the team's dynamics showcased Fisher's exceptional adaptability and value to the Lakers, despite the lineup changes that occurred when Payton joined the team. 

Fisher's seamless integration into the team's core strategy and executed the Triangle offense with precision and making the most of open shots. Joining the other four starters on the court, he found himself in place of George, symbolizing the team's trust and reliance on his abilities. 

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About The Author

Nitish Singh is a Sports Content Writer at Pinkvilla and covers all things NBA. Apart from following



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