Thursday December 10th, 2015

The Memphis Grizzlies have had trouble building and sustaining momentum all season. No lead is entirely safe and no deficit is necessarily manageable. True to form, Memphis spent the better part of its fourth quarter of Wednesday’s game against the Pistons struggling to close what was, at most, a seven-point gap. They finally broke through with 1.1 seconds remaining in the most improbable fashion: On a runaway, game-winning Matt Barnes three-pointer from just inside the half-court line.

Barnes had another three full seconds to sort out a better look. In the moment, he found this one: a shot technically attempted between three different Pistons, but contested by none. Memphis’s Courtney Lee streaked down the right sideline more or less unattended. But how can one argue with a statement as definitive as this from Barnes, no matter his crazy judgment?

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And while Memphis’s offense couldn’t punch through until this final attempt, its defense—which has been spottier than usual this season—held the Pistons to 34.8% shooting from the field. All it needed was one final, ridiculous, ill-advised shot to cement a 93–92 road victory and its fourth win in the last six games. 

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