We will no longer see NBA games for at least 30 days but it doesn’t mean one can’t enjoy the league anymore.
Well, it is not the suspension of games that is particularly being frowned at because holding games with the crowd will put too many lives in jeopardy.
Seriously, basketball games and any sporting event is a pity reason for putting anybody’s lives at risk.
It’s just that while fans could without the live venue attendance, the action and entertainment during normal days will be missed.
Here’s one way how fans could make themselves somewhat busy with some action: remembering the great action of the past.
T-Mac goes wild in a Rockets comeback!
Tracy McGrady did not have many opportunities to carry an NBA on his back. He had to stay behind more illustrious teammates from cousin Vince Carter at Toronto, to Grant Hill at Orlando to Yao Ming at Houston.
But on December 9, 2004, T-Mac came up with an amazing shooting spree while playing for the Houston Rockets.
In this game, at the 1:00 mark, the San Antonio Spurs lead the Rockets 74-64 in a Western Conference match-up during the regular season.
Yao Ming followed up a McGrady miss to cut the deficit to eight, 52 seconds left. Then Jim Jackson stole an inbounding pass and scored on a lay-up to bring the Rockets closer, 74-68.
On the next play, T-Mac committed his first foul of the game sending Devin Brown to the line. Devin Brown sank both freebies to make it 76-68, time down to 44 seconds making San Antonio the seeming victor.
Then McGrady waved his magic touch.
Already with 20 points, six rebounds and two assists at this juncture, he brought up the ball and fired a three from top of the key that found nothing but the bottom of the net to make it 76-71, 35 seconds left.
The Rockets then intentionally send the Spurs to the line who converted two attempts, 78-71, 31.9 seconds left. McGrady brought the ball up again and used a Yao pick to evade Bruce Bowen and faked off Tim Duncan to sink another trey along with a foul from Duncan, 24.3 seconds left.
He sank his free throw to cut the lead to four, 78-75. The Rockets again send the Spurs to the line and San Antonio again hits both to restore a five point edge. The Rockets sued for time.
On the inbound, Andre Barret almost committed a five-second inbounding infraction but barely managed to lob it to McGrady near the half court line with Tony Parker in front of him.
McGrady rushed to the spot where he made his four-point play, fired over the outstretched arms of Bowen and connected again. It was almost another four-point play as Bowen was all over him on that sequence. Rockets 78, Spurs 80, 11.2 seconds left in the game.
The Rockets then forced San Antonio to use their last time-out on the inbound.
Brent Barry inbounded to Devin Brown near the baseline. As Brown initiated his attack, he slips down losing the ball to McGrady, 7 second left. T-Mac quickly dribbled up court to the opposite side evading the pursuing Barry and Parker and let it fly for the win.
The ball again swished and the Rockets grabbed the lead 81-80, 1.7 seconds left. With no time-outs left, Parker got the ball near half-court had two quick dribbles and launched a desperate three point attempt that clanked preserving the Rockets win.
All in all, McGrady had 4 of 4 three-point shot conversions along with a four-point play and a steal in the last 44 seconds.
It was a truly amazing performance that even McGrady cannot describe how he made those shots under duress in the post game interview with Craig Sager. He said the four point play gave him confidence that when he has the chance to take the shot, he was willing to let it go.
He added he was unwilling to settle for the tie in the last play and relishes his being part of something like this.
McGrady will never be in the same breath as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Reggie Miller or Kobe Bryant in terms of closing out a game but on this night, he came through with a performance that many will remember him for.
It was an act that neither four noted successful closers of cardiac games could do during their careers.
By: ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS, (Story originally published on May, 2015)