Robert Horry and the Art of Clutchness

Los Angeles Lakers vs Portland Trail Blazers (April 28, 2002-Western Conference First Round, Game 3)

We’re in the Rose Garden and the Los Angeles Lakers are about to be pricked by the blooming, blazing Portland Trail Blazers. So, Bryant sets a trail driving against the self-dubbed ‘Kobe-Stopper’ Ruben Patterson, taking him and what seems like the rest of the Trail Blazers side into the paint. He furiously kicks the ball out to the three-point line on his right to Robert Horry who calmly catches the peach, sets it on it’s seams, rises and drains the clutch three with just two seconds left.

Three years, three trophies and three-balls aplenty, Horry kept repeating like episodes of ‘Scrubs’ on Comedy Central. He drained a game-clinching three-pointer in at least one game in four straight playoff series over the course of the Lakers’ three-peat campaigns. He really did change the game. Shaq and Kobe may have been the out of this world superstars, but every leading man needs a supporting actor and that man was Robert Horry. Along with Rick Fox, Horry formed a forward tandem for the dynasty ages. He played his classic clutch role along with Derek Fisher, the same Fish that continues to save L.A. to this day.

Clutch three after clutch three. Who says it doesn’t rain in Southern California? When Horry poured, L.A. reigned.

Los Angeles Lakers vs Sacramento Kings (May 26, 2002-Western Conference Finals, Game 4)

In one of the most fiercely competitive series in NBA Playoff history. there’s nothing between the Californian Kings and Lakers in this bitter clash for the Western throne. Kobe’s on the drive again but he cant find the basket from the baseline. The rebound falls to Shaq but his putback needs a mulligan and is tipped away from the rim by Vlade Divac . The loose ball bounces outside the arc to Robert Horry for a straight ahead, straight forward three which is classic Horry and vintage NBA history.

Former Laker Vlade Divac must have been real jealous as he dismissed Horry’s latest triumph as a “lucky shot”, but there is no ‘Cheap Shot Rob’ here. Vlade needed to “read a paper” or the history books or something. Read all about it. Time and time again Robert Horry’s being doing it and coming up big when needed. Hitting three’s with a Reggie Miller purity meeting M.J. clutch. Still in 2003 when the Lakers were looking to go for a fourth championship, the San Antonio Spurs and a 25 point deficit got in the way during the Western Conference Semi-finals. Horry was in a familiar position as the Lakers rallied back from a blow-out looking to close-out the Spurs in Texas, but something just wasn’t clicking. Horry drew his long-range gun and fired but his shot was in and out like Kevin Kline in the nighties. As the buzzer sounded the Lakers hadn’t just lost the championship to the San Antonio Spurs, this was the beginning of the end as they also lost their ‘Mr. Fourth Quarter’ to their Western Conference  rivals.

Next: Horry’s legacy 

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