BELIZE CITY, Thurs. June 24, 2021– When the Suns got to inbound the ball trailing 102-103 against the L.A. Clippers with 0.9 seconds left on the clock in their Western Conference finals Game 2 on Tuesday night, a thought, which I couldn’t help but voicing to my wife, crossed my mind, and it took me way back to the early ‘90s, as I’m sure it did many a semipro basketball fan in Belize, and especially Raiders fans. I said, I wonder if this will be like when Duck (Garnett) sent that inbound pass straight to Keith (Acosta) for a slam dunk (which at the time clinched the Raiders’ victory and semipro basketball championship against, I think, Santino’s Hotpoints?).
Well, so said, so done. The Suns’ Jae Crowder’s inbound pass was like a shot just above the basket area, and Deandre Ayton outjumped Clippers’ center Ivica Zubac and slammed it home for what proved the game winner.
Apparently, it had happened once before in the NBA, and with the same Phoenix Suns, whose coach Monty Williams therefore had the “institutional memory” advantage over their opponents, most of whom apparently were unaware that the rules do not consider such a play as goal tending.