Debate Round 2: “The Memorial Day Miracle” vs. “The Horry 3”


In the first debate of Spurs big shots, Project Spurs had the “Memorial Day Miracle” taking on “The TD 3.”  It was a landslide and Elliott’s shot clearly won the debate.  Thanks to all who voted, commented and actually READ the post to know this week we will be debating the “Memorial Day Miracle” against Horry’s “3” in the 2005 NBA Finals against the Pistons. 

Competition for the “Memorial Day Miracle” heats up.  Both were crucial for the franchise and it’s place among the pantheon of NBA’s great teams.

Once more let’s take a look at the “tale of the tape” and you decide.

The Memorial Day Miracle

May 31, 1999.  Memorial Day.  San Antonio.  1999 NBA Playoffs Game 2 Western Conference Semifinals, Spurs vs. Blazers in the Alamodome.

It was late in the fourth quarter and the Spurs battled their way out of an 18 point deficit to bring the score 83-85 Blazers leading, with 12 seconds left in the game.  Mario Elie inbounds the ball to Sean Elliott, who was tip-toeing the corner sideline.  The ball barely clearing the outstretch hands of Stacy Augmon, Elliott catches the ball, heels never touching the floor though they were out of bounds, Rasheed Wallace leaping to try to block the shot, Elliott launches a “3” over Wallace, and makes it!  Spurs take their first lead with 9 seconds left and go on to win the game, 86-85, taking a 2-0 lead over the Blazers.

Points to consider:

  • Elliott, though heels were out of bounds, never touched the floor
  • Elliott was known to hit the “3” thus making it more likely he would make it
  • Elliott had to shoot over Wallace
  • Spurs were down as much as 18 points and were losing heading into the final quarter
  • The shot devastated the Blazers moral and got swept by the Spurs
  • The shot propelled the Spurs in the series against the Blazers on their way to their first NBA championship

The Horry “3”

June 19, 2005.  Auburn Hills, Michigan.  2005 NBA Finals, Game 5.  Spurs vs. Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

It was late in overtime of Game 5 of the NBA Finals, 5.8 seconds left and Horry was inbounding the ball.  Horry passes the ball to Manu and Rasheed Wallace (again involved in another big shot in Spurs history) leaves Horry to help Tayshaun Prince trap Manu in the corner.  Manu passes out of the trap to Horry who was wide-open for a “3” and makes it!  “Big Shot Rob” strikes again! Spurs go on to win Game 5 in OT, 96-95 and would go on to take a 3-2 lead in the 2005 NBA Finals.

Points to consider:

  • Horry hurt his shoulder going in for a dunk moments before his “3”
  • Horry ended up scoring all of his 21 points with 17-plus minutes left in the game
  • Horry’s shot allowed the Spurs to take a 3-2 series lead and the team would go on to win their third title
  • Unlike Elliott’s shot, Horry had a clear shot at the basket
  • Horry was known to hit big shots in the past
  • During the 2005 playoffs, Horry went 38 of 85 from the three-point line

Amazing shots to debate but in the end there can only be one!  Let’s settle this Spurs fans.  Go vote on the poll and leave us your comments with your opinion as to which was the bigger shot in Spurs history.