The Los Angeles Lakers trailed by one point with 6.3 seconds to play.
Kobe Bryant only had nine points and had missed 11 of the 14 shots he had attempted on the night. Still, 19 years of experience and a career of game winners put the ball in Bryant's 36-year-old hands. He got a clear look, but his shot did not fall.
The buzzer sounded, and the Lakers lost 104-103 in a competitive contest to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night at Staples Center.
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When asked about the final play, teammate Jeremy Lin responded, "How many game winners has he (Bryant) hit like that?"
Friday, however, was not Bryant's night. Of the 10 Lakers that took the court against the Thunder, only Robert Sacre and Wesley Johnson had fewer points than Bryant. Lin, who was only on the court late in the game due to Nick Young's ejection for a forearm, appeared to realize the superstar did not have his shot going only one play earlier.
With the Lakers down by three points, Lin drove to his right and sunk a 15-foot jump shot with 32.5 seconds to play to set the stage for a fantastic finish.
"I thought we got what we wanted at the end," Lakers coach Byron Scott said after the game. "We got a good shot, a good look at it. Just missed it."
Bryant was the player that missed the shot, and judging by how his night was going for him, it was hardly a surprise. Lin, on the other hand, appeared to be in a great offensive groove and was an overlooked option with the game on the line.
In 22 minutes, Lin managed 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists. On the night, Lin only missed two shots. Not just that, Lin hit a clutch shot in the final minute to trim the deficit from three points to one point.
"32,000-plus points," Scott answered when asked why he did not give Lin the final shot.
Scott, of course, was alluding to Bryant's all-time total points. Moving up to third place in NBA history on the Lakers' last road trip, Bryant's points total was honored before the game. After the game, that same point total was used to excuse the loss.
"I like game winners, too," Lin said after the game. "I would love to shoot some, but I get it. That guy is kind of the king of game winners."