Bee history: Horry’s buzzer-beater shocks Kings

The Sacramento Bee is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year. This story is part of our ongoing coverage.

May 27, 2002: It was luck, first of all. Vlade Divac wants you to know this. It was luck, and before that it was a bum call, and that is how you lose a game you desperately wanted to win.

There are times in interview situations with Divac in which things get lost in the translation. Sunday was not one of those times. In the wake of the Lakers’ 100-99 Game 4 victory over the Kings, Divac made a lengthy point of explaining that Robert Horry’s winning shot at the buzzer was the product of pure fortune, and nothing but.

“You don’t even think about who has the ball,” Divac said. “I don’t think he (Horry) tried to beat the clock. Just a lucky shot, that’s all.

“You don’t need to have skills in that kind of situation. Just throw it, and if it goes in, it goes in.”

Gosh, now that you mention it, we’re not so sure. But give Divac this much: The man had a vantage point from which to launch his opinion.

As the Lakers’ final possession wound down, it was Divac who crossed the lane to challenge Kobe Bryant’s driving shot that bounced off. As Shaquille O’Neal rebounded and attempted a follow shot, it was Divac whose arms were all over O’Neal’s.

And when O’Neal’s shot bounced off the rim and dangled in the air for that tantalizing nanosecond, it was Divac who leaped high and batted it away, almost as if spiking a volleyball, in an attempt to clear it well down the floor and run out the final second of game time.

Instead, the tip went directly to Horry, who was camping out above the three-point line.

Just a lucky shot, that’s all.

Chris Webber also used the word lucky to describe that final play, but he gave a full explanation when asked to deliver.

“I’m not saying the Lakers lucked-up and won the game,” Webber said. “I said it was a lucky play – and it was a lucky play. Coach (Phil Jackson) didn’t draw that up. That wasn’t a second or third option. That was a lucky play, a fumble.”

Mark Kreidler

Cartoon Corner

Sacramento High captures state baseball title in Los Angeles

1922: Before the start of their 1922 season, the Sacramento High School baseball team got some special coaching help from a star pitcher for the Cleveland Indians named Walter “Duster” Mails. The results were detailed in this article from June 20, 1922:

Los Angeles, June 20 – Before a crowd of 5,000 cheering fans and only twenty-five of them Sacramento rooters, the Sacramento High School baseball team grabbed the California Interscholastic Federation title at Washington Park yesterday afternoon, defeating Franklin by the score of 3 to 0.

“Lefty” Pendergast, the southpaw pitcher for the Sacramento club, outpitched the much-touted “Bud” Teachout of Franklin.

Teachout pitched better ball than the score showed, as he was not given the brand of support that Pendergast had.

Sacramento not only showed the best pitching, but the fielding was 100 percent better than displayed by the local school, while the teamwork was the best ever shown here by a high school squad.

The win was the Sacramento area’s first prep state championship in any sport.

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