Ron Artest beat the buzzer with a wild bank shot after rebounding Kobe Bryant's miss, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Phoenix Suns 103-101 on Thursday night to take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals.
Bryant had 30 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists for the Lakers, but Artest was the improbable hero with just his second basket of the night.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Only in Los Angeles can Ron Artest go from goat to hero in mere moments.
With a minute left and the Lakers up three, Artest could have run time off the clock, but took and missed a deep jump shot.
Phoenix rebounded his miss and Jason Richardson tied the game with three seconds remaining on a desperation, bank shot three-pointer. The lockdown swing, however, redeemed himself by grabbing Bryant's miss, sinking a basket as time expired, and winning game five for the Lakers.
Artest's heroics position the purple-and-gold to advance to the NBA Finals, as they hold home court advantage.
Meanwhile, the Suns return to Phoenix knowing they missed a chance to steal a road game and close out the Western Conference Finals by winning game six at home.
During a post game interview, Artest had TNT broadcaster Craig Sager shout out his home of Queensbridge.Goats can't get away with such antics, but heroes, like Artest, can.
Got thoughts on Artest, the Lakers, and the Western Conference Finals? Come back to HoopsVibe News on Friday for more on L.A. and Phoenix.