The Thunder took a three-point lead on the Blazers on Thursday night in Portland thanks to a miraculous one-handed heave by the recently acquired Taj Gibson from the opposite three-point line. Portland attempted a long pass on a baseline inbound with 2.8 seconds left in the half, but Gibson intercepted the ball and chucked it into the air.
Somehow, the ball floated through the air for what seemed like 10 seconds before swishing through for three points and a Thunder halftime lead.
This isn’t just a normal half-court or full-court heave at the buzzer, as those usually at least look like a basketball shot in, if nothing else, their trajectory. Even a full-court one-handed toss usually comes in at a low angle, but Gibson’s effort on Thursday was a moonshot. At first I thought his arm got hit on the throw, forcing him to release it early and sort of catapult the ball into the air, but the reverse angle shows that it was just the way he threw it.
You could probably give Gibson 100 tries at that same shot, thrown that high into the air, and he wouldn’t be able to reproduce this shot. But it doesn’t matter if he could do it again, all that matters is he did it when it counted and it was really awesome.