by Micah Hart
The Horry Scale has been quiet since Kevin Durant beat the Mavs in the season’s first week. But with Kevin Love and Blake Griffin staging a battle between the game’s top two young power forwards (and U.S. Olympic hopefuls), it was only fitting that the game would come down to a single play by one of them. In this case, that one was Love.
For those that are new around these parts, the Horry scale examines a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Clippers-Nets game), and celebration, and give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys.
This is our first Horry entry of the new calendar year, so let’s see how Love rates:
All in all not a particularly difficult shot, although he was a couple feet behind the 3-point line. Give Minnesota credit, they did a terrific job screening for Love so he could get a free look at the rim. Love, who shoots pretty well from deep (36.1 percent this season), calmly drained the trey before any Clipper got near him and the ballgame was over.
Ricky Rubio was 0-10 from the field up until the last 20 seconds, at which point he hit a 3-pointer from the corner to tie the game at 98. After Chauncey Billups missed a layup and chance to be the hero for a second straight game for the Clippers, Love got the rebound and called timeout with 1.5 seconds to play. Plenty of time as it turned out for him to square his body for the easy 3-pointer and the win.
This was actually a pretty big win for the Timberwolves (how often do you see that written about a game against the Clippers?). Minnesota began the season 3-7, but have rallied with four wins in its last five to get to 7-8, a game below .500. We thought they might have enough talent to compete for a playoff spot, and a win in a close game like this will help their cause immensely, both in the standings and in the confidence department.
I love Love’s reaction to hitting this shot — very Maximus-esque. Any time a young team hits a shot like this, you know they are going to go bananas. Good stuff all around.
3 Horrys. This one happened in a tie game, and the shot itself was pretty easy, but given the battle between Love and Griffin, plus the late-game redemption for Rubio that led to the game-winner, I have to bump it up a notch. May all of their future battles end in similar fashion.
What do you think?