A reminder on The Horry Scale: It breaks down 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 night in November?) and celebration. Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, named for the patron saint of last-second answered prayers.
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With Minnesota’s Jarred Vanderbilt at the line with a chance to ice the game, it appeared Orlando was headed to its seventh straight loss.
When the rebound found Cole Anthony with 4 seconds remaining in regulation, the rookie knew exactly what to do: Push the ball quickly up court and launch a desperation 3-pointer.
Swish. Magic 97, Timberwolves 96.
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At full speed, Anthony dribbled four times and pulled up from 25 feet, firing a shot over Malik Beasley in front of the Magic bench. Nothing but the bottom of the net — and nothing easy about that.
Trailing by 20 early in the third quarter, Orlando chipped away at Minnesota’s lead. Anthony cut the deficit to 96-94 with a 3-pointer with 34.6 seconds remaining. And with 4.6 seconds left, Anthony fouled Vanderbilt, who missed both free throws and opened the door for the improbable finish.
Anthony’s momentum carried him to the Magic bench, where he was immediately mobbed by his teammates. The party continued moments later in the locker room after the team doused Anthony with water.
After a 6-2 start, not much has gone right for the Magic this season. This was a big moment for Anthony, who took over starting point guard duties in the wake of Markelle Fultz’s season-ending injury. Perhaps this will give the rookie more confidence and help turn Orlando’s season around. 3 Horrys.