A first round exit for the San Antonio Spurs to the Memphis Grizzlies looked very likely in Game Five, but the basketball gods had other plans.
Somehow, some way, with the season ticking down on San Antonio, the ball started to bounce around like a hot potato with the clock ticking down to under five seconds, and then ended up in the hands of Manu Ginobli.
The veteran guard then darted to a spot in the corner to hoist up a three, and hit an improbable three-pointer over the outstretched arm of 7'1 Marc Gasol to tie the game at 95-95 with 2.2 seconds left.
But it turned out it wasn't a three-pointer, as Ginobli's foot was on the line. The now-two-point shot meant that the Spurs trailed 95-94.
After an immediate foul on Zach Randolph, and two converted free throws, the Spurs looked like they would be going home for good unless they got another miraculous shot.
With 1.7 seconds remaining, the Spurs got that improbable. And it didn't come at the hands of Ginobli, or even Tony Parker, Richard Jefferson, Tim Duncan, or George Hill, but rather first-year guard Gary Neal.
The 26-year-old newcomer nailed a three-pointer over the leaping O.J. Mayo at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime. In extra time, the Spurs finished off the Grizzlies, in the fashion that many would have expected them to do in regulation.
Talk about surviving. Not one, but two shots within three seconds, after being down by five points with less than two minutes in the game.
This veteran Spurs' club must be shaking their heads after Game Five, wondering how the game got so close, and how they were able to pull off such an unlikely victory.
But things don't get easier.
The Grizzlies have two more games to try to unseat the one-seed. The series shifts back to Memphis, and the Spurs may need more than just late-game theater to send the series to a Game Seven.
Memphis has not been intimidated, and will continue to show the resilience that has been their trademark this season.