4. Morris Peterson vs. Washington Wizards – Mar. 30, 2007
Moving on to another shot that forced overtime against a Southeast Division team, Morris Peterson’s incredible catch and shoot bucket against the Washington Wizards might rank the highest in terms of sheer difficulty.
Peterson’s shot is undoubtedly the lasting moment of this seemingly random game in late March, but overshadowed was a great battle between Chris Bosh and Gilbert Arenas. Bosh dropped 37 on the Wizards, while the embattled Arenas countered with 34 of his own.
It was Arenas who was the victim of an Anthony Parker foul that sent him to the line with 3.8 seconds remaining and the Wizards clinging to a 107-106 advantage. After Arenas drained both free throws, Parker sent an inbounds pass the length of the court that was intercepted by Washington’s Michael Ruffin. With 1.1 seconds now left on the game clock, Ruffin sent the ball towards the Verizon Center (now Capital One Arena) rafters, believing it would hang in the air long enough for time to run out.
Now I’m no scientist, but according to NASA, gravity is stronger in places with more mass underground when compared to places with less mass. Either Ruffin didn’t pitch the ball high enough, or subterranean Washington D.C. is hiding another world under its stately grounds, as the ball retreated back to earth in a seemingly instantaneous manner. Peterson gave it the heave ho towards the net, releasing it with 0.2 seconds on the clock, and it clanged off the backboard and in to force overtime.
Obviously deflated by the error, the Wizards were in no shape to put up much of a fight in the extra frame. The Raptors outscored Washington 14-9 in OT to win it 123-118.