(2) The famous and-1 layup against the Spurs (2006)
This isn't a game-winner, really, but it's still one of the most amazing clutch shots of Dirk's career. It's also one of those shots where if you watched it live, you probably remember where you were and how you felt.
For me, it was all about the crazy change in emotions. Mavs led Game 7 big early, crumbled in the third and fourth quarters and then Manu hit that 3-pointer. The arena was rocking, and me and my friends all wanted to throw up.
We were all just very downtrodden. We talked about maybe going for a quick two? Did it really matter? What was the point of life? A Manu three-pointer was going to be the death of us all.
So that's why it was so great when Dirk made it. It was so quick, so sudden, it took us a few seconds to process what happened. Also, the play went to help crush the "Dirk is a soft jump shooter" narrative that made me want to rip my hair out.
- Josh Bowe (@Boweman55)
(15) Drive and pull-up takes out Charlotte (2009)
So, if I tell you that basket put Dirk at 36 points for the game, you already know what the narrative is, right? Nowitzki wrecked havoc all game long and finally, despite getting no help from his teammates, took it upon himself to beat the lowly Bobcats.
Not so much. Dirk did have 36, but shot just 14-of-34 in this game. That's right -- Dirk missed TWENTY shots this game. Via basketball reference's game finder, that's the most shots Dirk has EVER missed in a single game. Let that sink in.
Even then, in the worst shooting game of his life (well, at least by quantity), Dirk still scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, including the final 10 for the Mavericks. Down 85-79 with 1:29 left in regulation, Dirk scored on three straight possessions to force overtime. Six more points in overtime, including two jumpers in the final 24 seconds, and the Mavericks just barely nab this win.
So there you have it. Even when Dirk is worse than he's ever been, he still carries the Mavericks and takes over in the fourth quarter to win the game.
Also: LOOK AT THAT HAIR. IT'S GLORIOUS.
- Tim Cato (@tim_cato)