Euroleague side Alba Berlin defeated the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs 94-93 at the o2 World Arena on Wednesday night as Jamel McLean drained a desperation floater on the buzzer send the crowd in the German capital into sheer delirium.
Tim Duncan’s inbound pass was deflected by Reggie Redding who saved it from going out of bounds again. McLean collected the pass and from just inside the arc heaved a floater.
The ball hit the middle of the backboard and dropped straight though as the horn sounded.
McLean led Alba Berlin with 18 points and 10 rebounds but his last field goal will be the one remembered most. Cliff Hammonds and Alex Renfroe each added 15 in the win.
Tony Parker had a game-high 28 points for the Spurs, as he played 34 minutes with Tim Duncan seeing 32 minutes on court. Both he and NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, who played 29 minutes got 14 points.
While this game was only an exhibition contest, the German side’s jubilation at the end told the whole story. The Berlin bench rushed to the court at the buzzer to crowd around McLean. This was his moment.
“I looked and saw that I had to shoot to beat the clock,” McLean said. “I did that and sent up a quick prayer. As the ball then fell in, I did not even know how to cheer. The situation was completely unreal. Now I can say it was certainly the biggest shot I have made in my career.”
Berlin are currently 2-0 in the German Beko BBL and will gain confidence from this performance as they begin their Euroleague regular season on October 17 at home to CSKA Moscow.
For the NBA champion Spurs, they start their pre-season with a loss. This will not bother coach Gregg Popovich too much, but he will call on major improvements by his players as the new season approaches. San Antonio turned the ball over 22 times with some looking off the pace.
San Antonio travels to Istanbul to face Fenerbahce on Saturday.
“There are good basketball teams around the world now,” Popovich said. “We knew that when we came here. We started out strong, but when I took out my starters, the game shifted. We lacked power and will to win. Of course, We really wanted to win, but ALBA kicked our ass. They did a great job.”