Mr Clutch strikes again: Speedy Smith with the game-winning triple on mom's birthday
MIES (Switzerland) - Over the eight-year long history of the Basketball Champions League, there have been plenty of big clutch shots.
Speedy Smith hit yet another one on Wednesday, for Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem to overcome Peristeri bwin 77-75 on the road and start the Round of 16 on a winning note.
It wasn't the prettiest game of all time, as both teams missed multiple chances to win in regulation. It went down to the wire in overtime, too, with Joe Ragland giving Peristeri a one-point lead ahead of Jerusalem's final possession of the game.
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Hapoel coach Ilias Kantzouris drew it up for Levi Randolph, who swung the ball around until it found a wide open Speedy Smith.
The Jerusalem point guard hit the dagger three with 1.9 seconds left on the cloock, and since Peristeri were out of timeouts, Ragland's halfcourt hail-Mary did not fall at the buzzer.
Smith finished with 22 points, 6 assists and one very special quote after the game.
"I just want to wish my mom happy birthday - most important," Speedy said just before leaving the press conference.
Smith is no stranger to big clutch plays in this league. Earlier this season he had a big three-pointer to send the game to overtime against Galatasaray EKMAS, and made another one in OT to propel Hapoel to a win.
Even before he joined Jerusalem, we witnessed some impressive shot-making while he was at Rytas Vilnius, even at the biggest stage.
He made two gigantic three-pointers to defeat the back-to-back BCL winners Hereda San Pablo Burgos on the road back in 2021, winning the group for the Lithuanian juggernauts.
Limoges CSP fans also remember his clutchness. In the 2020-21 campaign, Smith had a pair of game winning shots for Limoges in the French League, both coming against JL Bourg.
He made winning close games a habit. No wonder they love him wherever he plays.