Over his 15 years in the NBA, forward Bo Outlaw was largely known for his ability to defend and rebound. On this day 25 years ago, however, Outlaw powered the offense and played the role of hero.
Outlaw’s hook in the lane with 1.1 seconds left ultimately averted disaster. The Orlando Magic used it to defeat the Atlanta Hawks, 91-90.
The Magic had lost eight of nine as they arrived at Orlando Arena on Feb. 3, 1998. Orlando led by seven points with about 10 minutes to go, but with seconds remaining, that lead had evaporated.
Two free throws from Steve Smith and a basket from Tyrone Corbin with 7.7 seconds left had given the Hawks a 90-89 lead. Things seemed to go from bad to worse when Mookie Blaylock blocked Mark Price’s go-ahead attempt on the other end, but Outlaw was there to retrieve the loose ball. His lefty hook from just shy of the foul line went down to cap the scoring.
Blaylock would get off a desperation heave for Atlanta, but it was nowhere close. For just the second time in 10 games, the Magic were winners.
Outlaw led Orlando with 23 points and 17 rebounds in the win. Price and Rony Seikaly each tallied 12 points. Horace Grant and Nick Anderson each finished with 11 in the victory.
Smith led five Hawks in double figures with 18 points. Blaylock nearly recorded an unconventional triple-double, recording 15 points, nine assists, and eight steals.
For Outlaw, the 1997-98 season would be a career-year in which he averaged career-highs in scoring (9.5 points per game), rebounds (7.8 per game), and blocks (2.2 per game). Outlaw would score a career-high 29 points later in the month, but his most memorable moment with the Magic may have been the game-winner to beat Atlanta. It came on this day a quarter-century ago.