Isaiah Thomas is known as Mr. Fourth Quarter for the Boston Celtics as he leads the NBA in points in the final period, but his fourth quarter in Phoenix will be remembered for the wrong reasons.
Despite scoring 14 points in the final 12 minutes, Thomas missed a crucial free throw down the stretch and made a costly turnover that led to an incredible buzzer-beater by Suns point guard Tyler Ulis.
Thomas made one of two free throws which put the Celtics up by two with just over 10 seconds remaining. With no timeouts remaining, Eric Bledsoe raced up the floor and made a layup which tied the game at 106.
Boston inbounded the ball to Isaiah who was immediately smothered by Suns rookie Marquese Chriss, forcing him to lose control of the ball and it fell kindly into the hands of Ulis who knocked down a beautiful step-back three-pointer over the Celtics man to send the home fans into raptures.
For large periods of the fourth quarter, it appeared the headlines would be dominated by a 5'9" point guard wearing a green uniform once again, but the night ultimately belonged to a 5'9" player wearing the orange of the Phoenix Suns.
"I figured it would come down to me having to take a late shot," Ulis said. "Not like that, you know, off the steal, but I just shot it with confidence."
It was a dramatic finale that epitomised everything that's good about the NBA.
Like his miniature counterpart, Ulis was deemed too small to play in the league and was also drafted in the second round. But he has now made a name for himself in Arizona after a memorable game-winning shot and a career-high 20 points against one of the league's best teams.
It was probably fitting that the 21-year-old produced this moment against Thomas, a player who he can use as an inspiration to be a success in the NBA because of his size.