That was Steve McQueen jumping his motorcycle over the barbed-wire fence. Tunnels coming mysteriously out of the Staples Center floor. Spurs caught completely by surprise.
It should not have happened. Honestly, not in a couple lifetimes.
But the Lakers pulled off their Great Escape, won a game they seemed certain to lose, maybe should have lost.
Yet just when it appeared the Spurs were about to become bigger winners Wednesday night than David Cook, the Lakers and Kobe Bryant woke from an odd slumber to stun San Antonio, 89-85, in the opener of the Western Conference finals.
Stunned, as in to leave jaws dropped. To leave Spurs muttering to themselves. To leave even their most fervent fans giddy with delight.
To pull it off, they simply had to overcome a 20-point deficit late in the third quarter. Had to overcome horrid offensive games from Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom. Overcome a Bryant who had scored exactly one basket by halftime.
Really, those poor, old, tired Spurs, wheeled in from their rest home, seemed to be in complete control, seemed to be coolly dismantling the rested Lakers, seemed to be ready to steal an opening game that could have turned the entire series.
I think it's safe to say they dispelled all those notions of Tim Duncan being something less than the Tim Duncan who has driven the Lakers bonkers for the past 10 years.
Duncan was the same near-unstoppable force he's always been against the Lakers in the postseason. He led everyone with 30 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks.
Supposedly all worn out from their seven-game series against New Orleans and being stunk on a tarmac until the sun rose Tuesday, the Spurs came out looking remarkably fresh. The Lakers maybe a little too rested.
The Lakers opened the game with something less than impressive intensity. A team that had been eagerly waiting for this opener for five days seemed strangely muted to start the night. The Lakers struggled to find their offense and seemed out of sync against the vaunted Spurs defense.
Bryant came out seemingly intent on getting his teammates involved. Anyway, after what transpired later, best to give him the benefit of the doubt here.
Bryant missed his only shot in the first quarter, while passing out four assists. He didn't hit his first field goal until there was 1:29 left to play in the half.
The Lakers trailed, 72-65, at halftime and the sometimes mysterious Bryant came out seemingly focused on making up for lost time.
"He was checking out his territory, but in the second half he went to work," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
Only at first in the second half, Bryant was not in rhythm, and neither were his teammates.
Shots refused to fall for any Laker. The Spurs' lead just kept growing, threatening to swallow the entire Staples Center and the boastful Lakers' postseason hopes.
San Antonio led, 65-45, with less than five minutes to play in the third quarter, and that should have been a wrap, should have been end of story. It absolutely should have been over.
The veteran, defending champion Spurs don't lose games like this, don't blow 20-point leads when it's looking like a gimme to steal the Lakers home-court advantage.
"A difficult loss," Popovich said. "We had a great opportunity. We didn't take advantage of it. Hurts like hell."
The Spurs committed five turnovers in the fourth quarter. They shot 14.3 percent, hitting just three of 21 shots.
Bryant single-handedly outscored the Spurs in the fourth quarter, 14-13. He finished with 27 points, nine assists, five rebounds and was responsible for keeping Manu Ginobili to 3-for-13 shooting.
It came in a flurry, so quickly the Spurs were probably wondering into the night how the Lakers had escaped.