Some of the most memorable moments in the NBA feature game-winners. Whether it’s to win a championship or a regular-season game, everybody loves a game-tying or winning shot. Not all players can pull off a 3-point clutch shot or a swift drive to the basket to take the lead due to the immense pressure that comes with it, which makes NBA buzzer beater shots all the more exciting.
Throughout the years, we’ve seen the best players take the last shot of the game. This time, the NitrogenBetting news team takes a look back and sets our sights on the craziest buzzer beaters in NBA history.
Jerry West (1970)
We start off the list with literally the face of the NBA, Jerry We who happens to record an NBA best clutch shot during his time in the league. Back when all shots only accounted for 2 points, in game 3 of the NBA Finals, the New York Knicks thought they were going to get away with the win after Dave Debrusschere sank a jumper in the closing seconds.
To their dismay, Jerry West’s attempt to level it from 60 feet away brought the game to overtime. Although New York ended up with the win and eventually the series, it was a memorable moment altogether.
Gar Heard (1976)
The 1976 Celtics vs Suns NBA Finals game is a true classic, featuring lots of drama and an even more memorable game-winner. Out of all the plays that transpired during the series, Game 5 is the one to watch. The Celtics were up 111-110 in the dying seconds of the second overtime.
With only a second left on the clock, Gar Heard didn’t waste any more precious time and turned around to attempt and hit a 20-foot jumper. While the series did not end well for the Suns, the series offered an overflowing amount of moments to remember.
Michael Jordan (1989)
The earlier years of Michael Jordan with the bulls saw him play with minimal help. The then up-and-coming face of the franchise further cemented his name in the league after sending the Cleveland Cavaliers home in the 1989 playoffs.
This NBA buzzer-beater shot saw Jordan leaving his defender Larry Nance to double-clutch and lock in on a game-winner and an eventual 101-100 victory. More than that, Chicago had upset a Cavaliers team that finished the regular season in third seed.
John Stockton (1997)
Possibly one of the most deserving players not to get a ring was John Stockton. However, he did make one of the most memorable NBA buzzer beater shots during his bout against the Houston Rockets. Their only chance to win the 100-100 tie game was to work 2.8 seconds, which Stockton made the most of.
Stockton saw an open look three-pointer after catching the inbound pass to seal a 4-2 victory against Charles Barkley and company with arguably the NBA best clutch shot this world has ever seen.
Kobe Bryant (2006)
The NBA clutch shot will always be associated with several names, and Kobe Bryant is one of them. With only 6.1 seconds to work with during Game 4 of a series against the Suns, the Lakers bagged the game with the help of a forced turnover, which was caught by Bryan.
The shooting guard then milked the clock, taking five dribbles before pulling up for the shot. Although the Suns would end up winning the series with three consecutive wins, this moment will always have a place in the craziest buzzer beaters in history.
LeBron James (2009)
Many say that LeBron doesn’t have it in him to take the big shots and that you shouldn’t bank on your NBA betting odds going your way if he takes the last-second shot. But, this shot alone might just change how they see the now-LA Laker superstar.
During the 2008-09 season, which also happens to be the year LeBron was given his first rookie of the year award, the Cavs were trailing the Orlando Magic in a 95-93 thriller in the Eastern Conference Finals. With only a second to spare, LeBron caught an inbound pass that he then converted to a 3-point fade away to silence the Magic and tie the series with one apiece.
Damian Lillard (2014)
They don’t call him Dame Time for nothing. The Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard took it to his hands to end their 6-game bout with the Rockets in the 2014 playoffs. Only 0.9 seconds separated the Rockets and a 7-game stretch in the first round of the 2014 playoffs. But, Lillard wasn’t having it.
The Blazers needed at least 2 points to tie the game, and Lillard took advantage of a double screen to get open for a fadeaway shot defended by Chandler Parsons. Knowing his range, this was a shot that Dame can pull off. True enough, he cashed in on the 27 foot shot to end the game and a ticket to the next round.