Top 10 Most Memorable Performances of NBA Playoff History


Check out our Top 10 Most Memorable Performances of NBA Playoff History, complete with highlights.

What a week for buzzer beaters in the NBA playoffs. LeBron, D-Rose and Paul Pierce (almost hit two) all hit game winners in the past week, and this got me thinking: what are the Top 10 most memorable performance of NBA play off history?

As fans of the NBA, and the game, we all spent hours in the driveway or gym trying to duplicate these exact moments.

So, here they are; from #10 to #1, my all time most memorable performances of NBA play off history! Check out the videos, break out your kicks, and give them a try for yourself in the driveway.

#10 – “The Shrug”

Even the greatest of all time had nights he couldn’t even explain, and that’s exactly what happened to Michael Jordan in the 92 Finals vs Portland. Six three pointers in a half; the shrug said it all.


#9 – 8 points in 8.9 seconds

Trailing 105-99 with 18.7 seconds left in a playoff game is all but a guaranteed defeat.  Someone forgot to tell Reggie Miller that on May 7, 1995.  Miller took the inbounds pass and hit the three pointer. Miller then stole the inbound pass, stepped back to drill another three, and then hit two clutch free throws to seal it.

Watch “Reggie Miller Scores 8 Points in 8.9 Seconds – May 7, 1995” on YouTube

#8 – 0.4 Seconds

Tim Duncan had just given the Spurs the lead, and they were about to go up 3-2 in the Western Conference Finals with only 0.4 seconds left. That’s when Derrick Fisher hit one of the greatest shots in NBA history to give the Lakers the victory. This shot forever changed NBA history. Think about it: if this shot doesn’t go in, you have to think the Spurs win the series and easily beat the Pistons in the Finals, adding another title to the Spurs dynasty, and taking one of Kobe’s rings.

Watch Derek Fisher’s 0.4 Second Game Winner vs Spurs!” on YouTube

#7 – Big Shot Bob

In the greatest series in NBA history, in my opinion, the Lakers were down 24 points in the first half of Game 4. A furious comeback had them down 2 on the verge of trailing 3 games to 1 in the Western Conference Finals. With only seconds remaining, Kobe Bryant drives the lane and misses at the rim. Brian Shaw grabs the board and missed from point blank range. Kings center Vlade Divac tipped the ball out expecting the clock to hit zero, and a near guarantee for a trip to the NBA Finals. That’s when it happened. Robert Horry hits the three as time expires, and changes the entire series. Horry’s three iced the series, and essentially, the Kings franchise.

Watch “Robert Horry game winning shot vs Kings 2002” on YouTube

#6 – “The Shot”

The first huge playoff winner in MJ’s career came in this series clinching game vs the Cavs.  Chicago had been winless vs Cleveland in the regular season before His Airness took over and dominated this series. “The Shot” over Ehlo is even all that more great when you count the Cavs jerseys in Jordan’s face.

Watch “Michael Jordan THE SHOT on Ehlo” on YouTube

#5 – Refuse To Lose

The greatest single game performance in recent memory was the show LeBron put on in the double overtime Game 5 of the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals. Scoring the last 25 Cavalier points and 29 of the last 30, King James willed his team to the win. Had this taken place in the Finals in a series clinching title, it would top my list.

Watch “LeBron James takes over Game 5!” on YouTube

#4 – Three-Peat: Part 1

Many people feel the 2003 Suns were the best team the Bulls ever faced in any of the title runs. Down 2, and looking like it was headed for a Game 7, all eyes were on Jordan as the clock winded down.  That’s when Pippen-to-Grant-to-Paxson occurred. John Macbeth Paxson, the most unlikely of heroes hitting possibly the greatest Finals three pointer in NBA history.

Watch “Greatest Moments in NBA History – John Paxson Game Winning” on YouTube

#3 – Celtics vs. Lakers

1962 Finals, Mr. Championship himself (11 rings), Bill Russell, lead the Celtics to a 110-107 Game 7 victory behind a 30 point/40 rebound performance.  Russell played in ten game sevens in his career, winning all ten. None were more impressive than his 1962 Game 7.

Watch “Bill Russell Highlights 1962 Finals G7 vs Lakers – 30 Pts, 40 Rebs” on YouTube

#2 – Enter The Rookie

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the league MVP and most dominant player in the 1980 season. However in Game 5, Kareem suffered a sprained ankle and was unavailable for Game 6 at Philadelphia, and would have probably been unavailable for a Game 7. That’s when 20 year old rookie Magic Johnson took over Game 6 with 42 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists on the road in the championship clinching Game 6 victory.  Magic played all five positions in this game cementing himself as the series MVP.

Watch “Magic Johnson 42 pts,15 reb,7 ast, nba-finals 1980 lakers vs 76ers game 6” on YouTube

#1 – The Greatest Exits The Game

This moment has to be #1. If you call yourself a fan of the game this one shot should define your love for the game. This is a shot that most fans of the game remember exactly where they were when they saw it. This is the true last shot of MJ’s career. This game winner clinched 6 championships, six finals MVP’s and two three-peats. There was absolutely nothing Byron Russell could do to stop this shot. What else can be said about this great career and the final shot?

Watch “1998: Jordan’s Last Shot” on YouTube

So that’s my Top 10 Most Memorable Performances of NBA Playoff History. What are yours? Am I way off? Let me know yours in the comments below!

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