Jordan scored 45 points and capped his Chicago career with a last-second jumper over Utah's Bryon Russell that clinched the Bulls' sixth title in eight seasons.
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Rockets vs. Knicks
Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing toiled in the NBA for 19 combined seasons before reaching these Finals. They were upstaged during Game 3, however, when NBC preempted Rockets-Knicks coverage to air police chasing O.J. Simpson down a Southern California freeway.
3 of 20Manny Millan/SI
To offset Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's ankle injury, Magic moved to center and guided the undersized Lakers to a championship-clinching road win over the 76ers. The rookie Johnson scored 42 points and grabbed 15 boards.
4 of 20Richard Meek/SI
The St. Louis forward scored 50 points (including 19 in the fourth quarter) in his team's title-clinching win against the Celtics.
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Jordan fought off an energy-zapping flu bug to get 38 points, seven boards and five assists -- including the game-winning shot with 25 seconds left. Chicago went on to win its fifth championship in seven seasons.
6 of 20Manny Millan/SI
Dr. J's out-of-this-world reverse layup against the Lakers is still hailed by Magic Johnson as the greatest play he's ever seen.
7 of 20George Long/LPI/WireImage.com
The Logo was a postseason force, including being named the 1969 Finals MVP even though the Lakers lost the series to Boston. Two more signature moments: his steal and game-winning layup to give the Lakers a 2-1 series lead in 1962 (Boston won it in seven); and his buzzer-beating 60-footer to force overtime against the Knicks in '70 (New York won the game and the series, forcing West to wait two more years for his first and only title).
8 of 20Dick Raphael/SI
The Suns' forward nailed a turnaround 22-footer at the buzzer to force a third overtime. Heard's improbable shot helped put the Celtics' 128-126 victory in the conversation of the greatest games in NBA history.
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Baylor erupted for a Finals-record 61 points and grabbed 22 boards as the Lakers won 126-121 at Boston Garden to take a 3-2 series lead. But the Celtics rallied to win Games 6 and 7 (including a 110-107 OT victory in the clincher) in a classic first Finals meeting between L.A. and Boston.
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Miami lost the first two games and trailed Dallas 89-76 in Game 3. But Dwyane Wade scored 12 of his 42 points during a game-ending 22-7 run as Miami won 98-96, the first of its four consecutive victories en route to the franchise's first championship. Wade was named Finals MVP after averaging 34.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.7 steals.
11 of 20Walter Iooss Jr./SI
An injured Willis Reed made a dramatic entrance and scored two immediate baskets, further energizing the crowd at Madison Square Garden. He then watched Walt Frazier (pictured, 36 points, 19 assists) and the Knicks throttle the Lakers to win the championship.
12 of 20Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
Jordan hit six three-pointers and scored 35 points in the opening half against Clyde Drexler and the Trail Blazers. Chicago coasted to a 122-89 victory.
13 of 20Getty Images
Playing on a severely sprained ankle, Thomas scored 25 points in the third quarter and almost single-handedly carried Detroit to a series-clinching victory. (The Lakers won the game and the next one, too.)
14 of 20Manny Millan/SI
In one of the most memorable moments in Finals history, Magic won Game 4 with what he called his "junior, junior, junior sky hook." That victory in Boston gave the Lakers a 3-1 lead; they wrapped it up two games later in Los Angeles, where 39-year-old Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 32 points and Magic closed with 16 points, 19 assists and eight rebounds. Johnson became the fourth player to win the regular-season and Finals MVP awards.
15 of 20Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
Paxson's game-winning three-pointer in Phoenix gave the Bulls their third consecutive championship.
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In one of the greatest winning-take-all games in NBA history, the Celtics beat the Lakers 110-107 in overtime behind Bill Russell's 30 points and 40 rebounds. Bob Cousy memorably dribbled out the clock.
17 of 20Bob Rosato/SI
Horry came off the bench to score all 21 of his points after halftime against the Pistons, including the game-winning three-pointer with 5.8 seconds left in overtime. The shot gave the Spurs a 3-2 series lead, and they won the title in seven.
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Four years after another sharpshooter (John Paxson) provided the Finals-winning jump shot for the Bulls in a Game 6 (at Phoenix), Kerr did the same with a mid-range J against the Jazz in Chicago.
19 of 20Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images
The Lakers had the Celtics on the ropes, leading the series 1-0 and nursing a 115-113 advantage with 15 seconds left in Game 2. But Henderson (pictured here during Boston's title celebration) picked off James Worthy's lazy backcourt pass and turned it into a game-tying layup. Boston prevailed in overtime to climb back into the series.
20 of 20Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Sampson brawled with Boston guard Jerry Sichting early in the game and subsequently cursed in a live interview with CBS just moments after both players were ejected. The Rockets then routed the Celtics to extend the series to a sixth game. The Celtics won Game 6 at Boston Garden to claim their 16th championship.
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