There are tons of deserving, more significant games, but you won't see a more thrilling finish. And it capped a game in which the banged-up Bulls (who played only seven players) led by 13 in the first half, the Heat led by 14 in the third quarter and by five with 20 seconds left in the first overtime. With the game tied at 127-127, Miami's Dwyane Wade stripped John Salmons in the lane with about three seconds remaining, dribbled ahead and nailed a running 24-foot three-pointer at the buzzer. Wade, who also sent the game to the first OT with a three, had 48 points and 12 assists. ''This is one of those games for the ages,'' Wade said.
2 of 10Greg Nelson/SI
Celtics 97, Lakers 91
Of the historic comebacks this decade -- including the Celtics' rally from a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit against New Jersey in the 2002 East finals and the Lakers' digging out of a 27-point hole against Dallas in December 2002 -- none had higher stakes than Game 4 of the 2008 Finals. In the biggest Finals comeback in 37 years, the Celtics, down 21 after the first quarter, 24 in the second quarter and 20 midway through the third, roared past the Lakers to take a 3-1 series lead.
3 of 10AP
Nets 120, Pacers 109 (2 OT)
On the subject of double-overtime, first-round magic, surely Spurs fans will cite San Antonio's win over Phoenix in Game 1 of the '08 first round. That would've been a worthy choice for this spot, but we'll go with a decisive game from the Pacers-Nets series -- which prompted a rule change. Reggie Miller banked in an improbable (even for him) game-tying turnaround 39-foot three-pointer at the buzzer (after the buzzer, in fact, but the shot stood in the days before instant replay) of regulation and then forced a second OT with a surprising two-handed dunk. The Nets prevailed behind Jason Kidd's 31 points. Two months later, the league instituted instant replay.
4 of 10Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images
Suns 161, Nets 157 (2 OT)
The visiting Suns prevailed after 34 lead changes and 21 ties. Suns guard Steve Nash scored nine of his career-high 42 points in the second overtime, while Jason Kidd produced a triple-double of 38 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists. There were 17 lead changes and eight ties alone in the fourth quarter, when Nash hit an overtime-forcing three at the end of regulation. ''That's the best game I have ever seen,'' Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said.
5 of 10John W. McDonough/SI, AP
Lakers 74, Spurs 73
The last-gasp shot-making elevated to all-time status this chapter of the NBA's best rivalry of the decade. After Tim Duncan made an improbable, go-ahead, off-balance 20-footer with 0.4 seconds left, Derek Fisher countered with a catch-and-shot 18-footer off an inbounds pass that gave the Lakers the victory and an all-important 3-2 series lead. (The Lakers closed it out in Game 6.) Shaquille O'Neal summed it up best: "One lucky shot deserves another."
6 of 10Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Mavs 119, Spurs 111
Five of the seven games were decided by five points or fewer between 60-win Dallas and 63-win San Antonio -- and that doesn't even include Dallas' decisive road victory, during which the Spurs erased a 20-point deficit and nearly completed their comeback from a 3-1 series hole. In fact, San Antonio came all the way back to take a three-point lead late in regulation, but Dirk Nowitzki's (37 points, 15 rebounds) three-point play (completed after Manu Ginobili's foolish foul) helped set up OT. ''This is the best series I've ever played,'' said Tim Duncan, who had 41 points and 15 boards in Game 7.
7 of 10AP, John W. McDonough/SI
Lakers 89, Blazers 84
This was the game that launched the Lakers' mini-dynasty. Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant led the Lakers back from a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit to topple the Blazers in Los Angeles en route to the first of their three consecutive NBA crowns under coach Phil Jackson. "We realize we sort of made cowards of ourselves in the fourth quarter," Scottie Pippen said after his Blazers shot 5-for-23 (22 percent) in the final period.
8 of 10AP, Bob Rosato/SI
Call them Exhibits A and B in Robert Horry's case for being the best role-playing clutch shooter in NBA history. As a Laker in 2002, Horry nailed a buzzer-beating, top-of-the-key three-pointer for a series-tying 100-99 victory against the Kings, the signature moment of a riveting seven-game epic. As a Spur in 2005, Horry (21 points in final 17 minutes) took advantage of Rasheed Wallace's defensive lapse to knock down a three-pointer with 5.9 seconds left in OT to give San Antonio a 96-95 win and, again, a 3-2 series lead.
9 of 10Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images
Bulls 128, Celtics 127 (3 OT)
This was the game that accelerated talk that this opening-round series ranked among the best ever. The third consecutive overtime game of the series (and fourth overall) lasted 63 minutes and featured 51 points from Ray Allen, 35 points from John Salmons and an electrifying three-point play from Joakim Noah in the third extra period. Derrick Rose made the last big play of the night, blocking Rajon Rondo's potential go-ahead shot in the closing seconds. ''It's crazy,'' Rose said, ''but you got to love it."
10 of 10Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images
Lakers 112, Kings 106 (OT)
Because these were the league's two best teams, this was viewed as a winner-take-all game for the championship (the Lakers went on to sweep the Nets in the Finals). The Lakers trailed in the last minute of regulation and the final two minutes of overtime before finishing off an all-time great series. Shaquille O'Neal (35 points and 13 rebounds) and Kobe Bryant (30 and 10) combined to play 102 minutes. The Lakers joined the 1976 Suns (at Golden State) as the only road teams to win a Game 7 in the West finals. The Kings missed 14 of 30 free throws and came up small in crunch time with the exception of Mike Bibby, who scored 14 of their last 18 points.
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