It's still known simply as The Shot. With his Bulls trailing 100-99 and 3.2 seconds left in the decisive Game 5 of the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series, Jordan took an inbounds pass and sank a hanging jumper over Craig Ehlo at the horn to silence 20,000 Cleveland fans and give the Bulls their first playoff series triumph of the Jordan Era.
2 of 13
They didn't call him Big Shot Rob for nothing. With his Lakers trailing in the final seconds of Game 4 of the '02 Western finals in Los Angeles, Robert Horry collected a batted ball by Vlade Divac beyond the three-point arc and calmly buried a dagger from straight on. The buzzer-beater gave L.A. a 100-99 victory and evened the series at 2-2. They would go on to win it, and eventually the third of three straight NBA titles.
3 of 13
It was the perfect ending to Michael Jordan's career (at least we thought so at the time). With his team trailing by a point late in Game 6 of the '98 NBA Finals in Utah, Jordan stripped Karl Malone at one end, dribbled down court and swished a 20-footer with 5.2 seconds left to lift the Bulls to their second three-peat of the decade. Jordan, who was set to retire, held his pose for a moment as if to say farewell.
4 of 13
It might have been the most amazing shot in NBA playoff history. With the Lakers down two with 0.4 seconds left in Game 5 of the '04 Western Conference playoff series, Derek Fisher took an inbounds pass and threw up a 19-foot prayer to stun the Spurs and give L.A. a 3-2 series lead. Buoyed by Fisher's miracle, the Lakers would go on win the series and reach the Finals for the fourth time in five seasons.
5 of 13
It's still known as the Memorial Day Miracle. With the Spurs trailing by a point late in Game 2 of the '99 Western Conference finals, Sean Elliott took an inbounds pass, tiptoed along the sideline and nailed a three-pointer with nine seconds left to lift San Antonio to the victory. The incredible shot shifted momentum of series and sent the Spurs on to the first of their four NBA titles in nine years.
6 of 13
John Paxson hit a lot of big shots for the Bulls, but none bigger than this one. With Chicago trailing late in Game 6 of the '93 Finals in Phoenix, Horace Grant got a pass from Scottie Pippen down low, turned and threw it back to Paxson open behind the three-point line. Johnny Jumpshot calmly drained it to give the Bulls a 4-2 series victory and the first of their two three-peats in the decade.
7 of 13
With the Suns trailing by three points late in Game 4 of the '97 Western Conference playoffs, Rex Chapman took an inbounds pass while heading out of bounds and flung up a running jumper with 1.9 seconds left to tie the game. Phoenix would go on to lose the contest and the series, but Chapman's incredible shot lives as one of the NBA's all-time great highlights.
8 of 13
With the score tied 86-all in the final seconds of Game 6 of the '97 Finals, the Bulls called timeout to set up a final play. In the huddle Jordan told Steve Kerr to be ready. Jordan then took the inbounds pass, drew a double team from John Stockton, and pitched the ball back to Kerr at the top of the key. Kerr-plunk! Chicago had its fifth NBA title in seven seasons.
9 of 13
Just three years after his heroics in Sacramento, Big Shot Rob was up to his old tricks. With his Spurs trailing by two late in OT of Game 5 of the '05 Finals in Detroit, Rasheed Wallace left Horry to double Manu Ginobili in the corner. Bad decision. Ginobili fired the ball to Horry beyond the arc, who drained it to give San Antonio a 96-95 victory and a 3-2 series lead en route to the third of its four NBA titles.
10 of 13
John Stockton could do more than drop dimes and rack up steals. With the Jazz trailing in the final seconds of Game 6 of the '97 Western Conference finals, the NBA's all-time career assists and steals leader sank a three-pointer over Charles Barkley at the horn to vanquish the Rockets and send Utah on to the first of two straight Finals appearances.
11 of 13
It was the most clutch shot in the Greatest Game Ever Played. With his Suns trailing by two points with one second to play in double OT of Game 6 of the '76 Finals in Boston, Garfield Heard took an inbounds pass and swished a turnaround 20-foot jumper from the top of key to send it into a third extra period. The Suns would go on to fall, 128-126, but Heard's heroic jumper was truly Heard Round the NBA World.
12 of 13
When the Pistons needed to put the Blazers on ice in the '90 Finals, they turned to the Microwave. Vinnie Johnson responded by hitting a 15-foot jumper from the right side with 0.7 seconds left in Game 5, giving Detroit a 92-90 series-clinching victory and the second of back-to-back titles. "I'm not going to say I knew the shot was going in," Johnson later said. "But it felt good."
13 of 13
Ron Artest's buzzer-beating put-back in Game 6 of the 2010 Western finals against Phoenix handed the Lakers a 3-2 series lead and put them a game away from returning to the Finals.
You May Like
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!