Frenetic and high scoring, basketball often goes down to the wire. In no particular order, here are some of the most unbelievable buzzer beaters the NBA has ever seen.
Jordan Leads The Bulls to an Upset in 1989
Michael Jordan’s time at the Chicago Bulls marked a high point in the team’s history. Arguably the greatest player of all time, Jordan certainly has his share of magical moments from which to pick. When it comes to buzzer beaters let’s take a look at what happened in 1989.
It was postseason, with the Bulls facing up to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jordan did what Jordan does and gave his team a one-point lead, only for a layup by Craig Ehlo to put the Bulls behind with time almost out. Three seconds were on the clock. And that’s when Jordan made what has since become known as The Shot. He received a pass, evaded the defense of the Cavaliers, and made The Shot, to claim the win for the Bulls by 101-100 points. The Cavaliers had been seeded third, but that was no match for Jordan on his day, who scored with minimum time and maximum pressure to take the win for the Bulls.
Betting on Sports in the USA
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Many online sportsbooks also have casino game sections. Other than that there are many offshore casinos that offer amazing bonus codes for USA players that require no deposit of money. No deposit codes live up to their name, with bettors receiving a small number of free spins or a little free cash to try and win real money prizes. For sports bettors unsure if the casino is for them, such promos offer a great way to find out without risking a penny.
Kyle Lowry and the Half-Court Buzzer Beater
When the clock’s down to practically zero and you’re just a hair behind, the psychological stress is high, but how much more so when the net is on the other side of the court and there’s just barely time for a shot? That was the burden on the shoulders of Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors when they were up against the Miami Heat (a team he would later join). To make matters worse, it was the 2016 Eastern Conference Semi-Final.
The Raptors were staring down the barrel of a three-point deficit and when Lowry got the ball he was by his own net and there were three seconds left to play. He dribbled as far as he could and then made the half-court shot to tie the game 90-90. While the overtime would see the Raptors defeated, the shot brought the crowd to their feet and was an epic moment for fans to enjoy.
Gar Heard and His One Second of Glory in 1976
The 1976 NBA Finals was a classic, and game 5 is held up by many as being one of the sporting highlights of basketball. The Phoenix Suns were up against the Boston Celtics, and it was extremely tight in every game of the series. The fifth was a particularly close contest, with three overtime periods. It could easily have been two.
There was just one second left to play after John Havlicek put the Celtics ahead by a single point (111-110). The crowd went wild, storming the court, and the Celtics started to drift back to their locker room. The Suns pointed out there was time on the clock (just about), and the game resumed in a weird fashion.
The rules have been changed since to prevent a recurrence of such shenanigans, but the Suns called a timeout despite not having any left. This caused a technical foul and gave the Celtics a free throw, and Jo Jo White duly extended the lead to two points. When play resumed, Heard caught the inbound pass and scored a turnaround jumper to level the scores and take the game to a third period of overtime. This was not enough to win the game, however, which ended up going the Celtics’ way, as did the Finals the following game.
Derek Fisher and the 0.4 Shot
There have been plenty of close calls on this list of best-ever buzzer beaters but you need to search pretty hard to find anything closer than a shot made with 0.4 seconds to spare. Derek Fisher was the man with impeccable timing and the stage for his stunning shot was the Western Conference Semi-Final, when the Los Angeles Lakers played the San Antonio Spurs.
It was in game 5 of the sporting clash that the timeliest of shots was made, with Spurs 73-72 ahead thanks to Tim Duncan’s fadeaway 18 footer over the head of no less than Shaquille O’Neal. There were just 0.4s on the clock, yet a trio of timeouts for strategic planning and defensive preparations meant the game went on a little longer. Upon resumption, Gary Payton inbounded to Fisher who managed to turn, shoot, and score.
That brings us to the end of our look at last minute shots in the NBA over the decades, which go to show that it isn’t over until the fat lady sings.
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