Culture of Hoops

The Greatest NBA Playoff Games Ever

Image courtesy of the Philadelphia 76ers/Facebook.

The NBA Playoffs are the pinnacle of basketball competition, where the best teams and players battle it out for a chance at the championship. Throughout the years, the playoffs have provided some of the most thrilling moments in NBA history, with unforgettable performances, dramatic comebacks, and clutch shots. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the greatest NBA Playoff games ever played.

1998 NBA Finals, Game 6 – Chicago Bulls vs. Utah Jazz
Michael Jordan‘s iconic “flu game” is still remembered as one of the greatest performances in NBA history. Despite battling a fever and dehydration, Jordan scored 38 points, including a crucial three-pointer in the final minutes, to lead the Bulls to their sixth championship. This game also featured a memorable battle between Jordan and Jazz guard John Stockton, as both players traded clutch shots down the stretch.

2016 NBA Finals, Game 7 – Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors
In a historic matchup between the two best teams in the league, the Cavaliers came back from a 3-1 deficit to win their first championship in franchise history. LeBron James had a triple-double with 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists, while Kyrie Irving hit the game-winning three-pointer with less than a minute left. The game was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team able to pull away until the final minutes. The Cavaliers’ victory was particularly sweet, as they had lost to the Warriors in the Finals the previous year.

2000 Western Conference Finals, Game 7 – Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers
The Lakers staged one of the greatest comebacks in NBA history, overcoming a 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win in overtime. Kobe Bryant scored 25 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter and overtime, while Shaquille O’Neal had 18 points and 17 rebounds. The Blazers were unable to stop the Lakers’ momentum down the stretch, as the Lakers outscored them 31-13 in the fourth quarter and overtime combined.

1970 NBA Finals, Game 7 – New York Knicks vs. Los Angeles Lakers
This game is often referred to as the “Willis Reed Game” after the Knicks’ captain, who hobbled onto the court with a torn thigh muscle to inspire his team to victory. Reed only played a few minutes, but his presence fired up the Knicks, who won their first championship in franchise history. The game was also notable for the Knicks’ stifling defense, as they held the high-scoring Lakers to just 113 points.

2013 NBA Finals, Game 6 – Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs
In a thrilling back-and-forth game, the Heat staved off elimination and forced a Game 7 thanks to an unforgettable three-pointer by Ray Allen with 5.2 seconds left. The Heat went on to win the championship in Game 7. The game was a showcase for some of the best players in the league, with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh leading the Heat, and Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili leading the Spurs.

1980 NBA Finals, Game 6 – Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Magic Johnson, playing in place of the injured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, had one of the greatest performances in NBA Finals history. He scored 42 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and dished out 7 assists to lead the Lakers to victory and win Finals MVP as a rookie. The game was also notable for the Lakers’ stifling defense in the fourth quarter, as they held the 76ers to just 9 points.

2019 Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 7 – Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers
This game featured one of the most dramatic shots in NBA history, as Kawhi Leonard hit a buzzer-beater to send the Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals. Leonard finished with 41 points and 8 rebounds, while Joel Embiid had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the 76ers. The game was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team able to build a comfortable lead until the final seconds.

1994 NBA Finals, Game 7 – Houston Rockets vs. New York Knicks
Hakeem Olajuwon had a dominating performance in Game 7 of the 1994 NBA Finals, scoring 25 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to lead the Rockets to their first championship in franchise history. The game was also notable for the Knicks’ missed opportunities, as they missed several key free throws and layups in the final minutes.

1962 NBA Finals, Game 7 – Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Bill Russell had one of the greatest defensive performances in NBA Finals history, grabbing 40 rebounds and blocking several shots to lead the Celtics to victory. The game also featured a duel between two of the greatest players of all time, Russell and Lakers guard Elgin Baylor, who scored 41 points despite being double-teamed throughout the game.

2018 Western Conference Finals, Game 7 – Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets
In a tense back-and-forth game, the Warriors overcame a 15-point deficit in the second half to win the game and advance to the NBA Finals. Kevin Durant had 34 points and 5 rebounds, while Stephen Curry had 27 points and 9 rebounds. The game was also notable for the Warriors’ stifling defense in the second half, as they held the Rockets to just 25 points.

In conclusion, the NBA playoffs have provided some of the most memorable and exciting moments in basketball history. From buzzer-beating shots to dominant performances, these games have captured the hearts of basketball fans around the world. While this list represents just a small sampling of the greatest NBA playoff games ever, it is a testament to the power of the playoffs to produce unforgettable moments that will be remembered for years to come. As we look forward to the next NBA postseason, we can only hope that it will be as thrilling and unforgettable as the games that have come before.

1 Comment

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

To Top