5 most memorable Buzzer Beaters in NBA history

Check out the top 5 buzzer-beater moments in NBA history. These moments not only decided the fate of the game but also shocked fans and pundits with the amazing skills used in it.

Shubham Shekhar
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Buzzer Beaters in NBA (Source: X)

Buzzer Beaters in NBA (Source: X)

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The stage is set for NBA playoffs 2024, starting from April 20, let us recall the top clutch moments in the history of Basketball. The NBA playoffs have been the platform to produce some iconic last-moment clutch shots that have shocked fans. It has produced some iconic games and thrilling finishes which would not have been easy to watch for faint-hearted fans.

However, in this article, we will rank the top 5 buzzer-beater moments in NBA history. These moments not only decided the fate of the game but also shocked fans and pundits with the amazing skills used in it. To be precise in this listicle we are only considering those final-moment clutches which has ended up on the winning side.

Here are the 5 most memorable Buzzer Beaters in NBA history:

5. John Stockton vs. Houston Rockets (1997)

John Stockton (Source: X)

In game six of the conference finals in 1997 Utah Jazz faced the Houston Rockets to book a place in the NBA finals. This buzzer-beater shot deserves all credit for Utah’s qualification into the finals. With leading the series by 3-2 Utah just needed a win to book their final berth.

However, a spirited performance from the Rockets left them shocked and tied in the last moments of the game. With the game tied at 110 and the clock set to buzz, John Stockton went for a shot from the inbound line and scored a three-pointer. He basketed the ball just before the buzzer and led his team to their first-ever NBA finals. Notably, Utah lost the final in six games against Michael Jordan’s Bulls.

4. Robert Horry vs. Sacramento Kings (2002)

Robert Horry (Source: X)

This game should be marked as one of the biggest comebacks in the history NBA. LA Lakers trailing the conference final series by 1-2 against the Kings displayed an outstanding performance. In the first half of the game, the Kings dominated with high-octane performance taking a staggering lead of 24 points.

However, in the second half Lakers made a resounding comeback and tried to fill the deficit. In the last moments when the Lakers were trailing by two points, Robert Horry scored a three-pointer to seal the game by 100-99. His amazing efforts helped the Lakers to stay alive in the contest.

Also Read: 5 most iconic NBA finals in history

3. Ralph Sampson vs. Los Angeles Lakers (1986)

Ralph Sampson  (Source: X)

With Toronto Rockets 3-1 up against the Los Angeles Lakers a win here would have sealed the deal for them. However, the game had an interesting finish with a last-minute skilful shot from Ralph Sampson. As the game was tied with just a little time left what Sampson did was just incredible stuff.

After stealing the ball Sampson made a quick turn around and leapt over jump to net the ball into the basket. His amazing performance sealed the series and a berth into the finals for the Rockets. Notably, the Rockets lost the finals against Celtics but the heroics of Sampson made headlines.

2. Michael Jordan vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (1989)

Michael Jordon (Source: X)

Similar to Kawhi Leonard Michael Jordan’s buzzer-beater also came in a game that had winner takes all nature. The difference was the number of games as Kawhi did it in 7th game of 7 game series while Jordan did it in 5th game of a five-game series.

With the Bulls 1 down against the 3rd seeded Cavaliers it was looking like a seal deal for the Cavaliers. However, Jordan produced just another masterclass to not only clinch the game but also the series to move ahead. He earned two points from that shot and led his team to the next round. Notably, the Bulls failed to win the Conference finals.

1. Kawhi Leonard vs. Philadelphia 76 years (2019)

Kawhi Leonard (Source: X)

For the top two, it can be fair to count both as the greatest ever buzzer beater. It came in a situation where the winner took all. With the Eastern Conference semifinal series tied at 3-3, each Philadelphia 76ers faced Toronto Raptors in the seventh game of the series. After two halves full of skills and resilience both teams found each other in a thrilling finish.

As the scores were tied at 90 clock was set to buzz pushing this game into extra time. However, Kawhi Leonard had some other plans. Just 5 seconds before the buzzer Leonard received a pass from Marc Gasol. He took the ball in the right corner and jumped to put it in the net. With four bounces on the rim, the basketball made its way through the nets to hand the Raptors a place in the finals.