Notable series-clinching shots in NBA playoff history

This win, which came on May 29, 1997, will always be special to Jazz fans. It not only moved them on in a series, but moved the franchise on to its first-ever NBA Finals.

The Jazz trailed by 13 points with less than seven minutes to play, but Stockton scored 15 of his game-high 25 in the final quarter, including the team’s final nine points — none more dramatic than the series-ending 3-pointer.

Stockton took the inbound pass from Bryon Russell behind a pick from Karl Malone and had a wide-open look from the top of the arc. Rockets forward Charles Barkley was too late coming over and Stockton’s shot swished through at the buzzer.

2014 Western Conference first round — Blazers vs. Rockets

The shot: Damian Lillard nails 3-pointer to clinch Game 6

Damian Lillard sank the Rockets with a 3-pointer in Game 6 of the first round.

In his first playoff run with the Portland Trail Blazers, second-year guard Damian Lillard made a lasting impression in Game 6 of the Western Conference first round. And he did it all in 9/10ths of a second, too.

On May 2, 2014, the Houston Rockets had built a 98-96 lead thanks to a reverse layup by Chandler Parsons with :00.9 left. The Blazers called timeout to advance the ball to half court, where Nicolas Batum hit Lillard, who came off a screen at the top of the key with Parsons trailing him. Lillard let go of the shot from a step behind the 3-point line and it drew all net.

In doing so, Lillard became the first player to make a buzzer-beating shot to win a playoff series since Stockton’s shot against Houston in 1997.

“It was a hell of a win. I don’t know that it could have been any more dramatic.” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said after Game 6.

2019 Western Conference first round — Blazers vs. Thunder

The shot: Damian Lillard nails 37-foot 3-pointer in Game 5

Damian Lillard came up with the game-winner in Game 6 of the first round in 2019.

Five years since he last powered Portland to a first-round series win, Damian Lillard was at it again with some late-game heroics on April 23, 2019. First, his Trail Blazers had to climb from a 15-points, fourth-quarter deficit with 7 minutes, 45 seconds left to tie the game at 115.

Then, fortune was on their side as the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook missed a layup with 18.3 seconds left. That set the stage for Lillard, who dribbled the clock out to just under 2 seconds before taking his shot. Lillard lifted up for a 3-pointer a few steps ahead and to the right of the Blazers’ halfcourt logo and drained the 37-footer in Paul George’s face.

From there, bedlam ensued and Lillard, who had just sealed the series, waved good by to the Thunder bench has he was mobbed by teammates.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Author: InGame Sports

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