The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the biggest and most exciting basketball league in the world. The best players from all across the globe fight to be selected and make a career within the league which has excited fans for generations.
Fans will be tuning in to the NBA finals odds as the season draws closer to the playoffs and the final stretch to see who will become this season’s champion.
Since starting in 1946 the NBA has seen some incredibly memorable matches, some in recent history and some which spread generations.
Table of Contents
- 1. Game 5, 1976 – Boston Celtics vs. Phoenix Suns
- 2. Game 6, 1980 – Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers
- 3. Game 5, 1997 – Chicago Bulls vs. Utah Jazz
- 4. Game 2, 2011 – Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat
- 5. Game 7, 1957 – Boston Celtics vs. St. Louis Hawks
- 6. Game 7, 1969 – Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers
1. Game 5, 1976 – Boston Celtics vs. Phoenix Suns
The Celtics triumphed over the Suns in this intense match which went into a third overtime period with the Celtics eventually securing a 128 to 126 win.
It was an incredible end to the second overtime which continues to baffle and entertain fans even now. Two shots that define the title “clutch” to take it into the third overtime as well as a clock controversy.
Gar Heard took the buzzer-beating shot late in the second overtime to tie the game for Phoenix, though they couldn’t hold on and after going down by six points in overtime three, could only get four back before the game was tied.
Fans even stormed the court thinking the game had come to an end before the teams were ushered back onto the court. There was chaos, quality, entertainment, and extended periods of pure tension which combine to make one of the most memorable games in history and often referred to as the greatest game ever played.
2. Game 6, 1980 – Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers
The game where Magic Johnson really lived up to his name and dominated the Philadelphia 76ers in place of the then league MVP Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
A 20-year-old Magic Johnson started the game in place of the injured Abdul-Jabbar at center instead of his usual position of point guard. He then went on to play all five positions throughout the game and racked up an impressive 42 points to clinch the series for his side.
It was an elite performance that will always be remembered by Johnson, the Lakers, and its fans.
3. Game 5, 1997 – Chicago Bulls vs. Utah Jazz
Always remembered as “The Flu Game”. Michael Jordan, one of the greats of the NBA, was battling flu-like symptoms where at times he staggered around the court. Dehydrated and exhausted he somehow managed to put in a performance that earned the Bulls a 90 -88 win and Jordan himself managed 38 points.
Jordan said afterward that“Probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. I almost played myself into passing out just to win a basketball game.” Bulls coach Phil Jackson also said: “This was a heroic effort, one to add to the collection of efforts that make up his legend.”
As the game ended you would see Scottie Pippen steadying his exhausted friend and teammate off the court as fans witnessed a true great battle his way through for his team.
4. Game 2, 2011 – Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat
Miami was cruising halfway through the fourth quarter which would have given them a 2-0 lead in the series, but the Dallas Mavericks rallied and pulled off one of the best comebacks you’ll ever see.
Dirk Nowitzki led the way with 24 points and 11 rebounds to help his side secure an incredible 95-93 win.
They seemed to have a fire lit under them as the Miami Heat players looked to be arrogantly celebrating an easy victory way too early and the Mavericks responded in an exhilarating fashion.
5. Game 7, 1957 – Boston Celtics vs. St. Louis Hawks
This was the only game 7 to ever go into a second overtime. The Celtics would go on to win this match 125-123 and secure their first of 17 championships in the NBA<
Tom Heinsohn was the difference maker, scoring 37 points and 23 rebounds in an all-round excellent performance that kicked off the start of years of dominance for the Celtics.
6. Game 7, 1969 – Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers
You can’t keep the Celtics out of exciting finals matches and this one was no different. In 1969 Boston Celtic won their 11th Championship in 13 years but the Lakers took it close with an incredible performance from Jerry West.
West became the first Finals MVP to end up on the losing side after a triple-double game that saw him score 42 points, and have 13 rebounds and 12 assists. The individual accolades are great, but it eventually resulted in defeat to the dominant Celtics team.
These and many more finals matches have grabbed the attention of the world, even those who are just casual basketball fans will remember many of these matches and players. The excitement of the NBA in incomparable with its quick and exhilarating style.