Best Game Winning Shots In Playoff History

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The 2019 NBA Playoffs have produced some riveting moments that will surely stand the test of time as some of the greatest in playoff history. Already this postseason we have seen Kawhi Leonard hit a series-clinching buzzer-beating shot, as well as Damian Lillard doing the same. That got me thinking about some of the other memorable game-winning shots in NBA Playoff history and there are some familiar faces on the list. Take a look below at some of the greatest shots in playoff history.

Kawhi Leonard vs Sixers Game 7


The 2019 Eastern Conference Semifinals produced one of the best series so far this postseason with Kawhi Leonard having an all-time great series against the loaded Philadelphia 76ers. Kawhi ended the series with a bang in game 7 hitting the buzzer-beating shot to send Toronto to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Damian Lillard vs Thunder Game 5 2019


"Ahh man, you know I had to do it to ya." I'm not sure if this is a Drake lyric anymore or if Damian Lillard now deserves ownership over it after the way he did the Thunder and Russell Westbrook. He hit the series ending shot in game 5 and waved the Thunder off his floor.

LeBron James vs Raptors Game 3 2018


The LeBron James World Tour that took place in the 2018 NBA Playoffs makes me miss seeing him on this stage, even more, this postseason. He sonned the Raptors one last time last postseason with this buzzer-beating floater fading out of bounds before heading to the Western Conference.

LeBron James vs Pacers Game 5 2018


"Another one," word to DJ Khaled. I told you the LeBron World Tour last postseason was something special. He put the dagger in the heart of the Pacers as well so don't feel too bad Raptors fans. The greatness wasn't reserved for you, we were all witnesses.

Damian Lillard vs Rockets Game 6 2014


Damian Lillard isn't new to this, he's true to this. He's been hitting walk-off series-clinching shots for a while now. The first time he did it was in the 2014 first round when he sent James Harden and Dwight Howard home for an early vacation.

Paul Pierce vs Bulls Game 5 2009


For the kids at home who might not be familiar, Paul Pierce wasn't always the old guy on ESPN hating on LeBron and giving outlandish hot takes. He might look like a fraud now with his predictions, but he was once the Truth on the court. Ask Tyrus Thomas.

LeBron vs Magic Game 2 2009


Ahhh, the king makes an appearance once again. Hedo Turkoglu, come here boy, that hand not bothering a soul. LeBron didn't win this series, but the shot heard round the world is definitely the most memorable part of this series 10 years later.

Kobe Bryant vs Suns Game 4 2006


Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest scorers and players of all-time but it's kind of crazy that the biggest clutch shot of his career in the playoffs led to his biggest choke job in his career as well. Kobe built a 3-1 lead off the back of his shot, and would lose this series to the Suns in seven games.

Michael Jordan vs Jazz Game 1 1997


People tend to immediately think of Jordan's last shot against the Jazz in 1998 when thinking of buzzer-beaters against the Jazz in the Finals but he put the dagger in their heart more than once. He sent the Jazz home with an 0-1 deficit after a game one shot at the buzzer during the 1997 Finals.

Michael Jordan vs Jazz Game 6 1998


Speaking of the last shot, this is the one right here. The granddaddy of all playoff game-winning shots and push-offs. Byron Russell, I know it hurts to see this highlight to this day, both physically and emotionally. I know that push-off hurts.

Michael Jordan vs Cavs Game 5 1989

The Bred 4's are an iconic sneaker because they look great but also because they play a part in one of Jordan's most iconic moments, the game winning shot over milk man Craig Ehlo and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1989 Eastern Conference playoffs.

Derek Fisher vs Spurs Game 5 2004

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I still refuse to believe that Derek Fisher got this shot off in time but that's an argument that doesn't matter at this point. What does matter is that Fisher hit one of the most iconic shots in NBA Playoff history, one of the many clutch shots during the Kobe era that Kobe didn't hit. Don't mind me.

Magic Johnson vs Celtics Game 4 1987


The baby sky hook, incredible shot by Magic Johnson over Kevin McHale in the 1987 NBA Finals. One of these days we are going to have to have a conversation about the way Magic owned the Celtics and how Danny Ainge clearly hasn't gotten over that.

Robert Horry vs Kings Game 5 2002


I'm not exactly sure when Robert Horry got the nickname "Big Shot Rob" but I would have to assume this is where it started. This was one of the few legitimate wins the Lakers had in this series before the refs completely hijacked it and got the Kings out of here.

LeBron James vs Pacers Game 1 2013


Well would you look at that, another playoff game winner by LeBron James in the playoffs. I could have sworn Twitter told me this man wasn't clutch and didn't make big shots but man the evidence is proving that to be false right now.

Ron Artest vs Suns Game 5 2010

And here we are at another Kobe Bryant game where a teammate is bailing him out in crunch time. It's amazing how narratives can be formed without any merit. But that's besides the point, Ron Artest came up big here, as he would in game 7 of the 2010 Finals against the Celtics.

Ralph Sampson vs Lakers 1986


This is definitely one of the more stunning shots in NBA Playoff history considering degree of difficulty and the opponent faced. Sampson hit a shot where it appeared he barely even was facing the basket and it sent the upstart Houston Rockets to the NBA Finals over the Showtime Lakers.

Steve Kerr vs Jazz Game 6 1997


Hold on, is this Steve Kerr saving Michael Jordan's legacy? That's how this works right? I just want to make sure I'm doing this the right way. But salute to Steve Kerr for being a cool enough guy to bail Jordan out after punching him in the face.

John Stockton vs Rockets Game 6 1997


This was tough John Stockton, because you beat Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley to win this one. One of the all-time great playoff shots made by one of the games all-time great point guards.

Reggie Miller vs Bulls Game 5 1998

Reggie Miller highlights annoy me and I wasn't even alive to really watch him play but this guy just looks like the worst person to lose a game too. I know this one irritated Jordan more than anything in the world, probably more than any loss of his career.

Kyrie Irving vs Warriors Game 7 2016

This has to be the greatest shot in Finals history, all things considered, right? A game-winning shot on the road against a team that was 73-9 on the season and the shot was over the first ever unanimous league MVP. Kyrie Irving, the stuff of legend.

Michael Jordan vs Cavs Game 4 1993


Michael Jordan owned the Cavaliers during his playing career so I'm sure that's why the basketball God's placed LeBron in Cleveland to dominate the Bulls in his era. Jordan hit this series ending jumper against the Cavs in 1993 to advance in the playoffs and complete a sweep.

Chris Paul vs Spurs Game 7 2015


CP3 is one of the most hated players in the NBA but is also one of the greatest point guards the league has ever seen. And he hit the biggest shot of his career in game 7 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals to send the defending champion Spurs home early.

Vinnie Johnson vs Trailblazers 1990

The original microwave scorer off of the bench, Vinnie Johnson gave the Trailblazers the blues in the 1990 NBA Finals. He laid the blueprint for super scorers such as Jamal Crawford, Lou Williams, and others off of the bench.

John Paxson vs Suns Game 6 1993

Another role player saving Michael Jordan's legacy?? What is this? How have these tapes not been burned? Jordan has been one of the best players ever, if not the greatest, but his guys stepped up for him when they needed to. Case and point.