The NBA playoffs is where the greatest players shine. Under the pressure and bright lights, only the very best step up to deliver the moments we'll remember forever. Throughout NBA history there have been so many unforgettable plays, but these 10 shots will be forever cemented in the minds of basketball fans.
10. MJ Gives Steve Kerr His Moment
Before Steve Kerr was coaching the Warriors dynasty, he was one of the best sharpshooters in the NBA. In Michael Jordan's third year back from retirement, Kerr was given a rare opportunity: an assist from MJ for a game-winning shot. The Jazz heavily doubled Jordan and he passed to a wide open Kerr, who didn't disappoint as he hit the mid-range jumper for the win.
9. Allen Iverson Steps Over Tyronn Lue
Allen Iverson didn't get the last laugh in the 2001 Finals as he lost the series 4-1, but made sure to leave his mark. The Lakers cruised through the playoffs that year and were undefeated until they faced AI's Sixers. However, in Game 1, Iverson ended their run with a 48-point game, including the crucial step-back jumper over Ty Lue near the end of the game. That's when the famous step-over was born.
8. Robert Horry Earns His Nickname
Robert Horry never made an All-Star team, but there's a reason he was called "Big Shot Rob." Horry earned his nickname with his clutch shot against the Kings in the 2002 Western Conference Finals. The Lakers were down 2-1 in the series and orchestrated a 24-point comeback to win the game. Kobe and Shaq led the comeback, but Horry finished it by nailing the game-winning three.
7. Damian Lillard Waves Goodbye to the Thunder
There was no way this was getting left off the list. Damian Lillard earned his spot when he dropped a 37-foot shot to send the Thunder home for good. He made sure to wave goodbye to OKC too after getting his 50th point of the night. In a series where the Thunder did a lot of talking, Lillard got the last laugh through his play.
6. Derek Fisher's 0.4-Second Shot
Derek Fisher was another player who just knew how to win. In Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals, the Lakers were down by one against the defending champion Spurs. With just 0.4 seconds left on the clock, Fisher managed to get the shot off in time on the inbound and nail it for the win.
5. Ray Allen Game 6 vs. Spurs
Facing elimination in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, the Heat were down by three to the Spurs. Their comeback was so improbable that many fans had already left the arena, but Ray Allen made them pay when he drilled a game-tying three off an offensive rebound. Allen's shot changed everything as the Heat went on to win the game and the series.
4. MJ Over Bryon Russell
One of the more controversial shots of this list is MJ's shot over Bryon Russell in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals. Jordan had led his team to a comeback before dropping Russell to hit the game-winning jumper. Whether or not he legally dropped Russell is up for debate, but the shot gave him the sixth title of his career, cementing his status as the greatest of all time.
3. Kyrie Irving Game 7 vs. Warriors
In one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, Kyrie Irving hit the shot of his life. After coming down 3-1 and forcing a Game 7, the Cavs were deadlocked with the Warriors with around four minutes to go, but both teams kept trading misses. However, Kyrie answered the call in that moment with a step-back three over Curry to seal the series and give the Cavaliers their first NBA title in franchise history.
2. Magic's Skyhook Against the Celtics
At the peak of the Celtics-Lakers rivalry in the 80s, Magic Johnson delivered. In the 1987 Finals, the Lakers were down one toward the end of the game with the C's looking to even up the series at 2-2. Magic took the ball in his hands and hit a game-winning skyhook over Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. The shot put the Lakers up 3-1 in the series, making it too difficult for the Celtics to recover.
1. MJ Over Ehlo
This was Jordan before the championships. It was the first sign of something special within him. In series-deciding Game 5 against the Cavs in the first round of the playoffs, Jordan hit one of the biggest shots of his career. At the buzzer, he pulled up on heavily contest jumper over Craig Ehlo. Nothing but net. He then jumped in the air, celebrated with a fist pump, and the rest is history.