Crazy finishes in the NBA Finals
From Michael Jordan's Game 6 buzzer-beater in 1998 to Tony Parker's bank shot in 2013, relive some of the craziest finishes in NBA Finals history.
MICHAEL JORDAN'S JUMPER: Jordan scripted the perfect ending to his Bulls' career with a jumper, holding the pose as the ball fell through the net to give Chicago an 87-86 lead over the Utah Jazz with 5.2 seconds left in Game 6 of the 1998 finals. Did Jordan get away with pushing off on Bryon Russell, as the beaten defender would always maintain? Maybe. But when you're a six-time NBA Finals MVP, you might get away with a bit more. "What a finish!" coach Phil Jackson screamed as he hugged Jordan after the buzzer. Sure was.
DIRK NOWITZKI'S RALLY: Down 1-0 and losing big late in Game 2 of the 2011 finals against Miami, the Dallas Mavericks made a big fourth-quarter rally behind Dirk Nowitzki, who was playing with a torn tendon on the middle finger of his left hand. Nowitzki ignored the pain to score the Mavs' final nine points, making his last two baskets with that injured hand, including the go-ahead lefty layup with 3.6 seconds left in a 95-93 victory. Dallas would win the series in six games, with Nowitzki the finals MVP.
MAGIC JOHNSON'S HOOK: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had the sky hook, but it was teammate Magic Johnson's baby hook with 2 seconds left that gave the Lakers a 3-1 lead in the 1987 finals over the rival Boston Celtics. With the Lakers trailing by one, Johnson drove to his right into the paint, lofting a hook shot over Kevin McHale as Robert Parish and Larry Bird tried to help contest for a 107-106 lead. The Lakers couldn't relax until Bird missed at the buzzer, and they would eventually close out their longtime rivals at home in Game 6.
TONY PARKER'S CIRCUS SHOT: With the Spurs clinging to a two-point lead late in Game 1 against the Heat in the 2013 NBA Finals, Parker zipped past Chris Bosh and eluded a swipe from Dwyane Wade before running into LeBron James near the baseline. After losing the handle, Parker regained control of the ball, only to slip as he tried to turn the corner on James. He fell to his knee, but didn't panic even as the shot clock ticked toward zero. Parker stood back up, leaned under James and released the shot a split-second before the buzzer sounded. James even got a hand on it, but the ball banked high off the glass, hit the rim twice and fell through. "Tony did everything wrong and did everything right in the same possession," James said.