Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
Apr 11, 2016, 2:42 PM | Updated: May 19, 2016, 9:16 am
The 82-game NBA season gives highlight reel after highlight reel of devastating dunks, crushing crossovers and premier performances, but something about postseason play seems to turn up the excitement dial to the max.
With the playoffs just around the corner, it’s always fun to reflect on some of the best playoff performances of all time. And with CenturyLink’s Prism TV, with watch-and-record options, you won’t miss any of this year’s action.
John Stockton’s buzzer beater
“John Stockton sends the Utah Jazz to the NBA Finals!” It’s a phrase that will remain in the memory of Jazz fans forever. Stockton capped off his 25-point night in with 15 points in the fourth quarter and the dagger thrown up right in front of Sir Charles’ face, cementing the Jazz’s place in the 1997 NBA Finals after a 103-100 win in Game 6.
Derek Fisher’s game-winner with 0.4 on the clock
You would think it would take longer than 0.4 seconds to catch and shoot, but Derek Fisher put that belief to bed in the 2004 playoffs. With time winding down and a hand in his face, Tim Duncan drained a 20-foot fadeaway that appeared to be enough to put the Spurs up 3-2 in the Western Conference semis. Spurs players and fans alike thought they had the game in the bag, but they were quickly silenced by Fisher’s prayer, ending the game with a 74-73 win for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Rookie Magic Johnson plays all five positions
It’s one thing to be a rookie ballplayer and make the starting five. It’s another thing to be instrumental in taking your team to the NBA Finals and leading the way to an NBA title. Magic Johnson took over the center position for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Game 2 of the 1980 NBA Finals and finished the game with 42 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists.
After missing 15 straight shots, it looked like the Portland Trail Blazers would drop another playoff game to the Dallas Mavericks. But Brandon Roy, who didn’t even start the game, pushed the Blazers’ shooting woes to the back burner and scored 18 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, knotting the series up at 2-2.
If 48 points aren’t impressive enough, Nowitzki started off his career night in Game 1 of the 2011 Western Conference Finals by making 10 of his first 11 shots. Seeing he was just short of unstoppable, the Oklahoma City Thunder thought it best to keep him from punishing them with mid-range shots and played their own version of Hack-a-Shaq.
Nowitzki went to the charity stripe 24 times and didn’t leave empty-handed once, netting every single one.
Sir Charles dominates the SuperSonics
Before they were the Oklahoma City Thunder, they played in Seattle as the SuperSonics. In the 1993 Western Conference playoffs, Charles Barkley was the featured storm on the floor for the Phoenix Suns. Not only did he score 43 points and grab 15 boards in Game 5, but he erupted in Game 7 with 44 points and an astounding 24 rebounds.
If you don’t want to miss any of the playoff action this year, consider CenturyLink’s Prism TV with multiview and watch-and-record options. You can watch and record all the games so you don’t miss any historic performances.