What we all love about the NBA is the excitement it brings. It is a league where magic can happen (thank you Magic Johnson), where underdogs come out on top and you can expect the unexpected. You can never trust the basketball betting odds – as it can take just a few crazy minutes and a game is turned on its head.
So, it goes without saying that the NBA has witnessed numerous unforgettable games throughout its rich history. Obviously, there are far too many memorable games to put on just one page, but in our opinion, here is a selection of some iconic NBA games and moments that have left a lasting impact – and that we will never, ever forget!
The Flu Game – 1997
It was game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals – and Michael Jordan pulled out a performance that was absolutely legendary. Despite the fact that he had been battling a severe flu-like illness, Jordan led the Chicago Bulls against the Utah Jazz, scoring 38 points and securing a crucial victory.
The Shot – 1989
This was another game 5, but this time in the 1989 Eastern Conference First Round. And we have Michael Jordan to thank again. The legend managed to hit a buzzer-beating jump shot to eliminate the Cleveland Cavaliers and secure a series victory for the Chicago Bulls. This shot became one of the most iconic moments in NBA history.
The Miracle on Ice – 1995
In game 4 of the 1995-1996 Western Conference Semifinals, the eighth-seeded Denver Nuggets staged a remarkable comeback against the top-seeded Seattle SuperSonics. Managing to overcome a 2-0 series deficit, the Nuggets won in overtime, becoming the first eighth-seeded team to ever defeat a first-seeded team in NBA playoff history.
The Malice at the Palace – 2004
On November 19, 2004, during a game between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons, a massive brawl broke out between players and fans at The Palace of Auburn Hills. It may not be the actual game that has made such a big impact, but the incident had such significant implications for the league that it resulted in substantial changes to security protocols and player conduct.
The Double Nickel – 1995
On March 28, 1995, in his fifth game back from retirement, Michael Jordan scored a massive 55 points when playing against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. This memorable performance showcased Jordan’s greatness and reaffirmed his dominance in the league. If he wasn’t already a legend before, he certainly was afterwards!
The Memorial Day Miracle – 1995
In Game 1 of the 1995 Western Conference Finals, The Houston Rockets faced the San Antonio Spurs in a tightly contested and nail-biting game. With only 2.9 seconds left on the clock, the Rockets forward Mario Elie hit a dramatic three-pointer to secure a one-point victory, setting the tone for an intense playoff series.
The Game 7 Block – 2016
It was in the NBA Finals of 2016 that this memorable moment came to fruition: With the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors tied in the final minutes of Game 7, LeBron James chased down Andre Iguodala to deliver a game-changing block, – which was key to the Cavaliers securing their first-ever NBA championship.
The 81-Point Game – 2006
Back on January 22, 2006, Kobe Bryant served up a historic performance, scoring 81 points for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Toronto Raptors. Whether or not you actually remember the rest of the game, this still stands as the second-highest single-game scoring total in NBA history, showcasing Bryant’s scoring prowess.
The 1976 NBA Finals Game 5 – 1976
The Boston Celtics faced the Phoenix Suns in a thrilling triple-overtime game. This was a supremely closely contested battle that culminated in the Celtics securing the championship with a 128-126 victory – and to many, it is considered to be one of the greatest NBA Finals games ever played.
These are just a few of the most memorable games and moments in NBA history. However, season after season it delivers thrilling encounters – and continues to captivate fans around the world who know that anything can happen.
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