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The Top 10 NBA Finals Closeout Performances

By 06.21.12

2. MICHAEL JORDAN, 1998

One of Jordan’s many masterstrokes over his career was his Game 6 win at Utah. If you’re racking your brain to remember this one, just think about this: It’s the Bryon Russell game. Jordan scored 45 points in the 87-86 win. He had just one turnover in 44 minutes and, hey, even if he only had one rebound and one assist in this game, I think it’s forgivable. Don’t forget this line in his stats, though: his four steals included a late strip of Karl Malone, which led to the game-winning, generation-defining bucket at the other end.

1. MAGIC JOHNSON, 1980

In his rookie season Magic became a legend with this performance all while playing out of position. The Lakers turned to Johnson to replace Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Game 6 in Philadelphia, the latter out with an ankle injury. All Johnson did was score 42 points, grab 15 rebounds, have seven assists and play five different spots on the floor for Paul Westhead. There are historic playoff performances such as LeBron James‘ Game 6 in Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals that harken back to Chamberlain, and then there’s Magic’s Game 6.

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TAGSBILL RUSSELLDimeMagDWYANE WADEJames WorthyLarry BirdMAGIC JOHNSONMichael Jordannba finalsNBA PlayoffsRAY ALLENShaquille O'NealWalt Frazier

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