The Top 25 Buzzer-Beaters & Game-Winners In NBA Playoff History

By: 04.22.13  •  2 Comments

Michael Jordan

This year’s NBA Playoffs haven’t gotten off to a very exciting start. The home teams are 8-0, and the majority of those games haven’t been close. The best part of the weekend was actually probably Kobe Bryant‘s consistent tweeting. Thankfully, we have nearly two more months of this to look forward to, and inevitably there will be some memories that’ll last with us for a lifetime.

To celebrate the start of the postseason, we dove into the history books to unleash the best buzzer-beaters (And yes, we tweaked the rules a few times to include a couple of shots that weren’t exactly buzzer-beaters. But who’s complaining?) of the NBA’s second season. There were many great ones that didn’t make the list — check out a few of our favorites in the Honorable Mentions — because trying to limit this piece to 25 was damn near impossible.

Here are the top 25 buzzer-beaters/game-winners in NBA Playoff history.

*** *** ***

25. Paul Pierce’s game-winner against Chicago in the 2009 Eastern Conference First Round
In one of the greatest series ever, you can find a lot of historical moments. This shot by Paul Pierce was one of those moments. Pierce wasn’t having a great game at all — he only scored seven points in the first half. The last shot is what counts the most in this situation though. In the end, The Captain came through for his team without Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. He scored the game winning shot with John Salmons barely giving him any room. He took to that sacred elbow spot that he loves so much and put the game away. The Truth will set you free.

24. Dudley Bradley In the 1986 Eastern Conference First Round Against Philadelphia
Maybe the only shot on this list that wasn’t the highlight of the game. In this first round matchup during the 1986 Playoffs, the Bullets were down 17 points with four minutes left before Dudley Bradley banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer to cap a crazy comeback. Charles Barkley and Dr. J are still recoving from this loss.

23. Reggie Miller Clutch Shots against the Nets in the 2002 Eastern Conference First Round
In a win or go home situation against the top-seeded New Jersey Nets, Reggie Miller shined twice. He sent the game into one overtime off of a crazy bank-shot three-pointer that should’ve never went down. He shot that ball fading away toward the sideline and it hit the middle of the backboard with such accuracy. It was an amazing shot in itself, but Miller wasn’t finished. He needed two points to force another overtime, so what does he do? Dunks it, of course. Miller finished the game with 31 points, but it wasn’t enough. The Nets were just too good in the end and the Pacers lost the game.

Around The Web


He Is Virginia Tech: Why Blacksburg Will Always Be Smiling For Frank Beamer

By:  •  2 Comments

‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2‘ Director Francis Lawrence Explains That Final Scene

By:  •  7 Comments

Jackie Earle Haley Discusses ‘Criminal Activities,’ His Directorial Debut


Tara Subkoff And Chloë Sevigny Discuss ‘#Horror,’ A Cyberbully Nightmare


Todd Haynes On The Sophistication And Passion Of ‘Carol,’ And The Dreary Charm Of Cincinnati


Need An Adventure? Now Is The Best Time To Go To Yellowstone National Park!

By:  •  8 Comments

Samantha Ponder Shares The Greatest ‘College GameDay’ Location, And The Importance Of Being Unbalanced


Weathering The Crimson Storm: How One Football Team Ended A 32-Game Losing Streak


This Couple Setting Out On A Two-Year Van Trip To Shine A Light On Mental Illness Is Sure To Inspire You

By:  •  8 Comments

Francis Lawrence On How Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death Affected ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2‘


Loren Bouchard On ‘Bob’s Burgers,’ How His Show Survived, And The Beauty Of Never Growing Up

By:  •  2 Comments

Triumph The Insult Comic Dog Vs. Canada’s Ed The Sock, And The Problem Of Parallel Creation

By:  •  25 Comments