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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / The Top 12 NBA Finals Games of All Time

The Top 12 NBA Finals Games of All Time

The 12 Greatest NBA Finals games of all time!
Publish Date: 07/11/2021
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

We are looking at the greatest NBA Finals games ever played.

12) 2001 Finals Game 1, Philadelphia 107  Los Angeles 101

This was a shocker as most thought we were in for a four-game sweep. Well, we were but the sweep would not start until game 2 because in Game 1 Allen Iverson had a game for the ages as he threw the 76ers on his back and scored 48 points to give the Sixers the game 1 win.

11) 1969 Finals Game 7, Boston 108  Los Angeles 106

This was the Celtics eleventh title in thirteen years, this series was also the only series where the Finals MVP was from the losing team and in-game 7 Jerry West single-handily helped keep the Lakers in the game with 42 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists.

Video: 1969 NBA Finals Gm. 7 Celtics vs. Lakers (4th Quarter)

1969 NBA Finals Gm. 7 Celtics vs. Lakers (4th Quarter)

10) 1970 Finals Game 3, New York 111  Los Angeles 108(OT)

The greatest shot ever hit an NBA Finals game was in this game as with time running out in regulation Lakers Guard Jerry West hit a hail mary 60 foot shot as the buzzer sounded to send the game to overtime. The Knicks would squeak past in Overtime on the road to their fist=ever NBA title.

Video: Jerry West 60-Footer - April 29, 1970

Jerry West 60-Footer – April 29, 1970

9) 1957 Finals Game 7, Boston 125 St.louis Hawks 123(2OT)

The Celtics legendary backcourt was horrible in this pivotal game, but lucky for them a rookie by the name of Tommy Heinson would have the game of his life to save the Celtics, as Heinson would score 37 points and snatch 23 rebounds.

Video: St Louis Hawks at Boston Celtics - NBA Finals Game 7 Highlights (April 13, 1957)

St Louis Hawks at Boston Celtics – NBA Finals Game 7 Highlights (April 13, 1957)

8) 1988 Finals Game 7, Los Angeles 108  Detroit 106

This was the last of the Magic Johnson-led championships and they were lucky to win it. The Lakers had a 15 point lead in the fourth quarter but a furious Pistons rally would make the final minute the deciding minute. The Referees had a little bit to do with the Lakers pulling this series out, will the Refs and Big Game James Worthy as he triple-doubled with 36 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists.

7) 1978 NBA Finals Game 4, Washington 120  Seattle 116(OT)

The game was held at the Seattle Kingdome in front of a then-record crowd of just under 40,000 fans. Seattle’s Dennis Johnson and Washington’s Charles Johnson went back and forth to end overtime before Charles Johnson hit three late shots to lead the Bullets to victory.

6) 2000 NBA Finals Game 4, Los Angeles 120  Indiana Pacers 118(OT)

The Kobe legend started right here as Shaquille O’Neal fouled out and then Kobe just took the game over! Bryant hit clutch shot after clutch shot on the road to victory, finishing with 28 points, five assists, and four rebounds.

5) 1987 Finals Game 4, Los Angeles 107  Boston 106

The Celtics entered this series already on the ropes as they were injury-riddled. The first two games in the Forum were for lack of a better term complete ass-kickings. The Celtics gutted out a close game 3 win and were just one win from tying the series at two games a piece. Game 4 would come down to a huge sky-hook, but the hook shot wasn’t from Kareem, it was from Magic Johnson as he hit his baby hook with two seconds remaining to give the Lakers the lead. The Celtics would get Larry Bird an open look from three but it rimmed out as the buzzer sounded.

4) 1993 Finals Game 3, Phoenix 129  Chicago 121(3OT)

The Suns had lost the first two games of this series at home and all looked lost. It wasn’t as the Suns led by Charles Barkley and a red-hot Dan Majerle would steal the show in a classic.

Video: 1993 NBA finals Bulls vs Suns Game 3 Michael Jordan

1993 NBA finals Bulls vs Suns Game 3 Michael Jordan

3) 1988 NBA Finals Game 6, Los Angeles 103  Detroit 102

Isaiah Thomas finished with an NBA-record 25 points in the quarter and a total of 43 points, eight assists and six steals for the game. Midway through the third quarter though on a layup Thomas would twist his ankle and the Pistons would come up just short.

2) 1962 Finals Game 7, Boston 110  Los Angels 107

The Lakers came within inches of ending Boston’s championship dynasty when Frank Selvy’s shot in the final seconds trickled off the rim. The Celtics would prevail in Overtime behind Bill Russell’s amazing 40 points, 30 rebound game.

Video: 1962 NBA Finals G7 - Lakers @ Celtics (Russell, West, Cousy, Baylor...)

1962 NBA Finals G7 – Lakers @ Celtics (Russell, West, Cousy, Baylor…)

1). 1976 Finals Game 5, Boston 128  Phoenix 126(3OT)

The upstart Suns were not given a great shot at winning this series but they entered Game 5 at the Boston Garden tied 2-2, and damn near flew back to Phoenix with a 3-2 lead. The ending to the second overtime was maybe the most dramatic ever as you had an incredible steal, two of the most clutch shots you’ll ever see, and a clock controversy. At one point, fans rush the court. One attacks the referee. In the end, the Celtic would prevail.

Video: Phoenix @ Boston NBA Finals 1976 Game 5 the crazy end!

Phoenix @ Boston NBA Finals 1976 Game 5 the crazy end!

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