The Most Memorable NBA Playoff Games Of All Times

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Since the 2018 NBA playoffs are just around the corner, we’ve hand-selected these iconic, memorable games. They are in no particular order as they were all incredible in their own way. Legends were born, overdue championships were won, and teams were made (and broken). So here they are, the most memorable NBA playoff games of all time!

2016 Finals – Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors, 108:97

NBA Playoffs
NBA

There are plenty of subjects to argue about in this world – but naming LeBron James as one of history’s all-time greatest basketball players is just not one of them. “The King” brought the Cleveland Cavaliers their first championship win since 1964. In 2016, James cemented his team – the Cavs – into the history books forever: he scored 27 points with 11 rebounds and 11 assists and helped the Cavaliers majestically win the playoffs by 4-3 after a 3-1 lag. During the entire series, James scored an average of 29.7 points per game!

1998 Finals – Chicago Bulls vs. Utah Jazz, 90:88

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NBA

If we’re talking about sports legends, we have to talk about Michael Jordan. Larry Bird, another NBA icon, once said of MJ – “I think it’s just God disguised as Michael Jordan.” In the 1998 NBA finals, Jordan participated while recovering from a severe case of the flu; he scored the final points of the game which led to the Bulls’ sixth championship. It was after this game that MJ was given the title of MVP for the fifth time, while the NBC Sports Broadcast played the song “I Believe I Can Fly.” The song has been associated with basketball ever since, and more specifically, with Michael Jordan.

1980, Game 6 – Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 123:107

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Sports Illustrated

If you’re nicknamed “Magic,” you have a lot to live up to; and if your team member, MVP and NBA legend Kareem-Abdul Jabbar are sidelined, the pressure is definitely on. In game 6 of the 1980 NBA series, Magic Johnson certainly delivered. Twenty-year-old Johnson scored 42 points (!) during the game and played all five positions on the court. Some might call it his best game; some might call it the birth of a star. Either way, Magic will forever be remembered as one of the best basketball players of all times.

2000, Game 4 – Los Angeles Lakers vs. Indiana Pacers, 120:118

NBA Playoffs
Sports Illustrated

During the first decade of the 21st century, Kobe Bryant burst into our world. He led the L.A Lakers to multiple NBA championships; it was a tough call choosing which one should be put on this list. We picked the 2000 game since in this game he showed the world who he was and a gave us a glimpse of the icon he’d soon become. Bryant played with an ankle injury, hitting clutch shot after clutch shot. It certainly helped that Shaquille O’Neal was benched because of a foul in overtime, but Bryant brought it the entire game: 28 points, five assists, and four rebounds.