Playing in the NBA comes with the pressure to perform well on a daily basis. This pressure is increased even more when it comes to the NBA Finals. This is the biggest stage in all of basketball, with the entire world watching to see who will be crowned the champions. With the two best teams in the league battling it out, it is not uncommon to find these matches to be closer than usual. Both teams will fight for every possession, do their best to execute offensively, and play tough on the defensive end.
There have been many players throughout NBA history who made amazing plays on the offensive end in crucial moments of the Finals to give their team an edge. Here is a look at the five most clutch shots in NBA Finals history.
#5 Magic Johnson - 1987 Finals, Los Angeles Lakers vs Boston Celtics
The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics have a rivalry that goes back decades. Throughout the '80s, they had many historic battles led by Magic Johnson and Larry Bird that were almost always close.
In the 1987 Finals, the Lakers found themselves leading 2 games to 1 against the Celtics. Initially, Game 4 didn't seem to be all that close. The Celtics led the Lakers by 16 points going into the half. However, once the second half started, the Lakers began to slowly crawl their way back into the game. They eventually found themselves down 105-106 with just 7 seconds left on the clock and possession of the ball.
The inbound found its way to none other than Magic Johnson who came off a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar screen which forced Kevin McHale to switch on to him. As he received the ball, Magic pump faked but McHale didn't fall for the fake. So Magic then stepped back with one dribble, and with a quick hesitation, he drove straight into the lane and made the running sky hook as Robert Parish came over to help. This gave the Lakers a 1-point lead with 2 seconds to go in the game.
The Celtics managed to inbound the ball to Larry Bird who missed a 3-pointer that would have won the game for them and tied the series. The Lakers would go on to win the series 4-2 en route to their 10th championship in franchise history.