7. Dwayne Wade versus Indiana Pacers
Despite Flash’s incredible shooting ability at the dying seconds of the game, this winner ranks low down at seventh solely due to the fact the Heat had two shots to win the tied game in 30 seconds. However, Wade showed why he is Miami’s most trusted playmaker in the 4th quarter, a load that he is carried on his back for years (welcome, Ray Allen!).
Clutch meter: 60
6. Jeremy Lin versus Toronto Raptors
Arguably what started Linsanity in New York, Jeremy Lin’s game winning performance brought the Knicks back in playoff contention. What also has to be pointed out is Calderon’s poor commitment towards marking his man.
Clutch meter: 67
5. Chauncey Billups versus Dallas Mavericks
Three reasons why Billups’ bucket does it for me – astute play set up by Billups from the sideline with the pick and roll, 1 point down with 4 seconds to go and for once, the Clippers hit a game winner without Chris Paul on the floor.
Clutch meter: 75
4. Derrick Rose versus Los Angeles Lakers
First game of the shortened NBA season at the Staples Center and everything seemed inclining towards a Lakers victory until Kobe Bryant decided to succumb to a Bulls double-team. Derrick Rose made full use of the lapse as he takes over the ball from Luol Deng to loop a floater over Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher. No bigger and better way to begin the season.
Clutch meter: 75
3. Jordan Farmar versus Los Angeles Clippers
Farmar’s shot added indescribable value to the Nets’ season and the game itself. The Nets had to hit a three to win the game, moreover, had to get back to winning ways from a losing slump which is why Farmar covets a high spot in this list. Maybe, the Clippers’ man marking zoned out but Farmar hit the shot from way beyond the arc – another attribute to the number 3 game winner of the regular season.
Clutch meter: 85
2. Kevin Love versus Los Angeles Clippers
Love’s video fails to showcase the defense the T-Wolves put in the last minute of the game. Rubio hit his first field goal of the night to tie the game after which they shut out Blake Griffin and co, to let Love have the final say in the game. Not many power forwards/centers shoot threes in today’s NBA and even fewer of them hit game winners. Love does both and thereby, slots in as the number 2 game winning shot.
PS: notice the way he slyly jumps out of the formation to shoot the three? Way to go, Kevin Love.
Clutch meter: 95
1. Kevin Durant versus Dallas Mavericks
9 seconds to go and Dallas are down by 2. They take their final timeout knowing they have to hit the winner – no other option. Vince Carter exactly does that – finding himself open from marker, Kevin Durant to bucket home a three. The Mavs start celebrating and a dejected Thunder bench loses hope. The game clock reads 1.4 seconds and not many would tip OKC to comeback having just surrendered the lead. The sloppy defender, Durant thought otherwise. He goes back to the Mavs court after an Oklahoma timeout and hits the most defining game winning shot of the NBA regular season. A moment ago, Durant was the sore loser for mismarking Vince Carter. A second later, he is a game winner – unbelievable!
Clutch meter: 100
Overall: 185Published 17 Aug 2012, 00:40 IST