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7 of the Most Unforgettable NBA Finals Series
The NBA Finals are filled with stellar performances and moments, but which ones do fans keep coming back to?
As the grandest stage in basketball, the NBA Finals is where legends are made. In June each year, basketball fans worldwide are blessed to witness heart-stopping games and unbelievable performances from some of the best athletes in the industry.
Since 1946, the NBA has produced several thrilling Finals series filled with unforgettable moments, but there are certainly some match-ups held in higher regard. This might just well be because of an underdog story; the start of a dynasty is also one reason why. The guide ahead discusses these and more. Ready to recap the best NBA Finals series of all time?
Chicago Bulls vs. Utah Jazz (1998)
Known as the “Last Dance” by then-Bulls head coach Phil Jackson, the 1998 NBA season was filled with drama for this team as management declared their disbandment at the end of the season.
With Scottie Pippen’s bad back in Game 6, Jordan had to double his efforts, dropping 23 points in the first half. The Jazz converted a three with less than a minute in the fourth quarter, but Jordan got a pivotal steal and sank the game-winning jumper against Bryon Russell. This completed the three-peat and creating one of the greatest NBA moments of all time.
Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers (1984)
Every basketball fan knows that the ‘80s were dominated by two franchises: the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. This would lead to two legends going at it in the 1984 NBA Finals: Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.
Games 2 and 4 went into overtime, resulting in a 2-2 series. The Celtics would conquer Game 5, but the showtime Lakers responded and forced a win-or-go-home Game 7. Bird and the Celtics would go on to win the series, capturing the franchise's 15th NBA title.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors (2016)
“No team in NBA Finals history has come back from trailing 3-1.” This was the headline when the Golden State Warriors took a commanding 3-1 series lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers. What many didn’t expect was a historic comeback by the Cavs with Lebron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love—forcing a Game 7 in Oakland.
It was a close contest until James made a momentum-shifting block against Andre Iguodala. Then, Irving would go 1v1 against Steph Curry, hitting a massive triple with less than a minute to play. The Dubs couldn't respond down the stretch, resulting in the Cavs ending their championship drought of five decades.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics (2010)
In one of the most physical Finals series, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers faced a tough Celtics squad led by the Big 3—Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett. The Black Mamba suffered a broken finger and a bone spur on his ankle. But even with all that adversity, Bryant led the Lakers to win Game 7 at Staples, winning back-to-back titles without Shaq and his fifth ring.
Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks (2006)
The 2006 NBA Finals was the young, 24-year-old Dwyane Wade’s time. The Mavs took the first two games, but D-Wade refused to go down, putting MVP numbers for the rest of the series. Wade would drop a total of 178 points from Games 3 to 6 to help the Miami Heat win its first title in franchise history.
Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs (2013)
The 2013 NBA Finals produced arguably the “clutchest” basket in NBA history. With the Heat’s backs against the wall, Allen hit the biggest three of his career to send the game to overtime. The big momentum shift allowed the big 3 of James, Wade and Chris Bosh to seal the deal and win the title in Game 7. As a series that went down to the wire, the Heat’s victory cemented the legacy of Miami's Big 3.
New York Knicks vs. Los Angeles Lakers (1970)
The 1970 NBA Finals showcased one of the toughest moments, with Willis Reed playing in Game 7 after tearing his thigh muscle in Game 6. Reed locked down Wilt Chamberlain for the entire game, leading to the Knicks winning their first title in franchise history.
All of the matchups above had no shortage of epic battles and unforgettable memories. (If you plan to rewatch these games, having a reliable broadband connection will give you the best streaming experience. Relive these moments at the best video quality and avail for one of our GFiber Plans.)
Enjoy the 2022 Finals in all its glory. If you live and breathe basketball, you'll be happy to know that Globe has you covered with its wide array of services. Making use of HomeWATCH and our other streaming promos will give you the best streaming experience on NBA League Pass.
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