clock ticks down toward the final buzzer. The shot goes up toward the
basket and everyone holds their breath. Then SWWWWISH…The ball falls
through the hoop for a game-winning three-pointer. The crowd explodes
with jubilation. Players and fans mob the court in celebration. Victory
is pulled from the clutches of defeat and history is made in just a
fraction of a second.
It can be argued that there is no moment in all of sports that can
equal the thrill of a game-winning three-pointer in basketball. The
game has had its share of thrilling finishes, making it is tough to
pick the greatest game-winning three-pointer of all time. But there are
certainly a few that will hit the mark as the all-time best. This side
of the game makes it special among other sports from a betting point of
view as well, as you can find with the betting sites here.
Reggie Miller in game 4
One of the most memorable is certainly Reggie Miller's three-pointer in Game 4 of the 1998 NBA Eastern Conference finals.
Miller's Indian Pacers trailed the Chicago Bulls 94-93 as the final
seconds ticked down at Market Square Arena. The Pacers had the ball,
hoping for a last-second shot. Miller broke free from Michael Jordan
and took an inbounds pass from Derrick McKey. He lifted a shot from
just outside the arc, which hit its mark with 0.7 left on the clock,
giving the Pacers a 96-94 victory.
Horry launched a three-pointer
Another classic NBA game-winning three-pointer came in the 2002 Western Conference finals.
The Sacramento Kings led the Los Angeles Lakers 99-97 in the waning
seconds of Game 4. The Lakers had the ball underneath the basket,
trying desperately for a tying shot, but each attempt failed. Suddenly,
the ball was batted toward Robert Horry, standing at the top of the
key. Horry launched a three-pointer that sailed through the hoop to
give the Lakers the victory.
In the 1997 NBA Western Conference finals, it was Eddie Johnson
who made history with a game-winning three-pointer. With the score tied
at 92-92 between the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets, and time running
out, Houston had the ball. The Jazz smothered them, trying to force
overtime, but Johnson broke free, took a pass at the top of the key and
sent a shot toward the basket, which fell through for the game-winner.
NCAA basketball has seen plenty of memorable
game-winning three-pointers, as well. One of the more unforgettable
occurred during the 1992 NCAA tournament. USC held a two-point lead
over Georgia Tech as time ran down. Georgia Tech had possession of an
inbound pass with just 0.8 seconds remaining on the clock.
The pass went to James Forrest, who had not made a three-point basket
all season, yet Forrest heaved the ball toward the hoop and sunk the
Another NCAA tournament thriller came in 2006 in a game between Iowa and Northwestern State.
Northwestern trailed throughout much of the game, but battled back late
in the second half and trailed by just two points as time was running
out. As Northwestern initially shot a three-pointer that missed its
mark, Jermaine Wallace grabbed the rebound and dribbled toward the
corner of the court. He dodged an Iowa defender and lofted a
three-pointer that connected, giving Northwestern its first-ever
non-opening round win.
There are countless buzzer-beating three-pointers
that have been hit in dramatic fashion since the three-pointer was
established more than 30 years ago. Each one is an amazing feat that
lives on in the rich history of basketball.