The NBA has produced a lot of great games, but we've pared down the top 10 best NBA games ever. The meaning and magnitude of the games makes it necessary that most of the games on our list be playoff games. The basketball games that decided championships are the ones we remember, more than an obscure game in mid-season, though to someone at that mid-season barn-burner, there might be grounds for debate. With that in mind, here is our list of the 10 best NBA games ever.
- Game three of the NBA finals in 1970. Jerry West hit a 63-foot shot – in the days before the three-pointer – to send the game into overtime for the Lakers. It was another classic Lakers- New York Knicks matchup. In spite of his great shot, the Knicks won the game and the series.
- Game seven, NBA finals in 1970. Back at Madison Square Garden, star Willis Reed was injured but made an inspiring start to the game. Walt Frazier took over from there, scoring 36, dishing 19 assists and getting seven rebounds to blow out the Lakers 113-99 and win the championship for the Knicks.
- Game seven of NBA finals, 1951. Rochester won the first three games, and the Knicks stormed back to even the series. The seventh game was at Rochester. Bob Davies he two foul shots with 40 seconds left, and Rochester prevailed 79-75.
- December 13, 1983, Pistons 186, Nuggets 184. For lovers of offense, this game has to be on the list. It was, and still is, the highest scoring game in NBA history. Detroit won the game at home in triple overtime.
- Game one, 1995 Eastern Conference finals, Reggie Miller scored eight points in eight seconds to propel the Pacers to a 107-105 win over the Knicks. The Pacers went on to win that series, but were eliminated in the next round.
- Game five, NBA finals, Bulls versus Jazz. Michael Jordan's "flu game." where he scored 38 points in leading the Bulls to victory, even though he had the flu. Jordan was vomiting, had a 103-degree temperature, and had to be helped off the court after the game. One of the most dramatic individual performances in history.
- March 2, 1962, Wild Chamberlain scores 100 points in a single game as the Philadelphia Warriors beat the New York Knicks 169 – 147.
- NBA Finals, 1980, game six. Magic Johnson plays center and scores 42 as the Lakers beat Philadelphia.
- NBA Finals, 1976 game five. Upstart Phoenix Suns take the Celtics to three overtimes – longest playoff game in history – before eventually losing the series to Boston.
- NBA Finals, game seven 1995. Houston prevails over Phoenix 115-114. Houston faced elimination several times in the playoffs that year, but were a team of destiny. Houston trailed by nine with five minutes left in that game. Houston went on a 22-11 tear to end the game.
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