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Top 20 NBA Finals Moments of the Modern Era

Ranking the Top 20 NBA Finals Moments of the Modern Era (1979-Present)

NBA Finals Game 3: San Antonio Spurs v Cleveland Cavaliers
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There have been tons of great NBA Finals moments over the years. In this slideshow we'll count down the best of the best from the NBA's modern era (1979-present, three-point shot era). Enjoy:

20. Big Game James - 1988 NBA Finals

Seattle SuperSonics v Los Angeles Lakers
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20. Big Game James - 1988 NBA Finals

James Worthy definitely earned his famous moniker in game seven on the 1988 NBA Finals, as he went off for a triple-double - 36 pts, 16 rebounds and 10 assists - to help propel the Lakers to their fifth championship in the 1980s.

19. Bulls Rally From 15 Down Without Jordan - 1992 Finals

1992 NBA Finals - Game Two

19. Bulls Rally From 15 Down Without Jordan - 1992 Finals

It looked like the Bulls were headed for game seven against the Trail Blazers in 1992, as they were down 15 entering the 4th quarter of game six. But all of a sudden, 'Scottie Pippen and the CBA All-Stars' took over. The group of backups got the Bulls back in game, and Jordan eventually re-entered the contest to help seal the Bulls second straight championship.

18. Dirk Nowitzki Carries Mavericks To First Title - 2011 Finals

Dirk Monta Mavs Wizards
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18. Dirk Nowitzki Carries Mavericks To First Title - 2011 Finals

After many years of bitter defeats in the playoffs, Dirk finally reached the mountain top in 2011. Nowitzki only missed one free throw the entire series (45-46) on this way to Finals MVP,

17. LeBron James Finally Get Championship Monkey Off His Back - 2012 Finals

Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat – Game Five
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17. LeBron James Finally Get Championship Monkey Off His Back - 2012 Finals

Love him or hate him, you have to give King James credit for finally winning a ring. His excitement was that of a little kid on this June night in 2012.

16. Paul Pierce - Wheelchair Game - 2008 NBA Finals

Paul Pierce Boston Celtics Brooklyn Nets
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16. Paul Pierce - Wheelchair Game - 2008 NBA Finals

Pierce gets clowned for this moment because it seemed to be a little over-dramatic. But there's no doubt he was in some serious pain. Either way, he came back and helped the Celtics get an advantage on the Lakers in the '08 Finals.

15. Robert Horry Goes Big Shot Bob - 2005 Finals

NBA Finals Game 5: San Antonio Spurs v Detroit Pistons
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15. Robert Horry Goes Big Shot Bob - 2005 Finals

You don't earn a nickname like Big Shot Big without being absolutely clutch. In a career filled with clutch games, this one might standout the most for Horry.

14. Jordan Hits Game-Winner In Opener of 1997 Finals

1996 NBA Finals Game 1:  Seattle SuperSonics vs. Chicago Bulls
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14. Jordan Hits Game-Winner In Opener of 1997 Finals

What else can you say -- just another game-winner for the GOAT.

13. Gerald Henderson Game-Saving Steal - 1984 Finals

Los Angeles Lakers v Boston Celtics
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13. Gerald Henderson Game-Saving Steal - 1984 Finals

The Celtics had to come up with a steal, and Gerald Henderson was up to the task on this iconic Finals play in 1984.

12. Hakeem Olajuwon Blocks John Starks - 1994 Finals

1994 NBA Finals Game 7:  New York Knicks vs. Houston Rockets
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12. Hakeem Olajuwon Blocks John Starks - 1994 Finals

The Dream ensured there'd be a game seven in 1994 with this huge block of the hated John Starks. Classic Hakeem to say the least.

11. Dr. J's Signature Scoop Move - 1980 Finals

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics
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11. Dr. J's Signature Scoop Move - 1980 Finals

When it comes to iconic moves in the history of the NBA, it doesn't get much better than the Doctor's trademark scoop move.

10. The Jordan Switch Hands Layup - 1991 Finals

1991 NBA Finals - Game 1:  Los Angeles Lakers v Chicago Bulls
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10. The Jordan Switch Hands Layup - 1991 Finals

Marv Albert said it best at the time -- "Oh! A spectacular move by Michael Jordan!"

9. Ray Allen's Series-Saver - 2013 Finals

NBA: Finals-San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat
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9. Ray Allen's Series-Saver - 2013 Finals

What else can you say about this shot other than the Heat would have lost if it hadn't gone in. Allen proved he's truly an all-time great and absolutely clutch with this huge three.

8. Isiah Thomas Goes Off After Injury - 1988 Finals

NBA Finals, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers
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8. Isiah Thomas Goes Off After Injury - 1988 Finals

After a nasty ankle sprain, Thomas would go off for 25 points in the third quarter of game six in the 1988 NBA Finals. It remains the best individual performance in a loss in NBA Finals history.

7. The Shrug Game - 1992 NBA Finals

1992 NBA Finals: Portland Trailblazers vs. Chicago Bulls
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7. The Shrug Game - 1992 NBA Finals

Even Michael Jordan couldn't believe how on fire he was during the first half of Game 1 of the 1992 Finals. MJ hit six threes in the first half.

6. John Paxson Series-Winner - 1993 Finals

1993 NBA Finals Game 6:  Chicago Bulls vs. Phoenix Suns
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6. John Paxson Series-Winner - 1993 Finals

It doesn't get a whole lot bigger in sports than hitting a series-clinching shot. John Paxson did it in 1993 to sink the Phoenix Suns.

5. Steve Kerr Series-Winner - 1997 Finals

Steve Kerr Knicks
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5. Steve Kerr Series-Winner - 1997 Finals

MJ told Steve Kerr to be ready in game six of the 1997 Finals for the series-clincher, and ready he was. Kerr knocked down the late-game jumper to give the Bulls their fifth title in the 1990s.

4. Magic Plays Center - 1980 Finals

Magic Johnson celebrates w/teammates 80' Finals
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4. Magic Plays Center - 1980 Finals

Magic Johnson played center in the clinching game of the 1980 Finals to earn his first NBA Championship. Oh yeah, he was a rookie.

3. The Magic Hook Shot - 1987 Finals

NBA Finals, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers
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3. The Magic Hook Shot - 1987 Finals

Johnson was at it again in the '87 Finals, hitting this huge hook shot to propel the Lakers to their fourth title of the 1980s.

2. The Flu Game - 1997 NBA Finals

Jordan and Pippen celebrate
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2. The Flu Game - 1997 NBA Finals

This game is the standard for anyone who's trying to play hurt or sick. Jordan willed himself to be great in this one.

1. Jordan Clinches Sixth Championship - 1998 Finals

1998 NBA Finals Game 6: Chicago Bulls vs. Utah Jazz
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1. Jordan Clinches Sixth Championship - 1998 Finals

This is the quintessential walk off game winner. If only he had stayed retired.