2017 NBA Playoffs
2017 NBA Playoffs

Top NBA Finals moments: Gar Heard's shot forces 3OT in '76

NBA.com Staff

May 17, 2017 1:27 PM ET

1:03

Garfield Heard nails one of the most improbable buzzer-beaters in NBA Finals history.

Top NBA Finals Moments Index

The Game: 1976 Finals, Game 5

The Series Situation: Phoenix Suns and Boston Celtics tied, 2-2

The Play: With one second left, Garfield Heard catches Curtis Perry's inbounds pass, turns and hits a 20-foot jumper from the top of the key as the horn sounds to force the first triple-overtime in Finals history.

The Significance: It has long been regarded as the greatest game in Finals history for all that happened, especially at the end of the second overtime. Perry gave the Suns a 110-109 lead with four seconds left, but John Havlicek raced the length of the floor to drop in a 15-foot banker that touched off a celebration at Boston Garden. Fans stormed the floor. Referee Richie Powers was attacked on the court by a fan.

When order was restored, one second was put back on the clock. The Suns had no timeouts, but Paul Westphal intentionally called a timeout Phoenix did not have. It gave Boston a free throw, which was converted for a two-point lead, but also gave the Suns an opportunity to advance the ball to mid-court and set up the Perry-to-Heard play. While the Suns got to celebrate then, the Celtics eventually won the game 128-126 and then closed out the series in Game 6 to wrap up their 13th championship.

-- Fran Blinebury

Fran Blinebury has covered the NBA since 1977. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.


Copyright © 2017 NBA Media Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy | Accessibility and Closed Caption | Terms of Use |

NBA.com is part of Turner Sports Digital, part of the Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. A Time Warner Company.