Click here to Skip to main content
NBA HISTORY
ralph-sampson-608.jpg
Ralph Sampson and the Rockets shocked the top-seeded Lakers on their way to the 1986 NBA Finals.
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

Sampson's game-winner stuns the Lakers


Posted Mar 4 2013 4:39PM

Perhaps the most famous Twin Towers in NBA history played for the Houston Rockets in the 1980s, when 7-footer Hakeem Olajuwon paired with 7-foot-4 Ralph Sampson on the Rockets' front line. Both were All-Stars, and in 1986 they led Houston to a berth in the NBA Finals.

En route to the Finals, the Rockets beat Sacramento and Denver before meeting the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.

Houston came into the series as a distinct underdog to a Laker team led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and James Worthy. Yet Los Angeles was able to take only one game from the surprising Rockets.

Los Angeles attempted to extend the series with a strong effort in Game 5. But with the score tied in the closing seconds, Sampson got the ball to the left of the lane and nailed a jumper at the buzzer for a 114-112 victory that eliminated the Lakers 4-1.

With the win the Rockets brought an end to the Lakers' four-year dominance of the Western Conference. But Houston was no match for the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, bowing in six games.

SEARCH NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS
photoUSA Basketball vs. Puerto Rico
Stephen Curry scores 20 points and dishes out four assists as Team USA beats Puerto Rico 112-86 in their MSG finale.
photoThrough the Lens: Puerto Rico vs. Team USA
Take a super slow-motion look at Team USA's victory over Puerto Rico in Madison Square Garden.
photoTop 5: USA Basketball vs. Puerto Rico
Check out the top five plays from Friday's USA vs. Puerto Rico game.
photoGameTime: USA Basketball Final Roster
USA Basketball announces the 12 man roster for the upcoming World Cup in Spain.
photoGameTime: Love Trade Update
NBA TV discusses the current status of the Kevin Love trade to the Cavaliers and what he will bring to Cleveland if the deal goes through.

Copyright © NBA Media Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved. No portion of NBA.com may be duplicated, redistributed or manipulated in any form. By accessing any information beyond this page, you agree to abide by the Privacy Policy / Your California Privacy Rights and Terms of Use. | Ad Choices Ad Choices

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