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
photoJordan's "Double-Nickel" at MSG
Michael Jordan talks about his return to the game and his tremendous 55 point night at Madison Square Garden.
photoNB90s: Michael Jordan
New York natives talk about Jordan's double-nicket night at Madison Square Garden on March 28, 1995.
photoMJ "Double-Nickel" Game
Five games into Jordan's comeback he threw down 55 points against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
photoGameTime: Convince Me
Get into the topics around the Association in this edition of Convince Me.
photoKidd-Gilchrist Injury
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist sustains an ankle injury on a defensive effort.

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.