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'Memorial Day miracle', Game 6 thrillers and more punctuate NBA TV's lineup

NBA TV continues its rewind of some of the best performances and most exciting games in league history.

Serious planning for the resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season has begun, but we’re still at least several weeks away from live basketball. While we wait, NBA TV continues its rewind of some of the best performances and most exciting games in league history.

This week’s schedule features new Pop Up Edition showings that relive some of the biggest shots in postseason history.

Monday: ‘The Memorial Day Miracle’

The Monday schedule includes a Dunk Contest marathon, starting with the 1997 competition (Kobe Bryant) at 2 a.m. ET and continuing through the 2020 contest at 11:30 a.m. Later, it will be two Rockets-Warriors playoff games from the last several years: 2015 Game 4 (James Harden’s career playoff high 45 points) at 4 p.m. ET and 2018 Game 7 (the Rockets led by double-digits in the second half) at 6 p.m.

9 p.m. ET: Blazers at Spurs, Game 2, May 31, 1999 (Pop Up Edition)

Celebrate Memorial Day with a special, Pop Up Edition of the Memorial Day Miracle. The Spurs trailed Game 2 of the Western Conference finals by 18 points in the third quarter and by six with a minute left in the fourth. But they were down just two and inbounding the ball with 12 seconds to go. Sean Elliott caught the inbounds pass, managed to stay inbounds as he dribbled once, and then drained the game-winning three with his heels suspended over the sideline.

Tuesday: Bird’s steal, Dwight vs. Nate and Smits’ big shot

Tuesday’s schedule includes Game 7 of the 1970 Finals, when Willis Reed hobbled onto the court and Walt Frazier carried the Knicks to their first title (9 a.m. ET), as well as a Pop Up Edition replay of Zion Williamson’s NBA debut from January.

6 p.m. ET: Pistons at Celtics, Game 5, May 26, 1987

With the Eastern Conference finals tied 2-2 and trailing Game 5 by a point, the Celtics were in trouble when Larry Bird’s shot was blocked and the Pistons were awarded the ball after a scramble for the rebound. But Detroit chose not to advance the ball, Bird intercepted Isiah Thomas’ inbounds pass, and he found Dennis Johnson cutting to the basket to put the Celtics ahead with one second left.

8:30 p.m. ET: Film Room: 2009 Dunk Contest

Dwight Howard and Nate Robinson join TNT’s Kenny Smith to discuss this special replay of the 2009 Dunk Contest in which the big man and the little man went head-to-head in the final round.

9 p.m. ET: Magic at Pacers, Game 4, May 29, 1995 (Pop Up Edition)

Shaquille O’Neal averaged 27.3 points on 66% shooting in the 1995 Eastern Conference finals, but Rik Smits got the best of him in Game 4. Smits registered 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, and he drained the game-winning jumper at the buzzer as the Pacers evened the series at two games apiece. The game-winner was the fourth time the lead changed hands in the final 15 seconds.

Wednesday: Best of ‘Big Shot Bob’

The Wednesday schedule includes the last two games of the 1988 Finals, Game 6 at 9 a.m. and Game 7 at 11 a.m. ET. Hall of Famer David Robinson will join Ernie Johnson for an episode of #NBATogether at 8:30 p.m. ET.

9 p.m. ET: Kings at Lakers, Game 4, May 26, 2002 (Pop Up Edition)

The Kings were one rebound away from taking a 3-1 lead on the two-time defending champs in the Western Conference finals. But Vlade Divac batted O’Neal’s missed layup out toward the perimeter, where Robert Horry calmly grabbed the ball and drained the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Thursday: The last days of KD in OKC

Thursday’s schedule includes some big games from The Finals in the 90s, including Magic-Rockets Game 4 at 9 a.m. and Knicks-Rockets Game 5 (the night of the O.J. chase) at 11 a.m. ET.

6 p.m. ET : Warriors at Thunder, Game 6 , May 28, 2016

Before they blew a 3-1 lead, the Warriors came back from a 3-1 deficit, and Game 6 in Oklahoma City was the most critical piece of the comeback. The defending champs trailed by as many as 13 points and they were down eight to start the fourth quarter. But Klay Thompson scored 19 of his 41 points in the final period to send the series to Game 7 in Oakland.

9 p.m. ET: Thunder at Warriors, Game 7, May 30, 2016 (Pop Up Edition)

The work wasn’t done after Klay Thompson saved them in Game 6. And the Warriors trailed Game 7 by 13 points in the second quarter. But they took control with a 29-12 third quarter, survived a late comeback fueled by Kevin Durant (in his last game with the Thunder), and got 36 points from Stephen Curry to advance to The Finals for the second straight year.

Friday: Some Game 6 thrills

The Friday schedule includes Game 3 of the 2002 Finals (9 a.m. ET), a narrow win for the Lakers in which Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal combined for 71 points.

6 p.m. ET — Jazz at Rockets, Game 6, May 29, 1997

A team with Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon was not enough against Stockton and Malone. John Stockton scored 25 points, dished out 13 assists and drained the game-winning 3 at the buzzer to send the Jazz to The Finals for the first time in franchise history.

9 p.m. ET: Blazers at Suns, Game 6 – May 31, 1990 (Pop Up Edition)

Clyde Drexler (23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists) and the Blazers came back from a late deficit, with Jerome Kersey’s block-and-fast-break sequence putting them ahead in the final minute, and survived a 36-point performance from Jeff Hornacek to advance to The Finals for the first time in 13 years.

Sunday: ‘Rip City Revival’

The schedule on Sunday highlights the best from the Portland Trail Blazers of the 1990s, starting at 10:30 a.m. ET with their thrilling 153-151 double-overtime win over the Suns in Game 4 of the 1992 Western Conference semifinals. The night caps off with a special hour-long premiere.

8 p.m. ET: ‘Rip City Revival’: Celebrating 50th anniversary of the Trail Blazers

The latest Basketball Stories retrospective honors the Trail Blazers with a look back at the team’s impressive run from 1990-92, when they reached three Western Conference Finals and two NBA Finals. The special, which includes interviews with stars Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter and Buck Williams, among others, also reflects on the unfortunate losses of former teammates Jerome Kersey, Kevin Duckworth and Drazen Petrovic.

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John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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