2018 NBA Playoffs
2018 NBA Playoffs

Top NBA Finals moments: John Paxson's 3-pointer seals three-peat for Chicago Bulls

NBA.com Staff


Sharp-shooting guard John Paxson came through in the clutch in Game 6.

Top NBA Finals Moments Index

The Game: 1993 Finals, Game 6

The Series Situation: Chicago Bulls lead Phoenix Suns, 3-2

The Play: After Michael Jordan's passed from the backcourt early in the play and the defense of Mark West forced Scottie Pippen to abort a drive to the basket, unlikely hero John Paxson hit the three-pointer with 3.9 seconds remaining that turned a 98-96 deficit into a 99-98 victory for the Bulls over the Suns and a third consecutive title.

The Significance: It was impossible to imagine at the time that would be Jordan's final game before announcing his retirement for the first time. With any postscript, though, Paxson's wide-open jumper from the left side had the historical importance of clinching the first threepeat since the Celtics of the 1960s. And when Phoenix's Danny Ainge was forced to leave Paxson to help inside on defense, then could not recover in time to challenge Paxson's shot on the perimeter, the guard who had spent years as a long-range marksman but never distinguished himself as more than a role player had earned a spot in the lore of the game. It also was the difference in the Bulls having to play a Game 7 on the road for the championship.

-- Scott Howard-Cooper

Scott Howard-Cooper has covered the NBA since 1988. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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