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Los Angeles Lakers

This Date in NBA History: Jerry West forces overtime with 60-foot buzzer-beater vs. New York Knicks in 1970 Finals & more

On April 29th in 1970, in the closing second of Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Jerry West knocked down a buzzer-beating 60-foot shot that forced overtime with both teams tied at 102-102.

West's shot was in response to Dave DeBusschere's short jumper that gave the Knicks a two-point lead with three seconds left.

Eventually, the visitors outscored the Lakers 9-6 in the extra session to clinch the game 111-108 and subsequently the series in seven games. This Finals series was West's seventh loss in the Finals, since he was drafted in 1960.

Despite all those losses, West was known for his ability to make clutch game-saving or game-winning buckets. The nickname "Mr. Clutch" given to him by then Lakers announcer Chick Hearn in his early years, stuck for the rest of the career.

One of the earliest "clutch" shots from his career was in just his second season - in the 1962 Finals.

A couple of years after this 60-foot shot, West also knocked down a game-winner in the 1972 All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

Other notable events on April 29th

  • In 1969, the Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 89-88 in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. In this game, both teams combined for an NBA low 21 assists.
  • In 1990, the Lakers beat the Houston Rockets 104-100 for Pat Riley's 100th playoff victory, snapping Red Auerbach's NBA record of 99. Also, in the game, Hakeem Olajuwon recorded 10 blocks, tying the NBA playoff record set by Mark Eaton in 1985 vs. the Rockets.
  • In 1992, Michael Jordan goes off for 56 points (20-of-30 FG; 16-of-18 FT) against the Miami Heat in a 119-114 win. Before James Harden erupted for 58 in 2019, this was the highest points tally scored against the Heat.
  • In 2018, during Game 7 of the Cleveland Cavaliers' first-round series against the Indiana Pacers, LeBron James passed Scottie Pippen (395) for most career steals in the NBA playoffs history.

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