Damian Lillard’s Game 6 buzzer-beater crushed the Houston Rockets hopes and dreams of contending for a championship, but it wasn’t the first time the Rockets ended their season on a 3-pointer at the buzzer in the playoffs.
Lillard’s shot marked the first time in 17 years that a playoff series ended with a buzzer-beater. The last time? In 1997 when John Stockton drained a 3 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals against the Rockets.
The Rockets at that time had just traded for Charles Barkley to form a future Hall-of-Fame trio along with Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon in hopes of recapturing the title they had just won in 2 of the last 3 seasons. The chase, however, fell just short in the conference finals as the image of Stockton and the rest of the Utah Jazz celebrating on the floor of The Summit after his buzzer-beater still resonates in Rockets lore.
So let’s hear it, which shot hurts more? Lillard’s or Stockton’s?