Jazz beat the Rockets to advance to the first NBA Finals
That day in 1997, John Stockton exhausted 3 points as time expired to send the Utah Jazz to a victory over the Houston Rockets for their first appearance in the NBA Finals.
Stockton finished with 25 points, 13 assists, two rebounds and two steals in the 103-100 win in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. He scored 15 points alone in the fourth quarter and helped the Jazz overcome a 13-point deficit in the final period.
Prior to this season, Utah had lost their previous three trips to the Conference Finals in 1992, 1994 and 1996. They finally managed to overcome the hump after Stockton’s late-game heroism after knocking down the Rockets, who beat them in 1994.
Stockton later recalled how important that shot was.
“Even though I hit the hit, I never felt so much like I was the one hit him,” Stockton said. “It was a ‘We did it’. I remember saying breathlessly, “We did it! We finally made it to the final and it’s something we’ve knocked on the door a few times.
24 YEARS AGO TODAY
John Stockton’s 3PT winner against Charles Barkley who knocked out the Rockets and sent the Jazz to the NBA Finals.
25 PTS | 13 AST | 53% FGpic.twitter.com/Nvl0I9rRf5
– Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 29, 2021
After landing their first appearance in the NBA Finals, the Jazz would end up losing to the Chicago Bulls in 1997 and 1998. Stockton and his teammate Karl Malone sadly never won a title with the Jazz and are among the greats. to play without winning a ring.
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