Phoenix Suns: Top 10 Buzzer Beaters in Franchise History

Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Top Buzzer Beaters in Team History:  Top Tier

The cream of the crop, these buzzer beaters should all be recognizable and still enjoyable for Suns fans no matter how deep into the past they go.

#3: Dan Majerle stuns the Los Angeles Lakers – April 6th, 1993

Another memorable shot from Phoenix’s 1992-93 season, Dan Majerle sank one from way downtown to beat the Los Angeles Lakers a few weeks before Barkley’s scoop and score. While the stakes were not as high for this game, the distance at which Majerle buried this shot elevates it to the top tier.

Today, we’re spoiled watching Steph Curry and Damian Lillard hit from all spots on the floor, but for its time, this shot from several feet beyond the arc was something entirely foreign to NBA fans.

Majerle’s emotion was arguably the best thing that came from this play. He jumped onto the score table right after hitting his shot and was surrounded by both his teammates and fans while celebrating.

#2: Deandre Ayton’s Valley-Oop beats the Los Angeles Clippers – June 22nd, 2021

Likely the best play from last year’s NBA Finals run, Deandre Ayton slammed home a dunk over Ivica Zubac to seize a 2-0 Western Conference Finals lead vs the Los Angeles Clippers.

While Ayton’s finish was incredible, it was a perfect over the backboard pass from Jae Crowder that set him up. The play stunned just about everyone, and left ESPN analysts Stephan A. Smith and Michael Wilbon speechless while watching from afar.

The Suns got Chris Paul back for their next game, and eventually went on to beat the Clippers in six games, making their first NBA Finals appearance since 1993.

#1: Gar Head’s “Shot Heard Round the World” in NBA Finals – June 3rd, 1976

This next miracle play for the Suns came during Game 5 of the 1976 NBA Finals vs the Boston Celtics. For context, this championship series was tied between both teams at 2-2, making this game that much more important.

After the Celtics blew an early lead, the Suns pushed this one to overtime, and then a second overtime, where Gar Head knocked one of the greatest shots in NBA history.

But before getting his chance to do so, the Celtics possessed the ball down a point. Boston’s John Havlicek darted down the floor and banked in a jumper to give Boston a lead. Everyone thought that shot had sealed the deal, including all the Boston fans who poured onto the court. However, the officials put one second back on the clock and gave Phoenix the ball after restoring order.

Suns coach Paul Westphal then traded a technical foul for the opportunity to advance the ball down the court by calling a nonexistent timeout. That put the ball in Phoenix’s hands at mid-court, still with a second to play, now down two points.

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On the inbound, the ball was thrown right to Gar Head, who caught it, turned, and threw a high arching shot into the net. It stunned the Boston crowd, and although the Celtics went onto win the game in the following overtime period, the play contributed to what has commonly been referred to as the “greatest game ever played.”