Utah Jazz: The 5 Most Memorable Shots in Team History

Matt JonesAnalyst IAugust 9, 2011

Utah Jazz: The 5 Most Memorable Shots in Team History

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    Every sports fan is well aware of the emotional ups and downs that they go through as they follow their favorite teams.

    It does not matter which team you follow, how good or bad they are or how many star players the team has had: Every team has its good moments and its bad.

    From the amazing skills of "Pistol" Pete Maravich and the high-flying play from Dr. Dunkenstein, to the consistent play that made John Stockton and Karl Malone one of the best duos in league history, the Utah Jazz have experienced some of the best moments ever seen in the game.

    As the lockout drags on and the only news coming from the NBA is who may or may not play overseas, I thought it would be a good time to look back at five of the most memorable shots in Utah Jazz history.

    As usual, if there is anything that I may have missed, please let me know.

5. Derek Fisher's Emotional Return

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    In one of the most emotional games in Jazz history, Derek Fisher returned from taking care of his family in the middle of a playoff game to help spark the team to victory.

    As it says in the video clip, Fisher flew from New York to Salt Lake City, went straight to the arena from the airport, changed into his uniform and joined his teammates of the bench.

    Without taking any warmup shots, and after only a few minutes on the sideline, he not only played the rest of the game but hit one of the most memorable shots in team history.

    As his three-pointer found the bottom of the net, the crowd went crazy. It was not only for the points on the scoreboard, but what it meant for Fisher.

    It was likely that the Jazz were going to win the playoff series against the Golden State Warriors anyway, but Fisher's emotional shot helped the team to a 2-0 series lead.

4. Full-Court Pass and a Big Finish Against the Bulls in the NBA Finals

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    A few weeks after hitting the biggest shot in Jazz history, John Stockton connected for one of his biggest assists.

    While Stockton deserves the credit, and it is the pass is that makes this play, the finish is why it is on this list.

    With about 45 seconds left in Game 4 of the 1997 NBA Finals, John Stockton took down a missed Michael Jordan jumper and found his running mate Karl Malone with the perfect pass, which was easily put into the basket to help the Jazz get the win.

    Trailing 2-1 in the series, that pass and shot put the Jazz up late in the fourth quarter and helped them to not only win the game, but tie the series and give them a chance against the Bulls.

    Jazz fans will not only remember the perfect pass, but the perfect finish as well.

3. Sundiata Gaines Beats the Cleveland Cavaliers

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    On a cold night in January 2010, the Utah Jazz faced LeBron James and the mighty Cleveland Cavaliers in Salt Lake City.

    After watching King James dominate the Jazz during the game and score 36 points, the game came down to one final shot.

    With starting point guard Deron Williams in the locker room with an injury, and Carlos Boozer on the bench after fouling out, the Jazz were left with backup guard Ronnie Price and new Jazz man Sundiata Gaines, who was on the tail end of a 10-day contract.

    After playing in only five games, taking 15 shots in the NBA and being just a couple of weeks out of the Developmental League, Gaines lined up for one of the biggest shots in Jazz history.

    As you can see from the video, the play was not designed for him, as he just happened to be in the right place with the clock winding down.

    When his first career three-pointer found the bottom of the net and the final buzzer sounded, the team and fans went crazy celebrating the win.

    The next day, Gaines was signed for the rest of the Jazz season.

2. John Stockton Breaks the NBA All-Time Assist Record

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    The second-most memorable shot in Utah Jazz history comes from a routine jump shot from the baseline by Karl Malone.

    Although he made hundreds of them in his career, and the play was one that the Jazz ran every night for at least 20 years, this one was special.

    Even though it was inevitable, and the fans were counting down the when it would happen, that shot helped Hall of Fame point guard John Stockton break the all-time NBA assists record.

    With his 9,992nd assist, Stockton finally surpassed Magic Johnson for the accomplishment. Stockton went on to add roughly 6,000 more to set a record that will not be reached.

    Always the competitor and never one to want the attention, Stockton seemed to want to continue playing the game instead of receiving praise for his accomplishment.

    Even better for Jazz fans, the record-setting assist came against the division-rival Denver Nuggets, who the Jazz have faced many times in big games.

1. John Stockton Sends the Utah Jazz to the NBA Finals

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    For Jazz fans, this one comes as no surprise.

    After several years of knocking on the playoff door and running into the Seattle Supersonics in the Western Conference Finals, the Utah Jazz finally made it through to the NBA Finals in 1997.

    In Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets, the Jazz found themselves tied at 100 with Charles Barkley and the Rockets. As the Jazz got the ball into John Stockton, there was a feeling that something big would happen.

    After taking a dribble, Stockton lined up for the last-second shot that hit the bottom of the net and gave the Jazz a 4-2 series win.

    Jazz fans everywhere were ecstatic, and the moment even brought a smile to Jerry Sloan's face.

    The video really says it all.

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