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Utah Jazz mailbag: Fans share their favorite playoff moments

SHARE Utah Jazz mailbag: Fans share their favorite playoff moments
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John Stockton releases a game-winning three against the Houston Rockets in Game 6 of the playoffs on May 29, 1997.

Glenn James

SALT LAKE CITY — Once again, when I put out the call, Utah Jazz fans answered in a big way.

This time I asked for fans to send me their favorite playoff moments, from any era. Below are some of the most mentioned, which include iconic basketball moments and some others that stood out to me.

The Shot

Without question, most people responded saying that John Stockton’s series-clinching shot at the buzzer of Game 6 vs. the Houston Rockets in 1997 was their all-time favorite playoff moment.

That shot put the Jazz in the NBA Finals, where they would eventually lose to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls in six games, but the thrill of a securing a Finals appearance on a buzzer-beating 3 by one of the franchise’s most legendary players stands out.

Stockton’s shot is one of those sports moments that fans will remember where they were when it happened. It’s like a life milestone. If you were a fan and you watched that game, it’s a feeling you’ll never forget.

Malone vs. Sonics

On April 22, 2000, a 36-year-old Karl Malone scored 50 points for the Jazz in a Game 1 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics.

The second closest playoff scoring output from Malone was his previous playoff-high when he scored 44 points in a Game 4 win against the Clippers in the first round of the 1992 playoffs.

Malone scored 50-or-more points only five times during his NBA career. Twice during the 1989-90 season, once during the 1995-96 season, once during the 1997-98 season, and one final time in 2000 against Seattle in the playoffs.

Rubio’s triple-double

A more recent favorite was Ricky Rubio laying into the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2018 and finishing the night with a 26-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist triple-double.

It was the Jazz’s first playoff triple-double in 17 years. Rubio, in his first career playoff series, completed the feat at home in front of the Jazz faithful, in the face of Russell Westbrook, who has become known for racking up triple-doubles.

Twitter user @AveSim13 wrote in saying, “Ricky’s triple-double and the successive Night King impersonation. I spent the whole year on Twitter running a Ricky Rubio Triple Double watch because he would come so close, but Jazzmen couldn’t ever do it. Then he got it in a huge way.”

Emotional ties

Here’s the thing; I’m a big ol’ softie, and if there is an emotional or familial story that is tied to a sports memory, that’s my favorite, so here are some of the more sentimental stories that were shared with me.

In Game 4 of the second round of the 2008 playoffs, Ronnie Price blocked a breakaway layup by Luke Walton. It was a play that immediately made highlight reels and is still on them today. For reader @McCadeP8, it was the whole day that made the moment special.

I love sharing basketball with my mother, so I relate to the sentiment shared here.

There were many, many more memories that you shared with me and I still want you to share them with me if you haven’t already, because this won’t be the last time that we take a walk down memory lane.