Most Buzzer Beaters in NBA History

min read
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates during the game against the LA Clippers on November 1, 2023.
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy May 29, 2024, 3:49 PM

Most basketball players will never suit up for any game with actual basketball odds, but two popular names are often the go-to scream when firing off a potential game-winning shot.

“Kobe!” Or, “MJ!”

Jamal Murray added his name to the impressive list of NBA players who have connected on a playoff game-winning shot with his excellent Game 2 finish against the Lakers.

That said, Murray still has work left to do if he wants to appear near the top of the list.

Most Game Winners In NBA History

PlayerNumber of Buzzer Beaters
Michael Jordan9
Kobe Bryant8
Joe Johnson8
LeBron James7
Paul Pierce7
Andre Iguodala5
Gilbert Arenas5
Dwyane Wade5
Vince Carter5
Kevin Garnett5

Who Has the Most Buzzer Beaters In NBA History?

Unsurprisingly, Michael Jordan has more career buzzer-beaters than anyone else in NBA history. 

While the first eight came as a member of the Chicago Bulls, his final game-winning shot came in January 2002 as a member of the Wizards. Washington beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 93-92.

His Airness

Two of Jordan’s most memorable game-winners came at the expense of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1989 playoffs, where he sent the Cavs home with his legendary free-throw jumper over Craig Ehlo. 

Several years later, Jordan replicated this jump shot over Bryon Russell to seal Chicago’s three-peat title run in 1998 against the Utah Jazz.

Kobe Bryant and Joe Johnson

Tied at the number two spot are Kobe Bryant and Joe Johnson, who have eight game-winning shots in their 20 and 17 seasons, respectively. One of the most memorable shots of Kobe Bryant’s career was his game-winning three-point shot against the Miami Heat in December 2009.

The Lakers were down by two points with 3.2 seconds remaining when Ron Artest inbounded the ball to Kobe, who managed to shoot the basketball over the outstretched arms of Dwyane Wade and banked the three-point shot to win it for Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Joe Johnson mustered five of his eight game-winners while he was with the Brooklyn Nets and two when he was a member of the Atlanta Hawks. The biggest clutch shot of his career was with the Utah Jazz when he scored a floater against the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1 of the 2017 playoffs.

Utah eventually won that series, 4-3, to advance to the second round.

How Many Game Winners Does LeBron Have?

LeBron James has seven career game-winning shots, with the most recent coming on May 5, 2018, in a playoff game against the Toronto Raptors. 

LeBron Still Has Time

The ‘’King’’ could one day take the record from Michael Jordan. Currently, LeBron has seven game-winning shots through 21 seasons of play. There is a chance he might be the leader in this category once he concludes his career.

Five of James’ seven buzzer-beaters have come in the playoffs, which is more than any other player in the history of the NBA postseason.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.