ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Greatest Basketball Games: Game 6 of the 1997 Nba Western Conference Finals

Updated on January 4, 2021
CELEBSFAN78 profile image

Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Why is This Game So Great?

There are basketball games in the history of the NBA that stand out as very memorable, so memorable that they deserve recognition and analysis. Another such example is Game 6 of the 1997 NBA Western Conference Finals between the Utah Jazz and the Houston Rockets. This game ended up being one of the greatest games in the history of basketball mainly because of a last second shot that has stood the test of time and is recognized as being one of the greatest buzzer beaters in NBA history.

Houston Rockets Old Team Logo


The Houston Rockets Really Gave the Utah Jazz Competition in Game 6 of This Series

As the game proved, the Rockets would not go down without a fight. Clyde Drexler who scored 10 points in the first quarter made a big three-pointer early in the 2nd quarter which electrified the crowd. Eddie Johnson, the 38 year-old forward who told NBC’s Jim Gray after Game 4 that he was getting his confidence back made a three pointer in the 4th quarter which gave Houston a 90-77 lead.

The Utah Jazz Got Back Into the Game With Better Defense

But slowly, the Jazz got back into the game because they picked up their defensive intensity and the Rockets according to commentator Steve ‘Snapper” Jones had a little bit of a letdown. John Stockton finished the game with 25 points, his last three coming at the buzzer to eliminate the Houston Rockets.

The Houston Rockets Could Not Even Hold a Seven Point Lead

Charles Barkley was seen with his head against the wall as I’m sure he was very disappointed to lose. It may have been a letdown by the Rockets that allowed the Utah Jazz to get back in the game after falling behind 87-75 in the 4th quarter due to Drexler’s hot shooting. However, with 1:55 left in that crucial 4th quarter, the Rockets had just seen Charles Barkley make two free throws to put his team up by a score of 98-91. Bill Walton remarked at the time that the game was far from over.

Utah Jazz Team Logo


The Events That Led to the Game Winning Shot by John Stockton

Bill Walton's words would become very prophetic as a three pointer by Mario Elie missed the mark.

Bryon Russell followed up with a three pointer of his own. The Rockets’ next possession saw Clyde Drexler lose the ball coming across the lane. John Stockton would score on consecutive possessions to tie the game at 98. After two free throws by Charles Barkley to give the Rockets a slim two point edge, 35 year-old Stockton cruised to the basket, taking advantage of the Rockets slower, aging front line. When Bryon Russell threw the ball in bounds, the catch for Stockton was far too easy. The Rockets had a huge defensive breakdown as Barkley was forced to come out and try to defend it but John was too good that day.

Final Thoughts About Game 6 of the 1997 NBA Western Conference Finals

Game 6 of that Western Conference Finals was a contest between two very good teams but ultimately, the Utah Jazz finally reached that next level after being beaten by the Seattle Sonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder) the previous season. But this game was memorable also because you had several players playing in it that would reach the Hall of Fame, one of them being Charles Barkley who had reached the NBA Finals in 1993 but did not win. Clyde Drexler who had 33 points in this game was one of the best players not just in this game but in the history of the NBA.

Game 6 of the 1997 NBA Western Conference Finals Karl Malone Highlights

A Memorable Quote From Commentator Steve "Snapper" Jones

"We have never seen this kind of emotion from Stockton and Malone and finally, their day has come, but the catch was too easy and Stockton who had been the hot hand in the quarter, finishes up the game, 15 in the quarter with that three."

© 2019 Ara Vahanian


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)