Top six plays of the NBA playoffs

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San Antonio Spurs' blow-out Game-7 win against the Dallas Mavericks capped off an exhilarating first round in the NBA playoffs.

With more opening round games (50), more games where the higher seed won (23) and more overtime games (8) since the new playoff system was introduced in 2003, this post-season has delivered drama in spades. Some scribes went as far as as to declare it the "best first round of the NBA Playoffs ever".

While that claim is open to debate, what isn't is that this year's match-ups have given rise to a cavalcade of spectacular moments, ranging from clutch buzzer-beaters to ferocious dunks to ineffable circus shots.

So why not dwell on it a little longer with a selection of the best moments from the past two weeks?

Here's hoping the conference semi-finals can engender the same high-octane thrills and nerve-shredding tension.  

5. Lowry banked first-half buzzer-beater

In this list's first entry, Kyle Lowry takes three Brooklyn players out of the game with an injection of pace; then, with 0.4 seconds left in the half, he launches himself and the ball forward, slamming the deck as the banked floater stretches the Toronto Raptor's lead out to 18.

4. Klay Thompson dunk

Golden State Warrior's Klay Thompson produced the highlight of Game 4 against the Los Angeles Clippers with a monstrous slam over Glen "Big Baby" Davis.

The 24-year-old managed to react to Big Baby's attempted block in mid-air, squaring up his body and dunking around the big man, leaving the Clippers' power forward clutching at thin air.

Thompson's throw down set the scene for a rout, the Warriors recording a 118-97 victory to tie the series at 2-2.

3. Lillard circus shot

During Game 3 of Portland Trail Blazers' first-round series against the Houston Rockets, Damien Lillard tried eveything in his power to claw back the 5-point lead established by the Rockets in the fourth quarter.

With four minutes left to play, Lillard drove into the paint, took the contact from Rocket's point guard Jeremy Lin and hurled a looping shot over the towering figure of Dwight Howard. Last year's Rookie of the Year then rounded off the outrageous And-1 play by converting the resultant free-throw.

2. Lillard buzzard-beater

When James Harden's rim shot somehow found it's way into Chandler Parsons's path - after an intense scramble - for an easy reverse lay-up, Houston Rocket's fans must've been deliberating on the libation with which they would commemorate their side's Game 6 victory. To their consternation, Portland Trail Blazer's Damien Lillard was about to cut these festivities short.

Trailing by two with 0.9 seconds on the clock, Lillard darted along the three-point line to receive the inbound pass from Nicolas Batum, before swivelling to face the basket and unleashing a pinpoint accurate off-balance jumper.

Lillard's last-second heroics sealed Portland's first NBA playoff win in 14 years.

1. Vince Carter Buzzer-beater

With the scores tied and 1.7 seconds left on the clock in Game 3, Manu Ginobili's go-ahead lay-up put the San Antonio Spurs two clear of the Dallas Mavericks.

The Mavs needed a hero play; Vince Carter duly obliged. The 37-year-old swingman accepted the inbound pass, rolled back the years with a delicious pump-fake that beat Ginobili all ends up in the corner and then sunk the three-point jump shot to a crescendo of raucous applause from the home crowd.


NBA Playoffs

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