JUNE 22: Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns reacts to fans as he exits game two of the Western Conference Finals against the LA Clippers at Phoenix Suns Arena on June 22, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Clippers 104-103. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Phoenix Suns defeated the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals in dramatic fashion, a Deandre Ayton game-winning alley-oop.
Throughout Valley sports history, there have been a handful of memorable game-winning plays that Arizona sports fans hold dearly to their hearts.
Here are some of the best game-winning plays in Valley sports history.
Dan Majerle’s buzzer-beater vs. Lakers
Anytime the Suns and Lakers play, things are usually bound to get interesting.
During the 1992-93 regular season, Dan Majerle put on a spectacle at America West Arena.
Majerle knocked down two crucial 3-pointers down the stretch to give the Suns the win over the Lakers.
The Suns guard hit a buzzer-beater from beyond the arc as time expired to give Phoenix a 115-114 victory at home.
Charles Barkley’s shot vs. San Antonio Spurs in 1993 playoffs
During the Suns’ 1993 NBA Finals run, Phoenix had to face the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Suns legend Charles Barkley knocked down a big shot for his team in the closing moments of Game 6 vs. the Spurs.
With less than 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Suns put the ball in Barkley’s hands and he sank a mid-range jumper over David Robinson to give Phoenix a 102-100 win that catapulted the team to the Western Conference Finals.
Luis Gonzalez’s walk-off hit vs. the New York Yankees
The 2001 World Series between the Diamondbacks and Yankees is a postseason matchup that Valley fans will never forget. Arizona was looking to dethrone the Yankees’ dynasty run as New York had won the previous three World Series.
In the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 7, Luis Gonzalez stepped up to the plate against Yankees closer Mariano Rivera and delivered on the most recognizable play in D-backs history.
With two runners on base, Gonzalez hit a blooper to center field and drove in Jay Bell to seal the World Series for Arizona.
Jael Mary catch vs. USC
On a Saturday night in Los Angeles in 2014, the Arizona State Sun Devils looked like they were going to fall to USC as they trailed 34-25 in the fourth quarter with 3:02 minutes left.
But quarterback Mike Bercovici and wide receiver Jaelen Strong had other plans.
Bercovici found receiver Cameron Smith who scored a touchdown to cut the Trojans’ lead to 34-32 with 2:43 left on the clock.
The Sun Devils were able to stop the Trojans on defense and forced them to punt on their next possession.
With five seconds left in the game, Bercovici heaved it from midfield and Strong was there in the end zone to make the catch as time expired.
ASU would win on that drive 38-32 and upset the No. 16-ranked USC.
Larry Fitzgerald game-winning touchdown vs. Green Bay Packers NFC Divisional Round
During the 2015 divisional round, the Cardinals hosted the Green Bay Packers.
The game was tied at 20-20 and the Cardinals had the first possession in overtime.
As soon as OT started, the Cardinals wasted little time on securing the victory thanks to Larry Fitzgerald.
Carson Palmer threw it down the field to an open Fitzgerald. No. 11 was able to dodge some tackles and had some blocking help as Fitzgerald charged down the field.
The Cardinals receiver ended up with a 75-yard gain.
Arizona got it down to Green Bay’s 5-yard line and on the Cardinals’ ensuing play, Palmer once again was able to connect with Fitzgerald for the five-yard touchdown to send the Cardinals to the the NFC Conference Championship.
DeAndre Hopkins game-winning catch vs. Bills
In Week 10 of the 2020 season, DeAndre Hopkins made a jaw-dropping play to give his team the win.
Buffalo was up 30-26 with 11 seconds left in the game and quarterback Kyler Murray launched a 43-yard pass to Hopkins in the end zone.
Hopkins was able to make the grab despite being covered by three Bills defensive players.
Arizona won the game on the Hail Murray play, 32-30.
Deandre Ayton Valley-Oop Western Conference Finals vs. Clippers
And last but certainly not least, Ayton’s game-winning alley-oop dunk.
In the closing moments of Game 2 of the conference finals on Tuesday, it looked like the Clippers were going to pull out a victory on the road.
Los Angeles was ahead in the fourth quarter 103-102 with less than a second left in the game.
But head coach Monty Williams drew up a play that would seal the game for Phoenix.
Jae Crowder threw a beautiful inbounds pass to Ayton, who proceeded to dunk the basketball with 0.9 seconds left and ultimately hand the Suns a 2-0 series lead.