Derrick Rose Hits Amazing Game-Winning Buzzer Beater

by Adam Smith

That was one sweet shot. Derrick Rose’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer gave the Chicago Bulls a 99-96 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The shot was Rose’s only 3-pointer of the game. It gave him 30 points (his second 30-point game this postseason) and 14 points in the fourth quarter (matching the most he has ever scored in the fourth quarter of a playoff game). It also capped a terrific back-and-forth game that featured 19 lead changes.

It was the second buzzer-beater of Rose’s career (the other came in the regular season against the Bucks in 2012). The Elias Sports Bureau notes that it’s the Bulls’ first playoff buzzer-beater since Michael Jordan hit a jumper at the buzzer to beat the Jazz in Game 1 of the 1997 NBA Finals. It’s the last game-winner to come within the final 10 seconds of a Bulls’ playoff game since Jordan’s title-winning shot with 5.2 seconds left in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals, also against the Jazz.

There’s one more famous Bulls playoff shot to reference. Rose’s shot came 26 years and one day since Jordan’s famous buzzer-beating jumper that won the clinching Game 5 of the first-round series with the Cavaliers. This was not a high-percentage shot for Rose in any way. He was 5-for-22 from 3-point range in the United Center this postseason before making the game-winner. Rose had spent most of the game going to the basket. He had 20 drives to the basket, two more than he had in Games 1 and 2 of the series combined. Rose and Jimmy Butler combined to score all but two of the Bulls’ points in the fourth quarter.

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