UTAH JAZZ

25 Years Ago: John Stockton Sends Utah Jazz To NBA Finals

May 29, 2022, 11:00 AM

John-Stockton-Utah-Jazz-NBA...

John Stockton #12 of the Utah Jazz dribbles in Game five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Sacramento Kings during the 2003 NBA Playoffs at Arco Arena on April 30, 2003 in Sacramento, California. The Kings won 111-91. (Photo by: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

(Photo by: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Some of the sweetest words in Jazz history were spoken by Greg Gumbel in Houston, Texas on this day 25 years ago, “John Stockton sends the Utah Jazz to the NBA Finals.”

On May 29, 1997, the Rockets hosted the Jazz for Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. Utah entered the matchup with a 3-2 series lead.

With less than three seconds remaining on the game clock and the game tied at 100, Karl Malone set a screen near the top of the three-point arc to create an open space for Stockton. Bryon Russell inbounded the ball to an open Stockton, who took one dribble towards the hoop and rose up for a shot over Rockets forward Charles Barkley.

Stockton’s shot sailed through the cylinder as time expired to give Utah a 103-100 victory and a 4-2 series win.

After the shot, Stockton’s teammates and coaches ran to mid-court to celebrate the franchise’s first trip to the NBA Finals.

Stockton finished the contest with 25 points and 13 assists. Malone posted 24 points and 11 rebounds. Jeff Hornacek chipped in 18 points, while Greg Ostertag added 16 points and 14 rebounds. Russell recorded 15 points.

The Jazz went on to face the Chicago Bulls in the Finals. After losing the opening two games of the championship series, the Jazz even things up with victories in Games 3 and 4. The Bulls bounced back with two consecutive wins to defeat the Jazz and win the NBA title.

A year later, Utah and Chicago met up again in the NBA Finals. Once again, the Bulls took the title with a 4-2 series win.

The two straight trips to the Finals still remain as Utah’s only appearances in the championship series.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

Matt Harpring...

Chandler Holt

Top 50 Utah Jazz Players Countdown: #29 Matt Harpring

The countdown for KSL Sports’ 50 greatest Utah Jazz players is officially underway, and coming in at number 29 is forward Matt Harpring.

5 months ago

Walker-Kessler-Utah-Jazz-NBA...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes: Which Jazzmen Are Ranked As Top 100 Players In NBA?

The NBA is as talented as it has ever been. Considering this, which Jazz players are ranked as top 100 in the league?

5 months ago

Dominique Wilkens and Tyrone Corbin of the Utah Jazz...

Ben Anderson

Top 50 Utah Jazz Players Countdown: #30 Tyrone Corbin

The countdown for KSL Sports’ 50 greatest Utah Jazz players is officially underway, and coming in at number 30 is forward Tyrone Corbin.

5 months ago

Paul George #13 and Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers...

Ben Anderson

Report: NBA Board To Vote On Rule Change For Load Management

The NBA Board of Governors plans to vote this week on how to address the growing problem of load management during the regular season. 

6 months ago

Antoine Carr goes high and slams home a rebound from a teammate's missed shot....

Ben Anderson

Top 50 Utah Jazz Players Countdown: #31 Antoine Carr

The countdown for KSL Sports’ 50 greatest Utah Jazz players is officially underway, and coming in at number 31 is forward Antoine Carr.

6 months ago

Walker Kessler #14 of the United States vies for the ball against Dwight Powell #7 and Dillon Brook...

Ben Anderson

Olynyk Tops Kessler, Canada Beats Team USA For Bronze

Kelly Olynyk and Team Canada topped Walker Kessler and Team USA to earn the bronze medal at the FIBA World Cup. 

6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.

ksl sports logos...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

jimmy-buffett-tour-art...

KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.

25 Years Ago: John Stockton Sends Utah Jazz To NBA Finals