25 of 25

The Rockets, who entered the playoffs as the sixth seed, became the first (and last) team to beat a No. 3, No. 2 and No. 1 seed on the way to the Finals. Houston's stiffest challenge came when it slipped into a 3-1 hole against Charles Barkley's Suns. The Rockets dug deep to force a seventh game (including an overtime win at Phoenix in Game 5), and Mario Elie delivered the coup de grace with a go-ahead three-pointer from the corner with 7.1 seconds left -- before blowing a gentle kiss to the stunned Phoenix bench. The shot was immortalized in Houston sports lore as the ''Kiss of Death.''

Send comments to siwriters@simail.com.

Photo: AP

Average: 3.5 (2 votes)