Everyone expects the star players to decide NBA playoff series'. And why not? That is what they get paid to do, and that’s why they’re stars. Stars occasionally falter, though, or at the very least have quite average performances. When it happens, lesser-known players seize upon this opportunity to put their own stamp on NBA history before retreating back into the comfort of relative obscurity.

While huge, championship-making playoff games may be more synonymous with Michael Jordan, we can’t forget guys like John Paxson, Vinnie Johnson, or Kenny Smith. They, too, had their moments of heroism that helped their teams win championships, even if these moments of glory were merely flashes of greatness in otherwise pedestrian careers. In honor of these short-lived victories, let’s celebrate the Most Surprising Clutch NBA Playoff Performances of All Time.

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