Christmas Day’s best NBA game was the last, as the Denver Nuggets defeated the Phoenix Suns 128-125 in overtime. Unsurprisingly, Denver’s Nikola Jokić was the star of the game, posting a triple-double. The best play of the game, though, came from his teammate, Aaron Gordon. Phoenix’s Landry Shamet was on the wrong end of it.
With the Nuggets leading by one in the final minute, Gordon dribbled the ball down the floor on the right side. Before he even reached midcourt, Gordon realized that the only person standing between himself and the basket was Shamet.
Earlier on Christmas, Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant tried to dunk by jumping over over Anthony Lamb of the Golden State Warriors, but couldn’t quite throw it down. Gordon — no stranger to epic dunks –tried to do the same on Shamet. He did throw it down — in an absolutely jaw-dropping fashion.
Aaron Gordon throws down an epic dunk on Landry Shamet. Originally called a charge, it was overturned to a block. pic.twitter.com/9KK8htSDOv
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) December 26, 2022
Unsurprisingly, this epic throwdown drew a huge reaction from basketball fans. The Denver Nuggets tweeted a photo of the moment with the caption “WE JUST WITNESSED A POSTER.”
WE JUST WITNESSED A POSTER pic.twitter.com/5B3h2EZDct
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) December 26, 2022
Carl Jones, a sports reporter for News8 in Rochester, pointed out that this play will be seen for a while, saying “Aaron Gordon just put Landry Shamet on the Christmas Day promos for the next 50 years.”
Aaron Gordon just put Landry Shamet on the Christmas Day promos for the next 50 years
— Carl Jones (@Jones11_) December 26, 2022
Basketball fan Justin Prendergast didn’t see the play as a block or a charge, but something else entirely. “It was neither. It was a homicide,” he said.
It was neither. It was a homicide. https://t.co/YpOG9dzT4i
— Justin Prendergast (@jprendergast18) December 26, 2022
Kristian Winfield, who reports on the NBA and the Brooklyn Nets for New York Daily News, said, “Landry Shamet went from taking a game-saving charge to being put on a T shirt by Aaron Gordon.”
Landry Shamet went from taking a game-saving charge to being put on a T shirt by Aaron Gordon
— Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed) December 26, 2022
The dunk alone would be significant. But it also ended up being huge in another way. Gordon’s epic dunk gave the Nuggets 126 points. The Suns finished the game with 125. So, Gordon didn’t just put Shamet on posters and highlight reels for years to come with this dunk, but he actually won the game with it.
[Photo Credit: Denver Nuggets on Twitter]