Originally Posted by smokes
Also it may perhaps be because the other main sport I follow is football where the entire game can literally be decided in one moment as a game can finish 1-0.

Intuitively you would think this is less apparent in basketball because there are so many more "scores" in the game. However I think realistically, NBA teams are close enough that most teams when playing well against each other will result in quite a close game, thus the importance of certain plays is greatly magnified.
Magnified? Yes.

Determinative by themselves? No.

Even in soccer, one guy makes a diving save, or a tackle in the open field.

Yes, superficially a game can be decided on one shot or one play (hence, "game winners"). But realistically and actually, games are decided in the 100s of possessions that occur in the 48 (or, in the case of soccer, 90) minutes. We lost last night not because of the put-back dunk by itself, because we were sloppy with the ball.