1970 NBA Finals

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1970 NBA Finals
Team Coach Wins
New York Knicks Red Holzman 4
Los Angeles Lakers Joe Mullaney 3
Dates April 24 – May 8
MVP Willis Reed[1]
(New York Knicks)
Eastern Finals Knicks defeat Bucks, 4–1
Western Finals Lakers defeat Hawks, 4–0
NBA Finals

The 1970 NBA World Championship Series was the championship series of the 1970 NBA Playoffs, which concluded the 1969–70 National Basketball Association (NBA) season. The Eastern Division champion New York Knicks defeated the Western Division champion Los Angeles Lakers in a best-of-seven series 4 games to 3 for their first NBA title.

The Knicks appeared to have a see-saw Game 3 won when Dave DeBusschere made a shot with three seconds left to give New York a 102-100 edge, and the Lakers were stuck with no time outs. L.A. inbounded to Mr. Clutch, Jerry West, who launched and made a miracle shot from beyond midcourt. It counted only for two points, as only the ABA had a three-point shot at the time, so the game went to overtime, and the Knicks were able to win, 111-108.[2]

The final game of the series was named by ESPN in 2010 as the greatest-ever Game 7 in finals history, featuring a return from injury for Willis Reed.[3] Reed's most famous performance took place on May 8, 1970 in Game 7 played at Madison Square Garden. Due to a severe thigh injury suffered in Game 5, a torn muscle that kept him out of Game 6, he was considered unlikely to play in Game 7. Yet Reed surprised the fans by walking onto the court during warmups, prompting widespread applause. Starting the game, he scored the Knicks' first two field goals on his first two shot attempts, his only points of the game.[2] He then played defense on Wilt Chamberlain, limiting him to two shots made in nine attempts. When Reed left for good with 3:05 left in the first half, the Knicks led 61-37.[4] Walt "Clyde" Frazier took it from there, finishing with 36 points and 19 assists as the Knicks won the championship, 113-99. Following the game in the winner's locker room, a moved Howard Cosell told Reed on national television, "You exemplify the very best that the human spirit can offer."[2]

Background

New York Knicks

Los Angeles Lakers

Series summary

Game Home Team Score Road Team
Game 1 New York Knicks 124–112 (1–0) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 2 New York Knicks 103–105 (1–1) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 3 Los Angeles Lakers 108–112 OT (1–2) New York Knicks
Game 4 Los Angeles Lakers 121–115 OT (2–2) New York Knicks
Game 5 New York Knicks 107–100 (3–2) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 6 Los Angeles Lakers 135–113 (3–3) New York Knicks
Game 7 New York Knicks 113–99 (4–3) Los Angeles Lakers

Knicks win series 4–3

Source:[5]

Player statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game


New York Knicks
Player GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Reed, WillisWillis Reed 6 37.7 .484 .588 10.5 2.8 23.0
DeBusschere, DaveDave DeBusschere 7 38.1 .455 .722 12.6 2.6 19.0
Barnett, DickDick Barnett 7 40.6 .448 .897 2.3 4.3 18.6
Frazier, WaltWalt Frazier 7 43.1 .541 .775 7.7 10.4 17.6
Bradley, BillBill Bradley 7 35.6 .388 .750 4.0 2.7 12.1
Russell, CazzieCazzie Russell 7 18.6 .492 1.000 3.6 1.4 9.3
Stallworth, DaveDave Stallworth 7 14.0 .447 1.000 4.7 1.6 7.0
Riordan, MikeMike Riordan 7 13.0 .387 .857 1.9 1.4 4.3
Bowman, NateNate Bowman 7 9.7 .481 .600 3.0 0.3 4.1
Bill Hosket 2 4.5 .250 0.5 0.5 1.0
John Warren 4 1.5 1.000 0.0 0.3 0.5
Los Angeles Lakers
Player GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
West, JerryJerry West 7 47.9 .450 .833 3.4 7.7 31.3
Chamberlain, WiltWilt Chamberlain 7 47.6 .625 .343 24.1 4.0 23.3
Baylor, ElginElgin Baylor 7 40.0 .486 .778 11.3 4.7 17.9
Garrett, DickDick Garrett 7 36.7 .474 .944 3.0 2.1 13.0
Erickson, KeithKeith Erickson 7 38.7 .479 .722 4.4 4.7 11.6
Hairston, HappyHappy Hairston 6 17.5 .471 .636 4.3 1.5 6.5
Egan, JohnnyJohnny Egan 7 10.3 .526 1.000 0.1 0.9 3.6
Tresvant, JohnJohn Tresvant 4 9.3 .333 .800 2.8 1.3 4.5
Counts, MelMel Counts 3 9.0 .357 .667 2.7 0.3 4.0
Roberson, RickRick Roberson 3 3.3 .500 .500 1.3 0.0 2.3
Lynn, MikeMike Lynn 1 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
McCarter, WillieWillie McCarter 1 2.0 .000 1.0 1.0 0.0

Source:[5]

Team rosters

New York Knicks

Los Angeles Lakers

References

  1. ^ "1970 NBA Finals: New York 4 L.A. Lakers 3". Encyclopedia Playoff Edition. NBA. Retrieved 27 February 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Greatest Finals Moments". NBA.com. Retrieved February 9, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Reed's game vs. Lakers tops list". ESPN. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  4. ^ "In for Two Plus the Title". si.com/vault. May 18, 1970. 
  5. ^ a b "1970 NBA Finals: Lakers vs. Knicks". Basketball-Reference.com. SportsDirect. Retrieved 27 February 2016. 

External links

  • New York Times (April 25, 1970) Game 1: "Knicks Conquer Lakers, 124‐112, in First Game of N.B.A. Final at Garden"
  • New York Times (April 29, 1970 Game 3: "HOME‐COURT EDGE TO LAKERS TONIGHT"
  • New York Times (May 2, 1970) Game 4: "Lakers Overcome Knicks, 121‐115, in Overtime and Tie Final Series at 2‐2"
  • New York Times (May 5, 1970) Game 5: "Their Big Man Out Early With an Injury, the Knicks Fight Back to Overcome Big Deficit"
  • New York Times (May 7, 1970) Game 6: "Lakers Overwhelm Knicks, 135‐113, to Square Title Playoff Series at 3‐3"
  • New York Times (May 9, 1970) Game 7: "Knicks Take First Title, Beating Lakers, 113 to 99"
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