1982 NBA Finals
NBA Finals summary
year = 1982
runnerup_games = 2
Los Angeles Lakers
champion_games = 4
May 27- June 8
(Los Angeles Lakers)
television = CBS (U.S.)
Dick Stocktonand Bill Russell
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar(1995) Julius Erving(1993) Magic Johnson(2002) Bob McAdoo(2000)
Billy Cunningham (1986, player)
Pat Riley (2008)
referees_5 = Game 5:
referees_6 = Game 6:
ECF result = 76ers defeat Celtics, 4-3
WCF result = Lakers defeat Spurs, 4-0The 1982 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the
1981-82 NBA season, the top level of competition in men's professional basketballin North America. The series was saw the Los Angeles Lakersface the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 1982 NBA Finals documentary "Something To Prove" recaps all the action of this series. It was the last NBA video documentary to exclusively use film in all on-court action.
Dick Stocktonnarrated this documentary.
How They Got Here
After being upset in the
1981 NBA Playoffsby the surprising Houston Rocketsin a 3-game mini-series, the Lakers were back in championship form. Led by new coach Pat Riley, along with the return to championship form of Magic Johnson, and new Laker Bob McAdoo, the Lakers swept the San Antonio Spursin the Western Conference Finals.
Lakers 4, 76ers 2
GAME 1Thu., May 27 (at Philadelphia): Lakers 124, 76ers 117
GAME 2Sun., May 30 (at Philadelphia): 76ers 110, Lakers 94
GAME 3Tue., June 1 (at Los Angeles): Lakers 129, 76ers 108
GAME 4Thu., June 3 (at Los Angeles): Lakers 111, 76ers 101
GAME 5Sun., June 6 (at Philadelphia): 76ers 135, Lakers 102
GAME 6Tue., June 8 (at Los Angeles): Lakers 114, 76ers 104
Fresh from holding off the Celtics in the conference finals, the Sixers worked their offense to precision and held a 15-point lead midway through the third quarter. But, then, the Lakers began to turn it up on defense using a "zone trap" defense. The Lakers went on a 40-9 run over the game's next 11 minutes on the way to a 124-117 Game 1 win, thereby stealing the home-court advantage.
After the game, Sixers coach
Billy Cunninghamcommented that the Sixers weren't affected that much by the trapping Laker defense, just cold shooting and sloppy play. However, he also questioned whether or not it was a "zone defense", which is illegal.
In this game, Laker coach
Pat Rileytook a different defensive approach, assigning Magic Johnsonto cover Julius Ervingstraight-up on defense. While Magic couldn't match the Doctor's athleticism, the move did keep Erving from the offensive boards.
In Game 2 that wasn't quite enough, as Erving brought the Sixers back with 24 points and 16 rebounds, mostly defensive.
Billy Cunninghamused all his centers, Caldwell Jones, Darryl Dawkinsand Earl Cureton. at different points to guard Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Sixers got 38 offensive rebounds for 50 second-chance points, while the Lakers only had six offensive boards.
The Sixers used that advantage to take a 110-94 win that evened the series. In a balanced scoring attack,
Maurice Cheekshad 19 points and eight assists, Jones added 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Bobby Jonesand Clint Richardsoneach scored 10.
Back at home at The Forum, the Lakers completely dominated Game 3.
Norm Nixonscored 29 points as the Lakers marched to a 129-108 victory. Andrew Toneyscored 36 and Julius Erving21, but no one else came through.
The Lakers controlled the tempo in Game 4 by going to their half-court game, passing down low to
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. On the defensive end, they kept up the pressure with their zone trap. The Lakers went up, three games to one, with a 111-101 win. Jamaal Wilkesand Magic Johnsonhad 24 points each, while Abdul-Jabbar added 22 and Bob McAdoo19 off the bench. Hard-charging bruiser Kurt Rambispulled down 11 rebounds.
Back in Philadelphia, the Sixers took out their frustrations and destroyed the Lakers, 135-102.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbarwas held to just six points, a career playoff low, thanks to the spirited defense of Darryl Dawkins. In the midst of the offensive explosion, Dawkins also contributed 20 points and nine rebounds to the effort.
The Sixers' strong showing in Game 5 gave them hope for Game 6 in the Forum. But, the Lakers got the early lead and were up, 66-57, at the half.
In the third period, the Sixers' defense turned it up a notch. They held Los Angeles to 20 points for the quarter and several times cut the lead to one point. Super-sub
Bob McAdoo, known more for his offense, made a key defensive play late in the third when he blocked a Julius Ervinglayup on a breakaway that would have given the Sixers the lead.
The Lakers came back and surged early in the fourth period to boost their lead to 11.
Andrew Toney, who led all scorers with 30 points, and Erving, who had 29, responded by trimming the lead to 103-100 with about four minutes left. But, then Kareem Abdul-Jabbarscored and was fouled and made the free throw to put Los Angeles up by six. Moments later, Wilkes got a breakaway layup to close it out, 114-104. Jamaal Wilkesled the Lakers with 27 points, and Magic Johnson, with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists, was named the series MVP. McAdoo, who had 16 points, nine rebounds and three blocks, was pretty much reborn as a player in this series after being cast off by several teams as a selfish, non-team player.
Aside from the Doctor's and Toney's efforts, no one else stepped up for the Sixers.
Darryl Dawkinsfouled out and only had 10 points and one rebound in 20 minutes played. Dawkins would soon be shipped to the New Jersey Nets, and the 76ers acquired the final piece of their championship puzzle: an MVP center from the Houston Rockets.
1982 NBA Playoffs
* [http://www.nba.com/history/finals/19811982.html NBA History]
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