- 1975 NBA Finals
NBA Finals summary
year = 1975
runnerup_games = 0
Golden State Warriors
champion_games = 4
May 18- May 25
(Golden State Warriors)
television = CBS (U.S.)
Brent Musbergerand Oscar Robertson
Rick Barry, Elvin Hayes, Wes Unseld
ECF result = Bullets defeat Celtics, 4-2
WCF result = Warriors defeat Bulls, 4-3
The 1975 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the
1974-75 NBA seasonof the National Basketball Association. The Golden State Warriors(48-34) of the Western Conference played against the Washington Bullets(60-22) of the Eastern Conference. The series was played under a best-of-seven format.
The Warriors' home games were played at
Cow Palacein San Francisco due to scheduling conflicts at their normal home court of Oakland Arenaduring the week of May 19-26. In addition, an odd scheduling format had to be used because Golden State could not secure Cow Palace for Memorial DayWeekend (May 24-26). A " Sports Illustrated" article about the series reported that Washington, which held home court advantage, was given the option of a 1-2-2-1-1 scheduling format due to Golden State's problems or, if they wished, opening on the road and then having Games 2, 3, and 4 at home. Washington opted for the 1-2-2-1-1 format not out of a sense of fairness, but because they wanted to open the series at home. [ [https://www.nbrpa.com/news/editorial/chenier_oneonone.aspx Legends of Basketball - Where Are They Now? ] ]
The series is notable as it was the first championship game or series in any of the four
North American major professional sports leagues to feature two African American head coaches or managers, as Al Attlescoached the Warriors and K.C. Jonescoached the Bullets. [cite web | url=http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs06/news/story?id=2754837 | title=Dungy to evaluate future in coming days | work=ESPN.com | date=2007-02-05 | accessdate=2007-02-05]
The underdog Warriors won four close games in a row to earn a sweep over the Bullets.
Golden State Warriorsdefeated Washington Bullets, 4 games to 0." [cite web |url=http://www.nba.com/history/finals/19741975.html |title=Barry’s Warriors Produce Epic Upset |accessdate=2007-05-27 |work=NBA.com]
Coming off a tough seven-game conference finals win over the
Chicago Bulls, the Warriors were somewhat haggard, but built a 14-point lead in the first half over the Bullets at the Capital Centre. The Bullets began to storm back, but Phil Smithcame off the bench to score 20 points in 31 minutes of playing time as Golden State took the first game, 101-95.
Instead of their familiar Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the Warriors were forced to play their first two scheduled home games of the series at the nearby
Cow Palace(the Oakland facility being unavailable). The Bullets jumped to an early 13-point lead, but Golden State battled back, led by 36 points from Rick Barry, to take a 92-91 lead in the closing seconds. Washington got the ball back with six seconds left but missed two shots and now were down 2-0.
Rick Barrypoured in 38 points and backup center George Johnson had 10 points and nine rebounds off the bench to help the Warriors to a key Game 3 109-101 win.
Two major factors enabling the Warriors to take an insurmountable lead were the defensive play of the seemingly undersized
Jamaal Wilkeson Bullets' power forward Elvin Hayesand the play of the Warrior bench. In three games, Hayes had only 29 points and the Warriors' bench players had outscored the Bullets' reserves 115-53.
Back at home, the Bullets seemed to be on their way to staving off an unexpected sweep by the underdog Warriors, leading by 14 points early on. Bullets forward
Mike Riordanwas assigned to guard Rick Barry, who had killed the Bullets in the series up to that point by averaging 35 points a game. Riordan played Barry very physical, arousing the ire of Warriors' coach Al Attles. Midway through the first quarter, Barry went on a drive to the basket and was fouled hard from behind by Riordan. Barry reacted with a shove, but Attles bolted onto the court and initiated a fight of his own with Riordan, thereby protecting his star player from an ejection and getting ejected himself.
After the brawl, Barry immediately went on a scoring tear, but had to endure boos and taunts from the
Capital Centrecrowd. His performance, along with the Warriors' pressure defense, brought them back and guard Butch Beardscored the last seven points of the game, including two free throws to make the final score 96-95.
1975 NBA Playoffs
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