- 1970 NBA Finals
NBA Finals summary
year = 1970
Los Angeles Lakers
runnerup_games = 3
New York Knicks
champion_games = 4
April 24- May 8
(New York Knicks)
television = ABC (U.S.)
Chris Schenkel, Jack Twyman, and Howard Cosell
Elgin Baylor, Bill Bradley, Wilt Chamberlain, Dave DeBusschere, Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Jerry West
referees_5 = Game 5:
referees_6 = Game 6:
referees_7 = Game 7:
Richie Powersand Mendy Rudolph
ECF result = Knicks defeat Bucks, 4-1
WCF result = Lakers defeat Hawks, 4-0
Road to the Finals
The New York Knicks had a very successful season, their 60 wins coming as a result of team play instead of big-name superstars.
The Knicks had come off 18-game winning streak (then an NBA record), and were led by
NBA MVP Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, Dick Barnett, Bill Bradleyand Dave DeBusschere. In the playoffs, the Knicks barely won a tough seven-game series against the Baltimore Bullets. In the Eastern Conference Finals, they beat the Milwaukee Bucks, led by captain Lew Alcindor, in five games.
On the other hand, the Los Angeles Lakers had a team of superstars led by
Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlainand Jerry West. In the playoffs, the Lakers rallied from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Phoenix Suns, and then in the Western Conference Finals they beat the Atlanta Hawksto advance to the NBA Finals for the 3rd straight year.
Television: ABC - Commentators:
Chris Schenkel, Jack Twyman, and Howard Cosell.
The first two rounds saw the teams evenly matched, as the Lakers and Knicks split their games at the
Madison Square Garden. In Game 3 at The Forum, after 47 minutes and 48 seconds, the game was tied at 100. With the Knicks possessing the ball with 12 seconds left, Dave DeBusscherehit a key shot that put the Knicks in the lead. Then, with 1 second remaining on the clock, Jerry Westmade an incredible half-court shot to send the game into overtime. However, the Knicks prevailed 111-108 to take a 2-1 series lead.
The Lakers knew they had to win Game 4 at home and they did, 121-105, with help from reserves
Mel Countsand Johnny Egan. In Game 5 at the Garden, the Knicks' worst fear came true: eight minutes into the game, Willis Reedfell down hard while trying to make a shot. Reed eventually got up on his own, but a leg injury forced him to leave the game. Late in the game, the Lakers led by as many as 16 points, but a scrambling defense and sheer determination to "win one for the captain" helped New York stage a remarkable comeback. Bill Bradley's clutch shot tied the game at 87 with 7:40 left to play, then 19 Laker turnovers in the second half aided the Knicks for the rest of the game en route to a 107-100 victory. But without Reed on the floor, the Knicks fell 135-113 to the Lakers in Game 6 in Los Angeles, as Wilt Chamberlain scored 45 points.
The two teams headed back to
New Yorkfor Game 7. For the Knicks, a miracle was desperately needed if they would win their first-ever championship. When Game 7 came, so did the miracle: during warm-ups, Willis Reed walked onto the Garden floor, and with him some much-needed momentum. Though still suffering from injury, Reed scored the first two (and his only) baskets of the game to give the Knicks an early lead. This emotional entrance fired up the crowd and the Knicks team. Frazier also played an inspiring game, as he scored 22 points in the first half en route to a 36-point, 19-assist, 7-rebound game. The Knicks didn't look back as they won 113-99 and captured their first NBA championship, and a place in NBA history.
"Knicks win series 4-3"
"Now here comes Willis... and the crowd is going wild!" - New York Knick radio announcer
Marv Albertdescribing Willis Reed's dramatic entrance prior to Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
1970 NBA Playoffs
* [http://www.nba.com/history/finals/19691970.html NBA History]
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