1971 NBA Finals

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1971 NBA Finals
Team Coach Wins
Milwaukee Bucks Larry Costello 4
Baltimore Bullets Gene Shue 0
Dates: April 21–30
MVP: Lew Alcindor (27 pts/18.5 reb/2.8 ast per game)
(Milwaukee Bucks)
Television: ABC (U.S.)
Announcers: Chris Schenkel and Jack Twyman
Hall of Famers: Bucks:
Lew Alcindor (1995 as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)
Oscar Robertson (1980)
Bullets:
Earl Monroe (1990)
Wes Unseld (1988)
Eastern Finals: Bullets defeat Knicks, 4-3
Western Finals: Bucks defeat Lakers, 4-1
NBA Finals

The 1971 NBA World Championship Series was played at the conclusion of the NBA's 25th Anniversary season of 1970-71. The Western Conference Champion Milwaukee Bucks, who were founded just three years earlier, swept the Eastern Conference Champion Baltimore Bullets in four games. Baltimore had dethroned the 1969-70 NBA Champion New York Knicks to get to their only NBA Finals appearance in Baltimore.

This was the first NBA Finals not played in the state of California in 10 years. It would also be the last time that both participants were playing in their first NBA Finals until the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat got together in the 2006 NBA Finals.

The series was the second (and last) time in NBA history that the teams alternated home games, the other being in 1956. Most other series were held in the 2-2-1-1-1 or 2-3-2 format. It was also the last NBA Championship Series completed before May 1.

Oddly, the Bullets were forced to play Game No. 1 on a Wednesday night, just 48 hours after having defeated New York in Game 7 of the 1971 Eastern Conference Finals, then had to wait four days before playing Game 2.

The series was broadcast by ABC with Chris Schenkel and Jack Twyman providing the commentary.

Game-by-game summary[edit]

Game 4: In his 10 seasons with the Cincinnati Royals, Oscar Robertson never came close to an NBA championship. But now, playing his first season with the Milwaukee Bucks and Lew Alcindor, Robertson gained the elusive title.

The Bucks became just the second team to sweep the NBA Finals, with the series ending in an 118-106 victory in Game 4 at the Baltimore Arena, in Baltimore. Playing in his 886th NBA game at the age of 32, Robertson controlled the clincher, scoring 21 of his game-high 30 points in the first half when the Bucks built a 60-47 lead. He also scored 20 points in Game 3, scoring a total of 64 points and dishing out 29 assists in the first 3 games.

He finished 11-of-15 from the field, 8-of-9 from the line and had 9 assists. "Oscar Robertson?" said Bucks coach Larry Costello "You can't describe him. I can't. He was unbelievable."

Though Alcindor dominated in both the regular season and Finals, guard Jon McGlocklin said, "Oscar was the key for us. He comes to play, he runs the team. He's it."

As the Bucks celebrated in the locker room, Robertson said, "This is the first champagne I've ever had, and it tastes mighty sweet. We won the title in high school, but it was soft drinks then. This is the big leagues, man."

Lew Alcindor, who played an excellent series (avg 32.5 points and 18 rebounds per game) including scoring 31 points in Game 1, making a triple-double with 49 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists in Game 2, making a double-double with scoring 23 points and grabbing 21 rebounds in Game 3 and scoring 27 points in Game 4, was named the Finals MVP.

Series summary[edit]

Game Date Home Team Score Road Team
Game 1 Wed. April 21 Milwaukee 98-88 Baltimore
Game 2 Sun. April 25 Baltimore 83-102 Milwaukee
Game 3 Wed. April 28 Milwaukee 107-99 Baltimore
Game 4 Fri. April 30 Baltimore 106-118 Milwaukee

Bucks win series 4-0

Team rosters[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]