1971 NBA Playoffs
The 1971 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1970-71 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Milwaukee Bucks defeating the Eastern Conference champion Baltimore Bullets 4 games to 0 in the NBA Finals.
Led by Finals MVP and the previous season's Rookie of the Year Lew Alcindor and Oscar Robertson, the Bucks became the fastest expansion team in NBA history to win the championship (a record that they still hold as of 2014[update]), and did so in dominating fashion, finishing 12-2 in the playoffs with an unprecedented postseason average point differential of 14.5.
The playoff format changed from the previous 2-division format. There were now 4, with each division qualifying its champion and second-place team. In the Conference Semifinals, the champion of each division played the 2nd place team in the other, with the divisional champion having home-court advantage. The two winners then played for the conference championship.
This was the first NBA Finals appearance for the Bullets, and their only trip to the championship round in Baltimore; they made 3 more appearances (winning one title) later in the decade.
The 1971 Playoffs was the last for the San Francisco Warriors under that moniker; the following season, symbolizing their already-established home base of Oakland, they changed their name to the Golden State Warriors.
|Conference Semifinals||Conference Finals||NBA Finals|
Champion: Milwaukee Bucks
- Game 1 @ San Francisco: Milwaukee 107, San Francisco 96
- Game 2 @ Madison: Milwaukee 104, San Francisco 90
- Game 3 @ Madison: Milwaukee 114, San Francisco 102
- Game 4 @ San Francisco: San Francisco 106, Milwaukee 104
- Game 5 @ Madison: Milwaukee 136, San Francisco 86
This was the first playoff meeting between the Bucks and the Warriors.
- Game 1 @ Los Angeles: Los Angeles 100, Chicago 99
- Game 2 @ Los Angeles: Los Angeles 105, Chicago 95
- Game 3 @ Chicago: Chicago 106, Los Angeles 98
- Game 4 @ Chicago: Chicago 112, Los Angeles 102
- Game 5 @ Los Angeles: Los Angeles 115, Chicago 89
- Game 6 @ Chicago: Chicago 113, Los Angeles 99
- Game 7 @ Los Angeles: Los Angeles 109, Chicago 98
Last Playoff Meeting: 1968 Western Division Semifinals (Los Angeles won 4-1)
- Game 1 @ Milwaukee: Milwaukee 106, Los Angeles 85
- Game 2 @ Milwaukee: Milwaukee 91, Los Angeles 73
- Game 3 @ Los Angeles: Los Angeles 118, Milwaukee 107
- Game 4 @ Los Angeles: Milwaukee 117, Los Angeles 94
- Game 5 @ Milwaukee: Milwaukee 116, Los Angeles 98
This was the first playoff meeting between the Bucks and the Lakers.
Champion: Baltimore Bullets
- Game 1 @ New York: New York 112, Atlanta 101
- Game 2 @ New York: Atlanta 113, New York 104
- Game 3 @ Atlanta: New York 110, Atlanta 95
- Game 4 @ Atlanta: New York 113, Atlanta 107
- Game 5 @ New York: New York 111, Atlanta 107
This is the first meeting in the playoffs between the Knicks and the Hawks.
- Game 1 @ Baltimore: Philadelphia 126, Baltimore 112
- Game 2 @ Philadelphia: Baltimore 119, Philadelphia 107
- Game 3 @ Baltimore: Baltimore 111, Philadelphia 103
- Game 4 @ Philadelphia: Baltimore 120, Philadelphia 105
- Game 5 @ Baltimore: Philadelphia 104, Baltimore 103
- Game 6 @ Philadelphia: Philadelphia 98, Baltimore 84
- Game 7 @ Baltimore: Baltimore 128, Philadelphia 120
This is the first meeting in the playoffs between the Bullets and the 76ers.
- Game 1 @ New York: New York 112, Baltimore 111
- Game 2 @ New York: New York 107, Baltimore 88
- Game 3 @ Baltimore: Baltimore 114, New York 88
- Game 4 @ Baltimore: Baltimore 101, New York 80
- Game 5 @ New York: New York 89, Baltimore 84
- Game 6 @ Baltimore: Baltimore 113, New York 96
- Game 7 @ New York: Baltimore 93, New York 91
Last Playoff Meeting: 1969 Eastern Division Semifinals (New York won 4-0)
- Game 1 @ Milwaukee: Milwaukee 98, Baltimore 88
- Game 2 @ Baltimore: Milwaukee 102, Baltimore 83
- Game 3 @ Milwaukee: Milwaukee 107, Baltimore 99
- Game 4 @ Baltimore: Milwaukee 118, Baltimore 106 (The Bucks win their first championship only 3 years after founding.)
This is the first meeting in the playoffs between the Bucks and the Bullets.