1976 NBA Playoffs

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The 1976 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1975–76 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeating the Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals. The series was highlighted by Game 5, a 3-OT victory by Boston. The Celtics won their 13th NBA title, second in the Dave Cowens era. Jo Jo White was named NBA Finals MVP.

The Suns earned their first two playoff series victories in franchise history to advance to the NBA Finals; they won their second (and as of 2014, most recent) Western Conference title in 1993.

The sixth-year Cleveland Cavaliers made their first playoff appearance and won their first playoff series.

This was the last playoff appearance for the Buffalo Braves until 1992, when they returned as the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Philadelphia 76ers made the playoffs for the first time since 1971, starting a 12-year run that included four NBA Finals (1977, 1980, 1982, and 1983).

Bracket[edit]

  First Round Conference Semifinals Conference Finals NBA Finals
                                     
        
  1  Golden State 4  
    5  Detroit 2  
4  Milwaukee 1
5  Detroit 2  
  1  Golden State 3  
Western Conference
  3  Phoenix 4  
        
        
  3  Phoenix 4
    2  Seattle 2  
      
        
  W3  Phoenix 2
  E1  Boston 4
        
        
  1  Boston 4
    5  Buffalo 2  
4  Philadelphia 1
5  Buffalo 2  
  1  Boston 4
Eastern Conference
  2  Cleveland 2  
        
        
  3  Washington 3
    2  Cleveland 4  
      

Western Conference[edit]

Champion: Phoenix Suns

1st Round

(1) Golden State Warriors, (2) Seattle SuperSonics & (3) Phoenix Suns have first round byes.

(4) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (5) Detroit Pistons: Pistons win series 2–1

  • Game 1 @ Milwaukee: Milwaukee 110, Detroit 107
  • Game 2 @ Detroit: Detroit 126, Milwaukee 123
  • Game 3 @ Milwaukee: Detroit 107, Milwaukee 104
Conference Semifinals

(1) Golden State Warriors vs. (5) Detroit Pistons: Warriors win series 4–2

  • Game 1 @ Golden State: Golden State 127, Detroit 103
  • Game 2 @ Golden State: Detroit 123, Golden State 111
  • Game 3 @ Detroit: Golden State 113, Detroit 96
  • Game 4 @ Detroit: Detroit 106, Golden State 102
  • Game 5 @ Golden State: Golden State 128, Detroit 109
  • Game 6 @ Detroit: Golden State 118, Detroit 116 (OT)

(2) Seattle SuperSonics vs. (3) Phoenix Suns: Suns win series 4–2

  • Game 1 @ Seattle: Seattle 102, Phoenix 99
  • Game 2 @ Seattle: Phoenix 116, Seattle 111
  • Game 3 @ Phoenix: Phoenix 103, Seattle 91
  • Game 4 @ Phoenix: Phoenix 130, Seattle 104
  • Game 5 @ Seattle: Seattle 114, Phoenix 108
  • Game 6 @ Phoenix: Phoenix 123, Seattle 112
Conference Finals

(1) Golden State Warriors vs. (3) Phoenix Suns: Suns win series 4–3

  • Game 1 @ Golden State: Golden State 128, Phoenix 103
  • Game 2 @ Golden State: Phoenix 108, Golden State 101
  • Game 3 @ Phoenix: Golden State 99, Phoenix 91
  • Game 4 @ Phoenix: Phoenix 133, Golden State 129 (2OT)
  • Game 5 @ Golden State: Golden State 111, Phoenix 95
  • Game 6 @ Phoenix: Phoenix 105, Golden State 104
  • Game 7 @ Golden State: Phoenix 94, Golden State 86

Eastern Conference[edit]

Champion: Boston Celtics

1st Round

(1) Boston Celtics, (2) Cleveland Cavaliers & (3) Washington Bullets have first round byes.

(4) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (5) Buffalo Braves: Braves win series 2–1

  • Game 1 @ Philadelphia: Buffalo 95, Philadelphia 89
  • Game 2 @ Buffalo: Philadelphia 131, Buffalo 106
  • Game 3 @ Philadelphia: Buffalo 124, Philadelphia 123 (OT)
Conference Semifinals

(1) Boston Celtics vs. (5) Buffalo Braves: Celtics win series 4–2

  • Game 1 @ Boston: Boston 107, Buffalo 98
  • Game 2 @ Boston: Boston 101, Buffalo 96
  • Game 3 @ Buffalo: Buffalo 98, Boston 93
  • Game 4 @ Buffalo: Buffalo 124, Boston 122
  • Game 5 @ Boston: Boston 99, Buffalo 88
  • Game 6 @ Buffalo: Boston 104, Buffalo 100

(2) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (3) Washington Bullets: Cavaliers win series 4–3

  • Game 1 @ Cleveland: Washington 100, Cleveland 95
  • Game 2 @ Washington: Cleveland 80, Washington 79
  • Game 3 @ Cleveland: Cleveland 88, Washington 76
  • Game 4 @ Washington: Washington 109, Cleveland 98
  • Game 5 @ Cleveland: Cleveland 92, Washington 91
  • Game 6 @ Washington: Washington 102, Cleveland 98 (OT)
  • Game 7 @ Cleveland: Cleveland 87, Washington 85 (Dick Snyder hits the series-winning shot with 4 seconds left)
Conference Finals

(1) Boston Celtics vs. (2) Cleveland Cavaliers: Celtics win series 4–2

  • Game 1 @ Boston: Boston 111, Cleveland 99
  • Game 2 @ Boston: Boston 94, Cleveland 89
  • Game 3 @ Cleveland: Cleveland 83, Boston 78
  • Game 4 @ Cleveland: Cleveland 106, Boston 87
  • Game 5 @ Boston: Boston 99, Cleveland 94
  • Game 6 @ Cleveland: Boston 94, Cleveland 87

NBA Finals[edit]

Main article: 1976 NBA Finals

(1) Boston Celtics vs. (3) Phoenix Suns: Celtics win series 4–2

  • Game 1 @ Boston: Boston 98, Phoenix 87
  • Game 2 @ Boston: Boston 105, Phoenix 90
  • Game 3 @ Phoenix: Phoenix 105, Boston 98
  • Game 4 @ Phoenix: Phoenix 109, Boston 107
  • Game 5 @ Boston: Boston 128, Phoenix 126 (3OT; Gar Heard hits the game-tying buzzer-beater to force the third OT)
  • Game 6 @ Phoenix: Boston 87, Phoenix 80

External links[edit]