1978 NBA Playoffs

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The 1978 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1977-78 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Washington Bullets defeating the Western Conference champion Seattle SuperSonics 4 games to 3 in the NBA Finals. Wes Unseld was named NBA Finals MVP. To date, it remains the only NBA title that the Washington Bullets have ever won.

It was the third NBA Finals appearance and first title for the Bullets, founded in 1961. The Sonics made the Finals for the first time in their 11-year existence. This would be the first of two straight meetings in the Finals between the Bullets and Sonics, with Seattle winning the title the next year.

This was the first time since the expansion of the playoff field to 10 teams in 1975 that neither conference champion had the benefit of a first-round bye by being one of the top two teams in the conference during the regular season. The 1979 Finals rematch between the Sonics and Bullets took place with both teams as the #1 seed in their respective conference.

The Denver Nuggets, one of the four former American Basketball Association teams to join the NBA the previous season, became the first of them to win an NBA playoff series, defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in a 7-game conference semifinal.

Bracket[edit]

  1st Round Conference Semifinals Conference Finals NBA Finals
                                     
        
  1  Portland 2  
    4  Seattle 4  
4  Seattle 2
5  Los Angeles 1  
  4  Seattle 4  
Western Conference
  2  Denver 2  
3  Phoenix 0  
6  Milwaukee 2  
  6  Milwaukee 3
    2  Denver 4  
      
        
  W4  Seattle 3
  E3  Washington 4
        
        
  1  Philadelphia 4
    5  New York 0  
4  Cleveland 0
5  New York 2  
  1  Philadelphia 2
Eastern Conference
  3  Washington 4  
3  Washington 2  
6  Atlanta 0  
  3  Washington 4
    2  San Antonio 2  
      

Western Conference[edit]

Champion: Seattle SuperSonics

1st Round

(1) Portland Trail Blazers and (2) Denver Nuggets have first-round byes.

(3) Phoenix Suns vs. (6) Milwaukee Bucks: Bucks win series 2-0

  • Game 1 @ Phoenix: Milwaukee 111, Phoenix 103
  • Game 2 @ Milwaukee: Milwaukee 94, Phoenix 90

(4) Seattle SuperSonics vs. (5) Los Angeles Lakers: Sonics win series 2-1

  • Game 1 @ Seattle: Seattle 102, Los Angeles 90
  • Game 2 @ Los Angeles: Los Angeles 105, Seattle 99
  • Game 3 @ Seattle: Seattle 111, Los Angeles 102

Conference Semifinals

(1) Portland Trail Blazers vs. (4) Seattle SuperSonics: Sonics win series 4-2

  • Game 1 @ Portland: Seattle 104, Portland 95
  • Game 2 @ Portland: Portland 96, Seattle 93
  • Game 3 @ Seattle: Seattle 99, Portland 84
  • Game 4 @ Seattle: Seattle 100, Portland 98
  • Game 5 @ Portland: Portland 113, Seattle 89
  • Game 6 @ Seattle: Seattle 105, Portland 94

(2) Denver Nuggets vs. (6) Milwaukee Bucks: Nuggets win series 4-3

  • Game 1 @ Denver: Denver 119, Milwaukee 103
  • Game 2 @ Denver: Denver 127, Milwaukee 111
  • Game 3 @ Milwaukee: Milwaukee 143, Denver 112
  • Game 4 @ Milwaukee: Denver 118, Milwaukee 114
  • Game 5 @ Denver: Milwaukee 117, Denver 112
  • Game 6 @ Milwaukee: Milwaukee 119, Denver 91
  • Game 7 @ Denver: Denver 116, Milwaukee 110

Conference Finals

(2) Denver Nuggets vs. (4) Seattle SuperSonics: Sonics win series 4-2

  • Game 1 @ Denver: Denver 116, Seattle 107
  • Game 2 @ Denver: Seattle 121, Denver 111
  • Game 3 @ Seattle: Seattle 105, Denver 91
  • Game 4 @ Seattle: Seattle 100, Denver 94
  • Game 5 @ Seattle: Denver 123, Seattle 114
  • Game 6 @ Denver: Seattle 123, Denver 108

Eastern Conference[edit]

Champion: Washington Bullets

1st Round

(1) Philadelphia 76ers & (2) San Antonio Spurs have first round byes.

(3) Washington Bullets vs. (6) Atlanta Hawks: Bullets win series 2-0

  • Game 1 @ Washington: Washington 103, Atlanta 94
  • Game 2 @ Atlanta: Washington 107, Atlanta 103 (OT)

(4) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (5) New York Knicks: Knicks win series 2-0

  • Game 1 @ Cleveland: New York 132, Cleveland 114
  • Game 2 @ New York: New York 109, Cleveland 107

Conference Semifinals

(1) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (5) New York Knicks: 76ers win series 4-0

  • Game 1 @ Philadelphia: Philadelphia 130, New York 90
  • Game 2 @ Philadelphia: Philadelphia 119, New York 100
  • Game 3 @ New York: Philadelphia 137, New York 126
  • Game 4 @ New York: Philadelphia 112, New York 107

(2) San Antonio Spurs vs. (3) Washington Bullets: Bullets win series 4-2

  • Game 1 @ San Antonio: San Antonio 114, Washington 103
  • Game 2 @ San Antonio: Washington 121, San Antonio 117
  • Game 3 @ Washington: Washington 118, San Antonio 105
  • Game 4 @ Washington: Washington 98, San Antonio 95
  • Game 5 @ San Antonio: San Antonio 116, Washington 105
  • Game 6 @ Washington: Washington 103, San Antonio 100

Conference Finals

(1) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (3) Washington Bullets: Bullets win series 4-2

  • Game 1 @ Philadelphia: Washington 122, Philadelphia 117 (OT)
  • Game 2 @ Philadelphia: Philadelphia 110, Washington 104
  • Game 3 @ Washington: Washington 123, Philadelphia 108
  • Game 4 @ Washington: Washington 121, Philadelphia 105
  • Game 5 @ Philadelphia: Philadelphia 107, Washington 94
  • Game 6 @ Washington: Washington 101, Philadelphia 99

NBA Finals[edit]

Main article: 1978 NBA Finals

(3) Washington Bullets vs. (4) Seattle SuperSonics: Bullets win series 4-3

  • Game 1 @ Seattle: Seattle 106, Washington 102
  • Game 2 @ Washington: Washington 106, Seattle 98
  • Game 3 @ Washington: Seattle 93, Washington 92
  • Game 4 @ Seattle: Washington 120, Seattle 116 (OT)
  • Game 5 @ Seattle: Seattle 98, Washington 94
  • Game 6 @ Washington: Washington 117, Seattle 82
  • Game 7 @ Seattle: Washington 105, Seattle 99

Note: The 'Game 7' played marks the last time, as of the 2012-2013 NBA season, that a road team defeated the home team.

External links[edit]