1989 NBA Playoffs

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The 1989 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1988–89 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons defeating the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 0 in the NBA Finals. Joe Dumars was named NBA Finals MVP.

The Pistons had one of the most dominant playoff runs in NBA history, finishing 15–2 with their only losses to the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Lakers won the Western Conference title without losing a game. They were swept in the Finals by the Pistons, due in part to season-ending injuries suffered by Magic Johnson and Byron Scott. The Lakers thus earned the distinction of being the only team to sweep the first three playoff rounds, then be swept in the NBA Finals.

Chicago advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1975 (and the first time in Michael Jordan's career), but their season was ended by Detroit for the second straight year. Two rounds earlier, he hit "The Shot" over Craig Ehlo at the buzzer to beat the Cavs.

The Boston Celtics' first-round playoff sweep by the Pistons was the first time they failed to get past the round of 16.

Former Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan made the first of 19 playoff appearances in a 22-year tenure. The only time he missed the playoffs with Utah was 20042006. His last playoff appearance was in 1981 with the Bulls. His Jazz were ousted by the Golden State Warriors 3–0, the second time a seventh seed had beaten the second seed in the playoffs. Under Don Nelson, the Warriors became famous for their up-tempo game that made up for an undersized lineup, as well as their ability to create mismatches. The Warriors made history as the only team to beat either of the top two seeds thrice in the NBA Playoffs; they beat the second-seed San Antonio Spurs in 1991 and top-seeded Dallas Mavericks (a team Nelson also coached) in 2007.

Bracket[edit]

First Round Conference Semifinals Conference Finals NBA Finals
                       
1 L.A. Lakers 3
8 Portland 0
1 L.A. Lakers 4
4 Seattle 0
4 Seattle 3
5 Houston 1
1 L.A. Lakers 4
Western Conference
3 Phoenix 0
3 Phoenix 3
6 Denver 0
3 Phoenix 4
7 Golden State 1
2 Utah 0
7 Golden State 3
W1 L.A. Lakers 0
E1 Detroit 4
1 Detroit 3
8 Boston 0
1 Detroit 4
5 Milwaukee 0
4 Atlanta 2
5 Milwaukee 3
1 Detroit 4
Eastern Conference
6 Chicago 2
3 Cleveland 2
6 Chicago 3
6 Chicago 4
2 New York 2
2 New York 3
7 Philadelphia 0

Western Conference[edit]

Champion: Los Angeles Lakers

1st Round

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (8) Portland Trail Blazers: Lakers win series 3–0

Last Playoff Meeting: 1985 Western Conference Semifinals (Los Angeles won 4–1)

(2) Utah Jazz vs. (7) Golden State Warriors: Warriors win series 3–0

  • Game 1 @ Salt Palace, Salt Lake City (April 27): Golden State 123, Utah 119
  • Game 2 @ Salt Palace, Salt Lake City (April 29): Golden State 99, Utah 91
  • Game 3 @ Oakland Coliseum, Oakland (May 2): Golden State 120, Utah 106

Last Playoff Meeting: 1987 Western Conference First Round (Golden State won 3–2)

(3) Phoenix Suns vs. (6) Denver Nuggets: Suns win series 3–0

Last Playoff Meeting: 1983 Western Conference First Round (Denver won 2–1)

(4) Seattle SuperSonics vs. (5) Houston Rockets: Sonics win series 3–1

Last Playoff Meeting: 1987 Western Conference Semifinals (Seattle won 4–2)

Conference Semifinals

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (4) Seattle SuperSonics: Lakers win series 4–0

  • Game 1 @ Great Western Forum, Los Angeles (May 7): Los Angeles 113, Seattle 102
  • Game 2 @ Great Western Forum, Los Angeles (May 10): Los Angeles 130, Seattle 108
  • Game 3 @ Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle (May 12): Los Angeles 91, Seattle 86
  • Game 4 @ Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle (May 14): Los Angeles 97, Seattle 95 (Lakers posted the greatest comeback in Playoff history by overcoming a 29-point deficit (43–14))

Last Playoff Meeting: 1987 Western Conference Finals (Los Angeles won 4–0)

(3) Phoenix Suns vs. (7) Golden State Warriors: Suns win series 4–1

Last Playoff Meeting: 1976 Western Conference Finals (Phoenix won 4–3)

Conference Finals

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (3) Phoenix Suns: Lakers win series 4–0

Last Playoff Meeting: 1985 Western Conference First Round (Los Angeles won 3–0)

Eastern Conference[edit]

Champion: Detroit Pistons

1st Round

(1) Detroit Pistons vs. (8) Boston Celtics: Pistons win series 3–0

Last Playoff Meeting: 1988 Eastern Conference Finals (Detroit won 4–2)

(2) New York Knicks vs. (7) Philadelphia 76ers: Knicks win series 3–0

Last Playoff Meeting: 1983 Eastern Conference Semifinals (Philadelphia won 4–0)

(3) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (6) Chicago Bulls: Bulls win series 3–2

Last Playoff Meeting: 1988 Eastern Conference First Round (Chicago won 3–2)

(4) Atlanta Hawks vs. (5) Milwaukee Bucks: Bucks win series 3–2

  • Game 1 @ The Omni, Atlanta (April 27): Atlanta 100, Milwaukee 92
  • Game 2 @ The Omni, Atlanta (April 29): Milwaukee 108, Atlanta 98
  • Game 3 @ Bradley Center, Milwaukee (May 2): Milwaukee 117, Atlanta 113
  • Game 4 @ Bradley Center, Milwaukee (May 5): Atlanta 113, Milwaukee 106
  • Game 5 @ The Omni, Atlanta (May 7): Milwaukee 96, Atlanta 92

Last Playoff Meeting: 1988 Eastern Conference First Round (Atlanta won 3–2)

Conference Semifinals

(1) Detroit Pistons vs. (5) Milwaukee Bucks: Pistons win series 4–0

Last Playoff Meeting: 1976 Western Conference First Round (Detroit won 2–1)

(2) New York Knicks vs. (6) Chicago Bulls: Bulls win series 4–2

Last Playoff Meeting: 1981 Eastern Conference First Round (Chicago won 2–0)

Conference Finals

(1) Detroit Pistons vs. (6) Chicago Bulls: Pistons win series 4–2

Last Playoff Meeting: 1988 Eastern Conference Semifinals (Detroit won 4–1)

NBA Finals[edit]

Main article: 1989 NBA Finals

(1) Detroit Pistons vs. (1) Los Angeles Lakers: Pistons win series 4–0

Last Playoff Meeting: 1988 NBA Finals (Los Angeles won 4–3)

External links[edit]