1995 NBA Finals
|Announcers:||Marv Albert, Matt Guokas, and Bill Walton|
|Game 1: Dick Bavetta, Joe Crawford, Steve Javie|
|Game 2: Dan Crawford, Hue Hollins, Ed T. Rush|
|Game 3: Hugh Evans, Mike Mathis, Bennett Salvatore|
|Game 4: Joe Crawford, Jess Kersey, Bill Oakes|
|Hall of Famers:||Clyde Drexler (2004)
Hakeem Olajuwon (2008)
|Eastern Finals:||Magic defeat Pacers, 4-3|
|Western Finals:||Rockets defeat Spurs, 4-2|
The 1995 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1994–95 NBA season. The series pitted the Orlando Magic against the Houston Rockets. The pre-series hype and build-up of the Finals was centered around the meeting of the two centers Shaquille O'Neal of the Magic and Hakeem Olajuwon of the Rockets. Going into the series the matchup was compared to the Bill Russell-Wilt Chamberlain matchup of the 1960s.
The Rockets became the first team in NBA history to win the championship as a sixth seed. In addition, they became the first team in NBA history to beat four 50-win teams in a single postseason en route to the championship. The Rockets would win a playoff-record 9 road games in the 1995 playoffs. In addition, the Rockets' sweep of the Magic was unique, in the fact that it was a "reverse sweep," where Houston won Games 1 and 2 on the road and 3 and 4 at home. It was also the second NBA Finals sweep in the current 2-3-2 Finals format. The Rockets also became the first repeat NBA Champion in history to keep the title with a sweep.
The Orlando Magic (making their first ever NBA Finals appearance) began the 1995 NBA Finals at home, hosting the defending champion Houston Rockets. With the Magic up by three points late in Game 1, Nick Anderson missed four consecutive free throws in the closing seconds of the game, and Kenny Smith hit a three pointer, tying the game and sending it to overtime as well as setting a new record with the most three-pointers in an NBA Finals game with 7. The more experienced Rockets went on to win in overtime and eventually swept the Magic, winning their second consecutive NBA Championship.
The season-ending documentary Double Clutch by Hal Douglas, was released by NBA Entertainment to coincide with the Rockets' championship season.
1995 NBA Finals roster 
1995 Houston Rockets 
1995 Orlando Magic 
In a midseason trade with Portland, the Rockets obtained guard Clyde Drexler, who had played alongside Hakeem Olajuwon at the University of Houston. Houston struggled in the regular season, and they consequently entered the playoffs as a sixth seed in the Western Conference. They were not expected to defeat the 60-22 Utah Jazz in the first round, the 59-23 Phoenix Suns in the second round, then the 62-20 San Antonio Spurs (led by regular season Most Valuable Player David Robinson) in the Conference Finals. In fact, the Suns led the second-round series 2 games to 0, (just as they did in the same round the year before). The Suns also led the series 3 games to 1. However, Houston came back to win the next 3 games of the series (Games 5 and 7 were in Phoenix), and then got past San Antonio in 6 games after blowing a 2-0 series lead to reach the Finals, where they were matched up with the Orlando Magic. With Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway, the Magic (with a 50-32 regular season record in the 1993-94 season) were expected to win the championship. In the 1994-95 season, the Magic's 6th season, after acquiring rebounder Horace Grant as a free agent from Chicago, Orlando compiled a 57-25 record, which was the best in the East. On their way to the Finals, the Magic defeated the Boston Celtics, the Chicago Bulls, and the Indiana Pacers.
Road to the Finals 
|Houston Rockets (Western Conference Champion)||Orlando Magic (Eastern Conference Champion)|
6th seed in the West, 11th best league record
1st seed in the East, 4th best league record
|Defeated the (3) Utah Jazz, 3–2||First Round||Defeated the (8) Boston Celtics, 3–1|
|Defeated the (2) Phoenix Suns, 4–3||Conference Semifinals||Defeated the (5) Chicago Bulls, 4–2|
|Defeated the (1) San Antonio Spurs, 4–2||Conference Finals||Defeated the (2) Indiana Pacers, 4–3|
Regular season series 
The Orlando Magic won both games in the regular season series:
|November 23, 1994||Houston Rockets 94, Orlando Magic 117||Orlando Arena, Orlando, Florida|
|March 2, 1995||Orlando Magic 107, Houston Rockets 96||The Summit, Houston, Texas|
Series summary 
|Game||Date||Home Team||Result||Road Team||TV Time|
|Game 1||Wednesday, June 7||Orlando Magic||118-120 OT (0-1)||Houston Rockets||9:00et|
|Game 2||Friday, June 9||Orlando Magic||106-117 (0-2)||Houston Rockets||9:00et|
|Game 3||Sunday, June 11||Houston Rockets||106-103 (3-0)||Orlando Magic||7:00et|
|Game 4||Wednesday, June 14||Houston Rockets||113-101 (4-0)||Orlando Magic||9:00et|
- This was the second NBA Finals that ended in a 4 game sweep since the Finals went to the 2-3-2 format in 1985 (1989 was the first).
Game 1 
|Houston Rockets 120, Orlando Magic 118||OT||Orlando Arena, Orlando, Florida
|Scoring by quarter: 19–30, 31–31, 37–19, 23–30, OT: 10–8|
|Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 31
Rebs: Clyde Drexler 11
Asts: Kenny Smith 9
|Pts: Hardaway, O'Neal 26 each
Rebs: Grant, O'Neal 16 each
Asts: Shaquille O'Neal 9
|Houston leads the series, 1–0|
Nick Anderson misses 4 consecutive free-throws with 3 seconds left in regulation, Kenny Smith hit a then-Finals record seven 3-pointers, the last tying the game up at 110 with 1.6 seconds left following Anderson's missed foul shots. In overtime, Hakeem Olajuwon tips in a missed finger roll by Clyde Drexler with three-tenths of a second left to win the game.
Game 2 
|Houston Rockets 117, Orlando Magic 106||Orlando Arena, Orlando, Florida
|Scoring by quarter: 28–19, 35–22, 27–30, 27–35|
|Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 34
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 11
Asts: Clyde Drexler 5
|Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 33
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 12
Asts: Anfernee Hardaway 8
|Houston leads the series, 2–0|
Game 3 
|Orlando Magic 103, Houston Rockets 106||The Summit, Houston, Texas
|Scoring by quarter: 30–28, 23–26, 22–21, 28–31|
|Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 28
Rebs: Anderson, Grant, O'Neal 10 each
Asts: Anfernee Hardaway 14
|Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 31
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 14
Asts: Drexler, Olajuwon 7 each
|Houston leads the series, 3–0|
Robert Horry hits a 3-pointer to give Houston a 104-100 lead with 14.1 seconds left.
Game 4 
|Orlando Magic 101, Houston Rockets 113||The Summit, Houston, Texas
|Scoring by quarter: 21–23, 30–24, 25–30, 25–36|
|Pts: Hardaway, O'Neal 25 each
Rebs: Grant, O'Neal 12 each
Asts: Anfernee Hardaway 5
|Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 35
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 15
Asts: Clyde Drexler 8
|Houston wins the series, 4–0|
Olajuwon outscores O'Neal by 10 points and caps off the sweep by hitting a memorable yet uncharacteristic 3-pointer in front of O'Neal.
Olajuwon vs. O'Neal 
Although both centers played well, Olajuwon is generally considered to have outplayed O'Neal. Olajuwon outscored O'Neal in every game of the series and became one of the few players in NBA history to score at least 30 points in every game of an NBA Finals series:
|1995 NBA Finals||Gm 1||Gm 2||Gm 3||Gm 4||Totals|
|Hakeem Olajuwon||31||34||31||35||32.8 ppg|
|Shaquille O'Neal||26||33||28||25||28.0 ppg|
By winning his second straight NBA Finals MVP award, Hakeem Olajuwon became the sixth player to win the award on multiple occasions, joining Willis Reed, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan. Later Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan, and Kobe Bryant would join this group. Jordan and Olajuwon at the time were the only players to win the award consecutively. Later, O'Neal himself would go on to win the award in three consecutive seasons with the Lakers (2000–02). Kobe Bryant later won two NBA Finals MVP awards consecutively (2009–10).
Quotes of the Finals 
Don't ever underestimate the heart of a champion!
Drexler puts the move on Anderson. Drexler with the finger-roll, the tip by Olajuwon! The Rockets lead, three-tenths of a second remaining.
Smith circles out back, instead they give it to Drexler. Drexler driving, he goes, he puts it up, OH THE REBOUND! TIPPED IN! TIPPED IN! TIPPED IN BY HAKEEM! The Houston Rockets have stunned the Orlando Magic, and they win Game 1 of the NBA Finals in stunning fashion.—NBA Radio announcer Joe McConnell on the aforementioned play.
The Rockets' championship reign would end in 1996, where they were swept by the Seattle SuperSonics in four games of the second round. The Sonics were also the last team to beat the Rockets in the playoffs prior to their two-year championship reign, when they defeated them in seven games of the second round in 1993. That year, the Rockets won 48 games and achieved the fourth seed. The following offseason, the Rockets attempted to make it back to the finals by adding former NBA MVP Charles Barkley. However, age and injuries would take its toll, and the closest the Rockets would achieve after their two-year championship reign was a six-game loss to the Utah Jazz in the 1997 Western Conference Finals. As of 2013, this is the Rockets' last NBA Finals appearance.
The Magic would have another strong season in 1996 winning 60 games. However, they were swept by the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals, who would go on to win the NBA championship after registering a league-record 72 wins. The following offseason, Shaquille O'Neal joined the Los Angeles Lakers, and went on to win NBA titles with the team in 2000, 2001 and 2002. The Magic would not make it back to the finals until 2009.
- History of the NBA Finals: Hakeem Olajuwon: The NBA’s Best In The Mid ’90s, hollywoodsportsbook.com, accessed February 16, 2007.
- NBA Finals Records, Basketball.com, accessed February 16, 2007.