2003 NBA Playoffs

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The 2003 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2002-03 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs defeating the Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Nets 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals. Tim Duncan was named NBA Finals MVP for the second time.

This postseason was notable for being the first time all series were conducted in a best-of-7 format. It was also the only time in playoff history that no team was swept in a first-round series. From 19842002, the first-round series was best-of-5.

This is the first time that the NBA Playoffs carried more games on cable television than regular broadcast television. This also marks the debut for the NBA Playoffs to be aired on NBA TV, and the return broadcast on ESPN & ABC after the NBA departed from NBC and TBS.

The Detroit Pistons advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since the Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars-led team were swept by the Chicago Bulls in 1991, ending the Pistons' quest for a third consecutive title. The Pistons would go on to appear in six consecutive Eastern Conference Finals until 2008, the most consecutive appearances for any Eastern Conference team since the Bill Russell-led Boston Celtics (1957–1969).

The Dallas Mavericks also ended a long conference finals drought by making it there for the first time since 1988.

Bracket[edit]

First Round Conference Semifinals Conference Finals NBA Finals
                       
1 San Antonio 4
8 Phoenix 2
1 San Antonio 4
5 L.A. Lakers 2
4 Minnesota 2
5 L.A. Lakers 4
1 San Antonio 4
Western Conference
3 Dallas 2
3 Dallas 4
6 Portland 3
3 Dallas 4
2 Sacramento 3
2 Sacramento 4
7 Utah 1
W1 San Antonio 4
E2 New Jersey 2
1 Detroit 4
8 Orlando 3
1 Detroit 4
4 Philadelphia 2
4 Philadelphia 4
5 New Orleans 2
1 Detroit 0
Eastern Conference
2 New Jersey 4
3 Indiana 2
6 Boston 4
6 Boston 0
2 New Jersey 4
2 New Jersey 4
7 Milwaukee 2

Playoff qualifying[edit]

Western Conference[edit]

Seed Team Record
1 San Antonio Spurs 60–22
2 Sacramento Kings 59–23
3 Dallas Mavericks 60–22
4 Minnesota Timberwolves 51–31
5 Los Angeles Lakers 50–32
6 Portland Trail Blazers 50–32
7 Utah Jazz 47–35
8 Phoenix Suns 44–38

Eastern Conference[edit]

Seed Team Record
1 Detroit Pistons 50-32
2 New Jersey Nets 49-33
3 Indiana Pacers 48–34
4 Philadelphia 76ers 48–34
5 New Orleans Hornets 47–35
6 Boston Celtics 44–38
7 Milwaukee Bucks 42–40
8 Orlando Magic 42–40

Western Conference[edit]

Champion: San Antonio Spurs

First Round[edit]

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (8) Phoenix Suns[edit]

Last Playoff Meeting: 2000 Western Conference First Round (Phoenix won 3-1)

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(PHO-SAS)

Venue TV Time Recap
1* April 19 Phoenix 96 San Antonio 95 1-0 SBC Center, San Antonio ESPN 5:30 EDT/4:30CT Recap
2 April 21 Phoenix 76 San Antonio 84 1–1 SBC Center, San Antonio TNT 7:30 EDT/6:30CT Recap
3 April 25 San Antonio 99 Phoenix 86 1–2 America West Arena, Phoenix NBA TV 10:00 EDT/8:00MT Recap
4 April 27 San Antonio 84 Phoenix 86 2–2 America West Arena, Phoenix TNT 10:30 EDT/8:30MT Recap
5 April 29 Phoenix 82 San Antonio 94 2–3 SBC Center, San Antonio NBA TV 8:30 EDT/7:30CT Recap
6 May 1 San Antonio 87 Phoenix 85 2–4 America West Arena, Phoenix TBS 10:30 EDT/8:30MT Recap
San Antonio wins series 4–2

Stephon Marbury hits the game-winning 3 at the buzzer in Game 1.

(2) Sacramento Kings vs. (7) Utah Jazz[edit]

Last Playoff Meeting: 2002 Western Conference First Round (Sacramento won 3-1)

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(UTA-SAC)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 April 19 Utah 90 Sacramento 96 0–1 ARCO Arena, Sacramento TNT 10:30 EDT/7:30PT Recap
2 April 21 Utah 95 Sacramento 108 0–2 ARCO Arena, Sacramento TNT 10:00 EDT/7:00PT Recap
3 April 26 Sacramento 104 Utah 108 1–2 Delta Center, Salt Lake City ESPN 10:30 EDT/7:30PT Recap
4 April 28 Sacramento 99 Utah 82 1–3 Delta Center, Salt Lake City TNT 10:30 EDT/7:30PT Recap
5 April 30 Utah 91 Sacramento 111 1–4 ARCO Arena, Sacramento TNT 10:30 EDT/7:30PT Recap
Sacramento wins series 4–1

Game 5 is John Stockton's final NBA game.

(3) Dallas Mavericks vs. (6) Portland Trail Blazers[edit]

Last Playoff Meeting: 1990 Western Conference First Round (Portland won 3-0)

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(POR-DAL)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 April 19 Portland 86 Dallas 96 0–1 American Airlines Center, Dallas TNT 8:00 EDT/7:00CT Recap
2 April 23 Portland 99 Dallas 103 0–2 American Airlines Center, Dallas TNT 9:30 EDT/8:30CT Recap
3 April 25 Dallas 115 Portland 103 0–3 Rose Garden, Portland ESPN 10:30 EDT/7:30PT Recap
4 April 27 Dallas 79 Portland 98 1–3 Rose Garden, Portland TNT 8:00 EDT/7:00PT Recap
5 April 30 Portland 103 Dallas 99 2–3 American Airlines Center, Dallas TNT 8:00 EDT/7:00CT Recap
6 May 2 Dallas 103 Portland 125 3–3 Rose Garden, Portland ESPN 10:30 EDT/7:30PT Recap
7 May 4 Portland 95 Dallas 107 3–4 American Airlines Center, Dallas ABC 3:30 EDT/2:30CT Recap
Dallas wins series 4–3

(4) Minnesota Timberwolves vs. (5) Los Angeles Lakers[edit]

Last Playoff Meeting: This is the first meeting between the Timberwolves and Lakers.

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(LAL-MIN)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 April 20 L.A. Lakers 117 Minnesota 98 1-0 Target Center, Minneapolis ABC 3:30 EDT/2:30CT Recap
2 April 22 L.A. Lakers 91 Minnesota 119 1–1 Target Center, Minneapolis TNT 9:30 EDT/8:30CT Recap
3 April 24 Minnesota 114 L.A. Lakers 110 1–2 Staples Center, Los Angeles TNT 11:00 EDT/8:00PT Recap
4 April 27 Minnesota 97 L.A. Lakers 102 2–2 Staples Center, Los Angeles ABC 3:00 EDT/12:00PT Recap
5 April 29 L.A. Lakers 120 Minnesota 90 3-2 Target Center, Minneapolis TNT 9:30 EDT/8:30CT Recap
6 May 1 Minnesota 85 L.A. Lakers 101 4-2 Staples Center, Los Angeles TNT 11:00 EDT/8:00PT Recap
L.A. Lakers wins series 4–2

Conference Semifinals[edit]

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (5) Los Angeles Lakers[edit]

Last Playoff Meeting: 2002 Western Conference Semifinals (Los Angeles won 4-1)

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(LAL-SAS)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 May 5 L.A. Lakers 82 San Antonio 87 0–1 SBC Center, San Antonio TNT 9:30 EDT/8:30CT Recap
2 May 7 L.A. Lakers 95 San Antonio 114 0–2 SBC Center, San Antonio TNT 9:30 EDT/8:30CT Recap
3 May 9 San Antonio 95 L.A. Lakers 110 1–2 Staples Center, Los Angeles TNT 10:30 EDT/7:30PT Recap
4 May 11 San Antonio 95 L.A. Lakers 99 2–2 Staples Center, Los Angeles ABC 3:30 EDT/12:30PT Recap
5 May 13 L.A. Lakers 94 San Antonio 96 2–3 SBC Center, San Antonio TNT 9:30 EDT/8:30CT Recap
6 May 15 San Antonio 110 L.A. Lakers 82 2–4 Staples Center, Los Angeles ABC 8:00 EDT/6:00PT Recap
San Antonio wins series 4–2
  • In Game 5, the Lakers nearly overcame a 25-point deficit, but Robert Horry's potential game-winning 3 went in and out.

(2) Sacramento Kings vs. (3) Dallas Mavericks[edit]

Last Playoff Meeting: 2002 Western Conference Semifinals (Sacramento won 4-1)

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(SAC-DAL)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 May 6 Sacramento 124 Dallas 113 1-0 American Airlines Center, Dallas ESPN 9:30 EDT/8:30CT Recap
2 May 8 Sacramento 110 Dallas 132 1–1 American Airlines Center, Dallas ESPN 9:30 EDT/8:30CT Recap
3** May 10 Dallas 141 Sacramento 137 1–2 ARCO Arena, Sacramento ESPN 9:30 EDT/6:30PT Recap
4 May 11 Dallas 83 Sacramento 99 2–2 ARCO Arena, Sacramento TNT 10:30 EDT/7:30PT Recap
5 May 13 Sacramento 93 Dallas 112 2–3 American Airlines Center, Dallas TNT 9:30 EDT/8:30CT Recap
6 May 15 Dallas 109 Sacramento 115 3–3 ARCO Arena, Sacramento TNT 10:30 EDT/7:30PT Recap
7 May 17 Sacramento 99 Dallas 112 3–4 American Airlines Center, Dallas TNT 8:30 EDT/7:30CT Recap
Dallas wins series 4–3

**Required double-overtime.

Conference Finals[edit]

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (3) Dallas Mavericks[edit]

Last Playoff Meeting: 2001 Western Conference Semifinals (San Antonio won 4-1)

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(DAL-SAS)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 May 19 Dallas 113 San Antonio 110 1-0 SBC Center, San Antonio TNT 9:00 EDT/8:00CT Recap
2 May 21 Dallas 106 San Antonio 119 1–1 SBC Center, San Antonio TNT 8:30 EDT/7:30CT Recap
3 May 23 San Antonio 96 Dallas 83 1–2 American Airlines Center, Dallas TNT 9:00 EDT/8:00CT Recap
4 May 25 San Antonio 102 Dallas 95 1–3 American Airlines Center, Dallas TNT 9:00 EDT/8:00CT Recap
5 May 27 Dallas 103 San Antonio 91 2–3 SBC Center, San Antonio TNT 9:00 EDT/8:00CT Recap
6 May 29 San Antonio 90 Dallas 78 2–4 American Airlines Center, Dallas TNT 9:00 EDT/8:00CT Recap
San Antonio wins Western Conference Championship series 4–2

Steve Kerr puts on a shooting performance for the ages connecting on 6 3-pointers closing out Dallas in game 6.

Eastern Conference[edit]

Champion: New Jersey Nets

First Round[edit]

(1) Detroit Pistons vs. (8) Orlando Magic[edit]

Last Playoff Meeting: 1996 Eastern Conference First Round (Orlando won 3-0)

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(ORL-DET)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 April 20 Orlando 99 Detroit 94 1-0 The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills ESPN 12:30et Recap
2 April 23 Orlando 77 Detroit 89 1-1 The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills NBA TV 8:00et Recap
3 April 25 Detroit 80 Orlando 89 2-1 TD Waterhouse Centre, Orlando ESPN 8:00et Recap
4 April 27 Detroit 92 Orlando 100 3-1 TD Waterhouse Centre, Orlando ESPN 5:30et Recap
5 April 30 Orlando 67 Detroit 98 3-2 The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills NBA TV 7:30et Recap
6 May 2 Detroit 103 Orlando 88 3–3 TD Waterhouse Centre, Orlando NBA TV 7:30et Recap
7 May 4 Orlando 93 Detroit 108 3–4 The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills ESPN 12:30et Recap
Detroit wins series 4–3

(2) New Jersey Nets vs. (7) Milwaukee Bucks[edit]

Last Playoff Meeting: 1986 Eastern Conference First Round (Milwaukee won 3-0)

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(MIL-NJN)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 April 19 Milwaukee 96 New Jersey 109 0–1 Continental Airlines Arena, New Jersey ESPN 12:30et Recap
2 April 22 Milwaukee 88 New Jersey 85 1–1 Continental Airlines Arena, New Jersey TNT 7:00et Recap
3 April 24 New Jersey 103 Milwaukee 101 1–2 Bradley Center, Milwaukee TNT 8:30et/7:30ct Recap
4* April 26 New Jersey 114 Milwaukee 119 2–2 Bradley Center, Milwaukee TNT 5:00et/4:00ct Recap
5 April 29 Milwaukee 82 New Jersey 89 2–3 Continental Airlines Arena, New Jersey TNT 7:00et Recap
6 May 1 New Jersey 113 Milwaukee 101 2–4 Bradley Center, Milwaukee TNT 6:00et/5:00ct Recap
New Jersey wins series 4–2

*Required overtime.

(3) Indiana Pacers vs. (6) Boston Celtics[edit]

Last Playoff Meeting: 1992 Eastern Conference First Round (Boston won 3-0)

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(BOS-IND)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 April 19 Boston 103 Indiana 100 1-0 Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis ESPN 3:00et/2:00ct Recap
2 April 21 Boston 77 Indiana 89 1–1 Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis NBATV 8:30et/7:30ct Recap
3 April 24 Indiana 83 Boston 101 2-1 FleetCenter, Boston TNT 6:00et Recap
4 April 27 Indiana 92 Boston 102 3-1 FleetCenter, Boston ESPN2 12:00et Recap
5* April 29 Boston 88 Indiana 93 3-2 Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis NBATV 8:00et/7:00ct Recap
6 May 1 Indiana 90 Boston 110 4-2 FleetCenter, Boston TBS 8:00et Recap
Boston wins series 4–2

*Required overtime.

(4) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (5) New Orleans Hornets[edit]

Last Playoff Meeting: This is the first playoff meeting between the 76ers and the New Orleans Hornets.

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(NOH-PHI)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 April 20 New Orleans 90 Philadelphia 98 0–1 First Union Center, Philadelphia TNT 8:00et Recap
2 April 23 New Orleans 85 Philadelphia 90 0–2 First Union Center, Philadelphia TNT 7:00et Recap
3 April 26 Philadelphia 85 New Orleans 99 1–2 New Orleans Arena, New Orleans TNT 7:30et/6:30ct Recap
4 April 28 Philadelphia 96 New Orleans 87 1–3 New Orleans Arena, New Orleans TNT 7:30et/6:30ct Recap
5 April 30 New Orleans 93 Philadelphia 91 2–3 First Union Center, Philadelphia TNT 6:00et Recap
6 May 2 Philadelphia 107 New Orleans 103 2–4 New Orleans Arena, New Orleans ESPN 8:30et/7:30ct Recap
Philadelphia wins series 4–2

Conference Semifinals[edit]

(1) Detroit Pistons vs. (4) Philadelphia 76ers[edit]

Last Playoff Meeting: 1955 NBA Finals (Syracuse Nationals, the predecessor to the 76ers, won 4-3 over the Pistons, at the time located in Fort Wayne, Indiana)

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(PHI-DET)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 May 6 Philadelphia 87 Detroit 98 0–1 The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills ESPN 7:30et Recap
2* May 8 Philadelphia 97 Detroit 104 0–2 The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills ESPN 7:00et Recap
3 May 10 Detroit 83 Philadelphia 93 1–2 First Union Center, Philadelphia ESPN 8:00et Recap
4 May 11 Detroit 82 Philadelphia 95 2–2 First Union Center, Philadelphia ESPN 7:30et Recap
5 May 14 Philadelphia 77 Detroit 78 2–3 The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills ESPN 8:00et Recap
6* May 16 Detroit 93 Philadelphia 89 2–4 First Union Center, Philadelphia ESPN 8:00et Recap
Detroit wins series 4–2

*Required overtime.

(2) New Jersey Nets vs. (6) Boston Celtics[edit]

Last Playoff Meeting: 2002 Eastern Conference Finals (New Jersey won 4-2)

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(BOS-NJN)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 May 5 Boston 93 New Jersey 97 0–1 Continental Airlines Arena, New Jersey TNT 7:00et Recap
2 May 7 Boston 95 New Jersey 104 0–2 Continental Airlines Arena, New Jersey TNT 7:00et Recap
3 May 9 New Jersey 94 Boston 76 0–3 FleetCenter, Boston TNT 8:00et Recap
4** May 12 New Jersey 110 Boston 101 0–4 FleetCenter, Boston TNT 8:00et Recap
New Jersey wins series 4–0

Conference Finals[edit]

(1) Detroit Pistons vs. (2) New Jersey Nets[edit]

Last Playoff Meeting: 1985 Eastern Conference First Round (Detroit won 3-0)

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(NJN-DET)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 May 18 New Jersey 76 Detroit 74 1-0 The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills ABC 1:00et Recap
2 May 20 New Jersey 88 Detroit 86 2-0 The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills ESPN 8:00et Recap
3 May 22 Detroit 85 New Jersey 97 3-0 Continental Airlines Arena, New Jersey ABC 8:00et Recap
4 May 24 Detroit 82 New Jersey 102 4-0 Continental Airlines Arena, New Jersey ESPN 8:00et Recap
New Jersey wins Eastern Conference Championship series 4–0

Jason Kidd hit the game-winning jumper with 1.4 seconds left in Game 1.

NBA Finals[edit]

Main article: 2003 NBA Finals

(W1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (E2) New Jersey Nets[edit]

Last Playoff Meeting: 1976 ABA Semifinals (Nets won 4-3; they were based in Uniondale, New York)

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(NJN-SAS)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 June 4 New Jersey 89 San Antonio 101 0–1 SBC Center, San Antonio, Texas ABC 8:00et/7:00ct Recap
2 June 6 New Jersey 87 San Antonio 85 1–1 SBC Center, San Antonio, Texas ABC 8:00et/7:00ct Recap
3 June 8 San Antonio 84 New Jersey 79 1–2 Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey ABC 8:00et/7:00ct Recap
4 June 11 San Antonio 76 New Jersey 77 2–2 Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey ABC 8:00et/7:00ct Recap
5 June 13 San Antonio 93 New Jersey 83 2–3 Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey ABC 8:00et/7:00ct Recap
6 June 15 New Jersey 77 San Antonio 88 2–4 SBC Center, San Antonio, Texas ABC 8:00et/7:00ct Recap
San Antonio wins NBA Championship series 4–2

Game 6 is David Robinson's final NBA game.

External links[edit]