2007 NBA Playoffs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
2007 NBA Playoffs logo.

The 2007 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2006-07 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs defeating the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers 4 games to 0 in the NBA Finals. Tony Parker was named NBA Finals MVP, making him the first Spur other than Tim Duncan and the first European-born player to receive the award.

Seeding[edit]

The playoffs are conducted in 4 rounds of best-of-7 series. The 3 division winners in each conference, along with the 5 best non-division winners in each conference, qualify for the playoffs. The division winners and top second-place team are seeded 1–4 based on record, with the remaining teams seeded 5–8 on record.

Up until 2006, the division champions were guaranteed no worse than the third seed, while the non-division winners could do no better than the fourth seed regardless of record. The NBA changed the seeding system so that the teams with the two best records in the conference are guaranteed the top two seeds even if the second-best team isn't a division champion. Meanwhile, the division champions are guaranteed no worse than the fourth seed. This ensures that the teams with the two best records in the conference cannot meet until the conference finals at the earliest.[1]

Playoff qualifying[edit]

Eastern Conference[edit]

The following teams clinched a playoff berth in the East:

  1. Detroit Pistons (53 wins, clinched Central division)
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers (50 wins, best record in the conference outside the division winners)
  3. Toronto Raptors (47 wins, clinched Atlantic division)
  4. Miami Heat (44 wins, clinched Southeast division)
  5. Chicago Bulls (49 wins)
  6. New Jersey Nets (41 wins)
  7. Washington Wizards (41 wins)
  8. Orlando Magic (40 wins)

Western Conference[edit]

The following teams clinched a playoff berth in the West:

  1. Dallas Mavericks (67 wins, clinched Southwest division and home-court advantage throughout playoffs)
  2. Phoenix Suns (61 wins, clinched Pacific division)
  3. San Antonio Spurs (58 wins, best record in the conference outside the division winners)
  4. Utah Jazz (51 wins, clinched Northwest division)
  5. Houston Rockets (52 wins)
  6. Denver Nuggets (45 wins)
  7. Los Angeles Lakers (42 wins)
  8. Golden State Warriors (42 wins)

Bracket[edit]

This is the outlook for the 2007 NBA Playoffs. Teams in italics have home court advantage. Teams in bold advance to the next round. Numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's original playoffs seeding in their respective conferences. Numbers to the right of each team indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions possess an asterisk (*)

First Round Conference Semifinals Conference Finals NBA Finals
                       
1 *Detroit 4
8 Orlando 0
1 *Detroit 4
5 Chicago 2
4 *Miami 0
5 Chicago 4
1 *Detroit 2
Eastern Conference
2 Cleveland 4
2 Cleveland 4
7 Washington 0
2 Cleveland 4
6 New Jersey 2
3 *Toronto 2
6 New Jersey 4
E2 Cleveland 0
W3 San Antonio 4
1 *Dallas 2
8 Golden State 4
8 Golden State 1
4 *Utah 4
4 *Utah 4
5 Houston 3
4 *Utah 1
Western Conference
3 San Antonio 4
2 *Phoenix 4
7 L.A. Lakers 1
2 *Phoenix 2
3 San Antonio 4
3 San Antonio 4
6 Denver 1

Notes[edit]

  • Houston and Chicago had home court advantage in the first round despite being lower seeds. Both teams had better regular season records than their opponents, but did not have the best record of the non-division-champion playoff teams in their respective conferences.

Eastern Conference[edit]

First Round[edit]

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

April 21
Orlando Magic 92, Detroit Pistons 100
April 23
Orlando Magic 90, Detroit Pistons 98
The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills
TNT
April 26
Detroit Pistons 93, Orlando Magic 77
TNT
April 28
Detroit Pistons 97, Orlando Magic 93
Detroit wins series, 4–0
Amway Arena, Orlando

Last Playoff Meeting: 2003 Eastern Conference First Round (Detroit won 4-3)

The Orlando Magic's first playoff trip in 4 seasons was short lived as the top ranked Detroit Pistons dispatched the upstart Magic in 4 games. The Pistons recorded their first series sweep since sweeping Indiana in the first round of the 1990 NBA Playoffs. The series was also the first time Orlando forward Grant Hill had appeared in the postseason since leaving Detroit after the 2000 season.

(2) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (7) Washington Wizards[edit]

April 22
Washington Wizards 82, Cleveland Cavaliers 97
April 25
Washington Wizards 102, Cleveland Cavaliers 109
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
TNT
April 28
Cleveland Cavaliers 98, Washington Wizards 92
NBA TV
April 30
Cleveland Cavaliers 97, Washington Wizards 90
Cleveland wins series, 4–0
Verizon Center, Washington

Last Playoff Meeting: 2006 Eastern Conference First Round (Cleveland won 4-2)

A rematch of the previous year's first round series was spoiled when Wizards stars Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler were both forced out of the playoffs due to injuries received in the later parts of the regular season. Without Arenas and Butler, the Wizards were unable to stop LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers from sweeping them out of the playoffs. It was Cleveland's first playoff sweep in franchise history.

(3) Toronto Raptors vs. (6) New Jersey Nets[edit]

April 21
New Jersey Nets 96, Toronto Raptors 91
April 24
New Jersey Nets 83, Toronto Raptors 89
Air Canada Centre, Toronto
April 27
Toronto Raptors 89, New Jersey Nets 102
April 29
Toronto Raptors 81, New Jersey Nets 102
Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford
TNT
May 1
New Jersey Nets 96, Toronto Raptors 98
Air Canada Centre, Toronto
ESPN
May 4
Toronto Raptors 97, New Jersey Nets 98
New Jersey wins series, 4–2
Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford

Last Playoff Meeting: This is the first meeting between the Raptors and Nets.

The Nets won the first round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs in their sixth straight appearance in the NBA Playoffs. The series was the only one in the Eastern Conference first round not to result in a sweep.

The series was notable for pitting ex-Raptor Vince Carter, who was traded to the Nets in 2004 after an acrimonious split, against his former team. So great was the Toronto crowd's disdain for Carter, that he was booed every time he touched the ball. The Nets took home court advantage in Game 1, holding off a late Raptors rally in the fourth quarter. The Raptors pulled away in Game 2 and tied the series at 1. When the series shifted to New Jersey, the Nets took charge of the series, winning Games 3 and 4 in routs. New Jersey had a chance to win the series in Game 5 in Toronto, but the Raptors took a 20-point lead after one quarter. Still, New Jersey managed to chip away, and had a chance to win it, but Bostjan Nachbar's 3 missed at the buzzer. Needing to win in New Jersey to force a Game 7, Toronto held a one-point lead with under a minute to play in Game 6, but Richard Jefferson hit a layup with 8 seconds left. Toronto attempted to try for the game-winning shot, but Jefferson intercepted the pass to seal the series for the Nets.

(4) Miami Heat vs. (5) Chicago Bulls[edit]

April 21
Miami Heat 91, Chicago Bulls 96
United Center, Chicago
April 24
Miami Heat 89, Chicago Bulls 107
United Center, Chicago
April 27
Chicago Bulls 104, Miami Heat 96
ABC
April 29
Chicago Bulls 92, Miami Heat 79
Chicago wins series, 4–0
American Airlines Arena, Miami

Last Playoff Meeting: 2006 Eastern Conference First Round (Miami won 4-2)

The Bulls won their first playoff series since the 1998 NBA Finals and the retirement of Michael Jordan. This was the Bulls first 4-game sweep, since sweeping the Magic in the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals. Meanwhile, Miami became the first defending champion since 1957 to be swept in the First Round the following season.

In addition, Southeast Division champions Miami and other division qualifiers Washington and Orlando were swept (0–12) by Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit respectively, all from the Central Division (12–0).

Conference Semifinals[edit]

(1) Detroit Pistons vs. (5) Chicago Bulls[edit]

May 5
Chicago Bulls 69, Detroit Pistons 95
TNT
May 7
Chicago Bulls 87, Detroit Pistons 108
The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills
May 10
Detroit Pistons 81, Chicago Bulls 74
United Center, Chicago
May 13
Detroit Pistons 87, Chicago Bulls 102
United Center, Chicago
TNT
May 15
Chicago Bulls 108, Detroit Pistons 92
The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills
ESPN
May 17
Detroit Pistons 95, Chicago Bulls 85
Detroit wins series, 4–2
United Center, Chicago

Last Playoff Meeting: 1991 Eastern Conference Finals (Chicago won 4-0)

In a renewal of a rivalry from the late '80s and early '90s, the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons faced off against each other. The series began fairly one-sided as the Pistons took Games 1 and 2 in Detroit in blowout fashion, followed by another convincing victory in Game 3 in Chicago. In all 3 games, the Bulls looked severely outmatched against the more experienced Pistons squad. Expectations were low for the Bulls, since no NBA team has ever won a seven-game series after being down 3-0. (It has only happened five times total in sports history, the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders, 2004 Boston Red Sox, 2010 Philadelphia Flyers and 2014 Los Angeles Kings.)

Despite the huge obstacle, the Bulls rallied to take Game 4 in a romp, and then proceeded to shock everyone with a blow-out victory in Detroit in Game 5. Despite the renewed momentum, the Pistons' playoff experience ultimately won out as they closed out the Bulls in a 95-85 Game 6 win. The Pistons advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the fifth straight year.

(2) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (6) New Jersey Nets[edit]

May 6
New Jersey Nets 77, Cleveland Cavaliers 81
May 8
New Jersey Nets 92, Cleveland Cavaliers 102
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
May 12
Cleveland Cavaliers 85, New Jersey Nets 96
TNT
May 14
Cleveland Cavaliers 87, New Jersey Nets 85
Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford
TNT
May 16
New Jersey Nets 83, Cleveland Cavaliers 72
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
ESPN
May 18
Cleveland Cavaliers 88, New Jersey Nets 72
Cleveland wins series, 4–2
Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford

Last Playoff Meeting: 1993 Eastern Conference First Round (Cleveland won 3-2)

The Cavaliers advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1992, while the Nets lost in the Conference Semifinals in three out of the last four years. Game 6 was the final playoff game at the Continental Airlines Arena, while also the last NBA playoff game ever played in New Jersey (the Prudential Center never hosted an NBA playoff game during the Nets' tenure from 2010–12).

New Jersey Nets point guard Jason Kidd averaged a triple double the entire playoffs, scoring 14.6 points, grabbing 10.9 rebounds and dishing out 10.9 assists per game.

Conference Finals: (1) Detroit Pistons vs. (2) Cleveland Cavaliers[edit]

May 21
Cleveland Cavaliers 76, Detroit Pistons 79
TNT
May 24
Cleveland Cavaliers 76, Detroit Pistons 79
The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills
TNT
May 27
Detroit Pistons 82, Cleveland Cavaliers 88
TNT
May 29
Detroit Pistons 87, Cleveland Cavaliers 91
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
TNT
May 31
Cleveland Cavaliers 109, Detroit Pistons 107 (2OT)
The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills
TNT
June 2
Detroit Pistons 82, Cleveland Cavaliers 98
Cleveland wins series, 4–2
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland

Last Playoff Meeting: 2006 Eastern Conference Semifinals (Detroit won 4-3)

In a rematch of the thrilling 2006 second-round series, the Pistons and Cavaliers matched up in perhaps one of the most closely contested series in NBA history, with the first five games being decided by six points or less. The spotlight fell on LeBron James. Despite gaining some momentum in the opening games of the series against the experienced Pistons, key last-second decisions by James led to Cleveland losses in Games 1 and 2 in Detroit, by identical scores, in which Cleveland led for most of the two games. They faced a 0–2 deficit for the second straight year, but would easily remember from the year before that they could win three straight games to get back into the series.

With media circles on his back for his complacency in these games (James had a then playoff career low 10 points in Game 1), James came back to will the Cavs to close victories in Games 3 and 4 in Cleveland, evening the series at 2. The series shifted back to Detroit for a Game 5 that proved to be one of the most memorable postseason games in recent NBA history. In a match that went into double overtime, the Cavaliers stunned the Pistons on their home court, thanks to LeBron James' playoff career-high 48-point performance. James scored the Cavaliers' final 25 points, including all 18 points in overtime, forced the second OT with a driving dunk and made a driving layup with 2.2 seconds left in the second OT to silence the Palace crowd. A game tying buzzer beater by Chauncey Billups rimmed out making it two straight 2-point wins at the Palace in Game 5.

The Cavaliers took advantage of their home court in 2007 and exploded in Game 6 to close out the Pistons, and to clinch the franchise's first trip to the NBA Finals. Rookie Daniel Gibson scored a career-high 31 points, including five 3-pointers, to lift the Cavs in the second half behind a roaring home crowd.

Western Conference[edit]

First Round[edit]

(1) Dallas Mavericks vs. (8) Golden State Warriors[edit]

April 22
Golden State Warriors 97, Dallas Mavericks 85
TNT
April 25
Golden State Warriors 99, Dallas Mavericks 112
American Airlines Center, Dallas
April 27
Dallas Mavericks 91, Golden State Warriors 109
TNT
April 29
Dallas Mavericks 99, Golden State Warriors 103
Oracle Arena, Oakland
TNT
May 1
Golden State Warriors 112, Dallas Mavericks 118
American Airlines Center, Dallas
TNT
May 3
Dallas Mavericks 86, Golden State Warriors 111
Golden State wins series, 4–2
Oracle Arena, Oakland

Last Playoff Meeting: This is the first meeting between the Mavericks and Warriors.

The Warriors qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 1994, the second longest such streak in league history. However, the Warriors were heavy underdogs against the Dallas Mavericks despite sweeping the regular season series between the teams, as Dallas had one of the best records in NBA regular season history. Expectations of a short series were immediately dashed by Golden State's Game 1 victory in Dallas, behind guard Baron Davis and his rather frantic style of play. The Mavericks came back to win Game 2 to tie the series at 1.

But when the series shifted to Oakland for the next two games, a new X-factor emerged for the Warriors: their home crowd at the Oracle Arena. The electric crowd, which was the highest paid attendance crowd for an NBA game in the history of that arena, gave the Warriors a huge lift as they blew out Dallas in Game 3, and edged out a close victory in Game 4. As the series shifted back to Dallas, the top-ranked Mavericks found themselves one game from seeing their record breaking season end prematurely. The Mavericks gave their all and staved off elimination in Game 5, but had nothing left in Game 6 in Oakland. The Warriors used a third-quarter 18–0 run, sparked by Stephen Jackson's 13 straight points en route to a franchise playoff record seven 3-pointers, and an unexpected collapse from MVP candidate Dirk Nowitzki (2–13 from the field with 8 points) to finish Dallas and become the first #8 seed to win a best-of-7 series in the first round, and just the third overall in NBA history, following the Denver Nuggets in 1994 and the New York Knicks en route to the 1999 NBA Finals. The Warriors also won their first playoff series since 1991.

Both 2006 NBA Finalists (Dallas and Miami) were eliminated in the first round. This was the first time since 1956 that this had happened.

(2) Phoenix Suns vs. (7) Los Angeles Lakers[edit]

April 22
Los Angeles Lakers 87, Phoenix Suns 95
April 24
Los Angeles Lakers 98, Phoenix Suns 126
US Airways Center, Phoenix
TNT
April 26
Phoenix Suns 89, Los Angeles Lakers 95
ABC
April 29
Phoenix Suns 113, Los Angeles Lakers 100
Staples Center, Los Angeles
TNT
May 2
Los Angeles Lakers 110, Phoenix Suns 119
Phoenix wins series, 4–1
US Airways Center, Phoenix

Last Playoff Meeting: 2006 Western Conference First Round (Phoenix won 4-3)

Kobe Bryant and the Lakers went up against the high powered Phoenix Suns in a rematch of the previous year's first round series, which saw the Lakers take a 3–1 lead before the Suns took the series in 7. Unlike the previous series, the Suns had near complete control of the series, taking the series in 5. The Suns advanced to their third straight conference semifinals by eliminating the Lakers in the first round for the second straight year. In Game 4, Phoenix point guard Steve Nash made a run at the record for most assists in a playoff game, finishing one shy of the record 24 shared by Magic Johnson and John Stockton.

(3) San Antonio Spurs vs. (6) Denver Nuggets[edit]

April 22
Denver Nuggets 95, San Antonio Spurs 89
TNT
April 25
Denver Nuggets 88, San Antonio Spurs 97
AT&T Center, San Antonio
April 28
San Antonio Spurs 96, Denver Nuggets 91
TNT
April 30
San Antonio Spurs 96, Denver Nuggets 89
Pepsi Center, Denver
TNT
May 2
Denver Nuggets 78, San Antonio Spurs 93
San Antonio wins series, 4–1
AT&T Center, San Antonio

Last Playoff Meeting: 2005 Western Conference First Round (San Antonio won 4-1)

The Nuggets duo of Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson got Denver off to a fast start, winning Game 1 and taking home-court advantage away from Tim Duncan and the Spurs. Despite the early letdown, the Spurs showed their championship mettle and bounced back for a 97-88 win in Game 2. In the pivotal Game 3, the Nuggets built an eight-point first-quarter lead before Manu Ginóbili's eight second-quarter points put San Antonio up 43-40 at halftime. A back-and-forth contest turned in the final 2:24 of the third quarter: Michael Finley hit two 3-pointers, and Robert Horry later hit a 3 that gave the Spurs a 75-67 lead at the end of the quarter. They hung on for a 96-91 win.

Denver started strong again in Game 4 and led by eight at halftime. But San Antonio stormed back after Anthony went to the bench in the third quarter with his fourth foul. The Spurs held a one-point lead with 30 seconds left when Horry, playing for his seventh championship ring, hit a 3 from the right corner to help seal a 96-89 win. The stunned Nuggets did not recover from the Game 4 letdown. Finley was the hero in Game 5, hitting a team-playoff-record eight threes for 26 points as San Antonio won 93-78 to end the series, marking the Nuggets' fourth straight season where they lost in the first round in five games. This is the second time in three seasons that the Nuggets lost the first-round series to the Spurs, after taking Game 1 in San Antonio (the first also happened in five games).

(4) Utah Jazz vs. (5) Houston Rockets[edit]

April 21
Utah Jazz 75, Houston Rockets 84
April 23
Utah Jazz 90, Houston Rockets 98
Toyota Center, Houston
April 26
Houston Rockets 67, Utah Jazz 81
ESPN
April 28
Houston Rockets 85, Utah Jazz 98
EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City
TNT
April 30
Utah Jazz 92, Houston Rockets 96
Toyota Center, Houston
TNT
May 3
Houston Rockets 82, Utah Jazz 94
EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City
TNT
May 5
Utah Jazz 103, Houston Rockets 99
Utah wins series, 4–3
Toyota Center, Houston

Last Playoff Meeting: 1998 Western Conference First Round (Utah won 3-2)

The resurgent Utah Jazz, fresh off one of their best seasons since the John Stockton/Karl Malone years, faced Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady and the Houston Rockets, who were seeking their first playoff series victory in 10 years. Home court advantage proved to be the key as the series progressed, as both the Rockets and the Jazz won closely contested matches in front of their home crowds.

As a result, the series had to go to a seventh and deciding game, which was played in Houston since the Rockets had the better record and thereby earned home court advantage, despite the division-winning Jazz being the higher-seeded team. Nevertheless, Utah overcame the Houston crowd and stunned the Rockets for the win on the road. The Jazz became only the second road team in history to win Game 7 of a seven-game series in which the home team won each of the first six games. Houston's Tracy McGrady lost his sixth straight post-season series (out of 10 seasons) and has not been out of the first round in his entire career.

After losing the series, the Rockets failed to reach a new contract agreement with their head coach Jeff Van Gundy, who was subsequently fired.[2]

Conference Semifinals[edit]

(4) Utah Jazz vs. (8) Golden State Warriors[edit]

May 7
Golden State Warriors 112, Utah Jazz 116
TNT
May 9
Golden State Warriors 117, Utah Jazz 127 (OT)
EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City
May 11
Utah Jazz 105, Golden State Warriors 125
TNT
May 13
Utah Jazz 115, Golden State Warriors 101
Oracle Arena, Oakland
TNT
May 15
Golden State Warriors 87, Utah Jazz 100
Utah wins series, 4–1
EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City

Last Playoff Meeting: 1989 Western Conference First Round (Golden State won 3-0)

The Warriors play the Jazz at Oracle Arena in Game 3.

Fresh off their stunning upset of the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks, the Golden State Warriors faced a very different team in Utah. The Warriors continued the frantic style of play they exhibited against the Mavericks, but the Jazz, a more defensive-minded team, managed to shut them down to take Game 1. The Warriors tried to bounce back in Game 2, and took the Jazz to overtime. But the Jazz were able to prevail, due to the inspired clutch play of guard Derek Fisher, who arrived at halftime after being with his family in New York City because of his daughter's emergency eye cancer surgery.

The series shifted back to Oakland and the raucous Oracle Arena crowd, which lifted the Warriors to a resounding blowout in Game 3, a game which saw the Warriors hit a playoff record 11 threes in the first half. However, the Jazz shrugged off the crowd and handed the Warriors their only playoff home loss of the year in Game 4. The Warriors' playoff run ended as the Jazz finished them off in Game 5. The Jazz advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 1998.

(2) Phoenix Suns vs. (3) San Antonio Spurs[edit]

May 6
San Antonio Spurs 111, Phoenix Suns 106
May 8
San Antonio Spurs 81, Phoenix Suns 101
US Airways Center, Phoenix
ABC
May 12
Phoenix Suns 101, San Antonio Spurs 108
TNT
May 14
Phoenix Suns 104, San Antonio Spurs 98
AT&T Center, San Antonio
TNT
May 16
San Antonio Spurs 88, Phoenix Suns 85
US Airways Center, Phoenix
May 18
Phoenix Suns 106, San Antonio Spurs 114
San Antonio wins series, 4–2
AT&T Center, San Antonio

Last Playoff Meeting: 2005 Western Conference Finals (San Antonio won 4-1)

The highly anticipated match-up between the high-powered Phoenix Suns, led by 2-time MVP Steve Nash, and the fundamentally sound San Antonio Spurs, led by 3-time Finals MVP Tim Duncan, had high expectations before the series tip-off. The Suns were looking to make the conference finals for the third straight year, and also looking for their first Finals berth since 1993. The Spurs on the other hand, were looking for their third trip in five years, and their fourth NBA title overall. The series received international interest with a playoff-record of 12 players originating outside the US.[3] When the series ended, it had become one of the most hotly contested and controversial series in recent NBA history.

The Suns had their home court advantage quickly taken away as the Spurs took a tight Game 1, a game that saw Nash missing the final minutes for Phoenix due to a gash to his nose, which bled profusely. Nash and the Suns recovered to take Game 2 but after the game, Suns forward Amar'e Stoudemire accused the Spurs, especially Bruce Bowen and Manu Ginóbili, of being a dirty team. Despite the added scrutiny by the media circles, the Spurs won Game 3. The Suns, trying to overcome their recent failures against Texas teams in the playoffs (the Spurs and the Mavericks both defeated them in the Conference Finals), willed themselves to a come-from-behind victory in Game 4 to tie the series at 2.

However, the celebration was short-lived. In the closing minute of Game 4, with the Suns up 3, Nash brought up the ball and was shoved into the press table by Robert Horry, creating a momentary ruckus, wherein Raja Bell received a technical. As this took place, Stoudemire and Boris Diaw left the Suns bench. Although they were not involved in the altercation, they broke an established NBA rule that prohibits players from leaving the bench during an altercation. As a result, the NBA suspended Stoudemire and Diaw for one game, while Horry received a two-game suspension for the flagrant foul and ejection. Severely undermanned, the Suns came into Game 5 with the task of beating the Spurs without their star big man.

Although the Suns were able to control most of the game without the suspended players, even taking a 16-point lead on the Spurs at one point, the Spurs came back to win an incredibly close Game 5. Diaw and Stoudemire did return for the Suns in Game 6, though that didn't help the Suns to force a Game 7 and the Spurs eliminated them to advance to the Western Conference Finals with a 114-106 win.

Conference Finals: (3) San Antonio Spurs vs. (4) Utah Jazz[edit]

May 20
Utah Jazz 100, San Antonio Spurs 108
May 22
Utah Jazz 96, San Antonio Spurs 105
AT&T Center, San Antonio
ABC
May 26
San Antonio Spurs 83, Utah Jazz 109
ESPN
May 28
San Antonio Spurs 91, Utah Jazz 79
EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City
ESPN
May 30
Utah Jazz 84, San Antonio Spurs 109
San Antonio wins series, 4–1
AT&T Center, San Antonio

Last Playoff Meeting: 1998 Western Conference Semifinals (Utah won 4-1)

For the first time since 1990, neither the #1 nor #2 seed participated in the Western Conference Finals. However, the series pitted youth against experience as the up-and-coming Utah Jazz faced off against the seasoned San Antonio Spurs. Coming into the series, the Jazz were not given much of a chance due to their inexperience. However, Carlos Boozer, Deron Williams and the Jazz were able to hold their own against San Antonio for a good part of the series.

Unfortunately, it was not enough. The series' first 2 games - both San Antonio home victories - saw the Spurs blow big first-half leads and the Jazz mount last-gasp rallies that were thwarted by San Antonio's clutch shooting. When the Spurs' 19-point first-half lead dwindled to 95-87 late in the fourth quarter of Game 1, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginóbili came through with timely shots down the stretch. When San Antonio's 22-point edge shrank to 83-76 late in Game 2, Bruce Bowen broke Utah's rhythm with a 3 from the left corner and another from the right to end the threat.

The Jazz, who were undefeated at home in the postseason coming into the series, had their most cohesive effort in a 109-83 Game 3 rout. Utah pestered Duncan into early foul trouble and got baskets from players other than Williams and Boozer, who had combined for 57.7% of their team's points through the first two games. But Jazz fans' euphoria over the team's only series victory gave way to frustration in Game 4 - with most of it aimed at Ginóbili and his flopping. 11 of his 16 fourth-quarter points came at the foul line in an ugly overall team performance in which the Spurs made more free throws (30) than field goals (28). Contributing to that discrepancy were four technical fouls called against Utah in the fourth. The subsequent ejections of Utah headcoach Jerry Sloan and Jazz guard Derek Fisher had a charged-up EnergySolutions Arena crowd raining debris onto the court in protest.

The unflappable Spurs responded with yet another commanding start in Game 5. They outscored the Jazz by 19 in the first quarter and led by as many as 29. Not even another late-game arrival of Fisher (from New York again) could help the Jazz enough and the Spurs won a 109-84 series-clinching victory and an eventual date in the NBA Finals with the Cavaliers.

NBA Finals: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. San Antonio Spurs[edit]

Main article: 2007 NBA Finals
June 7
Cleveland Cavaliers 76, San Antonio Spurs 85
ABC
June 10
Cleveland Cavaliers 92, San Antonio Spurs 103
AT&T Center, San Antonio
ABC
June 12
San Antonio Spurs 75, Cleveland Cavaliers 72
ABC
June 14
San Antonio Spurs 83, Cleveland Cavaliers 82
San Antonio wins NBA Championship series 4–0
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland

Last Playoff Meeting: This is the first meeting between the Cavaliers and Spurs.

The Cavaliers, led by superstar LeBron James, entered the 2007 Finals looking for their first franchise championship, as well as the first championship for a pro team based out of Cleveland since the Cleveland Browns won the 1964 National Football League Championship. However, the Cavs were considered heavy underdogs against the 3-time champion Spurs. The Spurs' veteran leadership and championship experience overwhelmed the Cavs, who were swept by the Spurs after two blowouts in San Antonio and two close games in Cleveland.

Broadcasters[edit]

Eastern Conference First Round[edit]

National television[edit]

Year Teams Network Play-by-play announcer Color analyst(s) Sideline reporter(s) Studio host Studio analyst(s)
2007 Cleveland-Washington TNT (Games 1, 3)
NBA TV (Games 2, 4)

Local television[edit]

Year Teams Network Play-by-play announcer Color analyst(s) Sideline reporter(s)
2007 Cleveland-Washington Fox Sports Ohio and WUAB-TV (Cleveland area)
Comcast SportsNet (Washington D.C. area)

Local radio[edit]

Year Teams Flagship station Play-by-play Color commentator(s)
2007 Detroit-Orlando WDFN-AM (Detroit)
WDBO-AM (Orlando)
Chicago-Miami WCKG-FM (Chicago)
WIOD-AM (Miami)
Cleveland-Washington WTAM-AM (Cleveland) Joe Tait
WTEM-AM (Washington)
New Jersey-Toronto WFAN-AM (New Jersey)
CJCL-AM (Toronto)

Western Conference First Round[edit]

Eastern Conference Semifinals[edit]

National television[edit]

Year Teams Network Play-by-play announcer Color analyst(s) Sideline reporter(s) Studio host Studio analyst(s)
2007 Cleveland-New Jersey ABC (Game 1)
TNT (Games 2, 4-5)
ESPN (Games 3, 6)

Local television[edit]

Year Teams Network Play-by-play announcer Color analyst(s) Sideline reporter(s)
2007 Cleveland-New Jersey Fox Sports Ohio and WUAB-TV (Cleveland area) (Games 3, 6)
YES Network (New Jersey) (New York area) (Games 3, 6)

National radio[edit]

Year Teams Network Play-by-play Color commentator(s)
2007 Detroit-Chicago
Cleveland-New Jersey ESPN (Game 1)

Local radio[edit]

Year Teams Flagship station Play-by-play Color commentator(s)
2007 Detroit-Chicago WDFN-AM (Detroit)
WCKG-FM (Chicago)
Cleveland-New Jersey WTAM-AM (Cleveland) Joe Tait
WFAN-AM (New Jersey)

Western Conference Semifinals[edit]

Eastern Conference Finals[edit]

Western Conference Finals[edit]

NBA Finals[edit]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]