1970 NBA Finals
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|Dates||April 24 – May 8|
(New York Knicks)
|Eastern Finals||Knicks defeat Bucks, 4–1|
|Western Finals||Lakers defeat Hawks, 4–0|
The 1970 NBA World Championship Series was the championship series of the 1970 NBA Playoffs, which concluded the 1969–70 National Basketball Association (NBA) season. The Eastern Division champion New York Knicks defeated the Western Division champion Los Angeles Lakers in a best-of-seven series 4 games to 3 for their first NBA title.
The Knicks appeared to have a see-saw Game 3 won when Dave DeBusschere made a shot with three seconds left to give New York a 102-100 edge, and the Lakers were stuck with no time outs. L.A. inbounded to Mr. Clutch, Jerry West, who launched and made a miracle shot from beyond midcourt. It counted only for two points, as only the ABA had a three-point shot at the time, so the game went to overtime, and the Knicks were able to win, 111-108.
The final game of the series was named by ESPN in 2010 as the greatest Game 7 in finals history, featuring a return from injury for Willis Reed. Reed's most famous performance took place on May 8, 1970 in Game 7 played at Madison Square Garden. Due to a severe thigh injury suffered in Game 5, a torn muscle that kept him out of Game 6, he was considered unlikely to play in Game 7. Yet Reed surprised the fans by walking onto the court during warmups, prompting widespread applause. Starting the game, he scored the Knicks' first two field goals on his first two shot attempts, his only points of the game. He then played defense on Wilt Chamberlain, limiting him to two shots made in nine attempts. When Reed left for good with 3:05 left in the first half, the Knicks led 61-37. Walt "Clyde" Frazier took it from there, finishing with 36 points and 19 assists as the Knicks won the championship, 113-99. Following the game in the winner's locker room, a moved Howard Cosell told Reed on national television, "You exemplify the very best that the human spirit can offer."
New York Knicks
Los Angeles Lakers
|Game||Home Team||Score||Road Team|
|Game 1||New York Knicks||124–112 (1–0)||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Game 2||New York Knicks||103–105 (1–1)||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Game 3||Los Angeles Lakers||108–112 OT (1–2)||New York Knicks|
|Game 4||Los Angeles Lakers||121–115 OT (2–2)||New York Knicks|
|Game 5||New York Knicks||107–100 (3–2)||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Game 6||Los Angeles Lakers||135–113 (3–3)||New York Knicks|
|Game 7||New York Knicks||113–99 (4–3)||Los Angeles Lakers|
Knicks win series 4–3
Incredibly, the Knicks' victory in Game 7 was not seen live on broadcast TV in New York; ABC's coverage was blacked out on WABC-TV, causing a raft of angry fans to deluge the WABC switchboard. Schenkel made an announcement during the broadcast that the game would be aired in New York at 11:30 p.m. that night. The game was shown live on the MSG Network in New York City, which was then only available in about 25,000 cable households in Manhattan.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game|
- New York Knicks
- Los Angeles Lakers
New York Knicks
Los Angeles Lakers
- "Two seconds...one second...West puts it up...he makes it. Jerry West makes it on the other side of 3-point line." - Chick Hearn call on Jerry West's game-winning 3-point shot to end Game 4 on KABC 790 AM - May 1, 1970
- "Top of the key to Reed...he's tripled down...to get a whisle on the play...and Willis is hurt." - Marv Albert call on Willis Reed injured in Game 5 on WHN 1050 AM, - May 4, 1970
- "Jack, 19,500 fans in New York City...has yet to see Willis Reed at this hour of the evening." - Chris Schenkel on Willis Reed at the start of the Game 7 telecast on ABC - May 8, 1970
- "The big question is: will Willis Reed play tonight? There is tremendous doubt right now." - Marv Albert at the start of the Game 7 radio broadcast on WHN 1050 AM - May 8, 1970
- "Here comes Willis...and the crowd is going wild." - Marv Albert on Willis Reed coming out of the Knicks locker room and on to the court in Game 7 on WHN 1050 AM - May 8, 1970
- "Down point to Frazier...outside Reed...." - Marv Albert call on a layup by Willis Reed in Game 7 on WHN 1050 AM - May 8, 1970
- "Barnett to Reed on the frontcourt...jumps from 20...YEESSS!!! Willis has hit on his first two." - Marv Albert call on Willis Reed's first two shots in Game 7 on WHN 1050 AM - May 8, 1970
- "West...across the left corner...losses to Frazier...driving up of the lane...it's good." - Marv Albert call on a steal and shot by Walt "Clyde" Frazier in Game 7 on WHN 1050 AM - May 8, 1970
- "That is it. The New York Knickerbockers have won the 1969-70 world championship of basketball." - Marv Albert final call in Game 7 on WHN 1050 AM - May 8, 1970
- "1970 NBA Finals: New York 4 L.A. Lakers 3". Encyclopedia Playoff Edition. NBA. Archived from the original on 17 August 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
- "Greatest Finals Moments". NBA.com. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2008.
- "Reed's game vs. Lakers tops list". ESPN. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
- "In for Two Plus the Title". si.com/vault. May 18, 1970.
- "1970 NBA Finals: Lakers vs. Knicks". Basketball-Reference.com. SportsDirect. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
- New York Times (April 25, 1970) Game 1: "Knicks Conquer Lakers, 124‐112, in First Game of N.B.A. Final at Garden"
- New York Times (April 29, 1970 Game 3: "HOME‐COURT EDGE TO LAKERS TONIGHT"
- New York Times (May 2, 1970) Game 4: "Lakers Overcome Knicks, 121‐115, in Overtime and Tie Final Series at 2‐2"
- New York Times (May 5, 1970) Game 5: "Their Big Man Out Early With an Injury, the Knicks Fight Back to Overcome Big Deficit"
- New York Times (May 7, 1970) Game 6: "Lakers Overwhelm Knicks, 135‐113, to Square Title Playoff Series at 3‐3"
- New York Times (May 9, 1970) Game 7: "Knicks Take First Title, Beating Lakers, 113 to 99"