1970 NBA Finals

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

Series summary

Knicks win series 4–3


(1) New York Knicks vs. (2) Los Angeles Lakers:

April 24
Los Angeles Lakers 112, New York Knicks 124
Scoring by quarter: 25–35, 29–30, 38–24, 20–35
Pts: Jerry West 33
Rebs: Wilt Chamberlain 24
Asts: Wilt Chamberlain 5
Pts: Willis Reed 37
Rebs: Reed, DeBusschere 16 each
Asts: Dick Barnett 9
New York leads series, 1–0
April 27
Los Angeles Lakers 105, New York Knicks 103
Scoring by quarter: 28–24, 24–28, 29–29, 24–22
Pts: Jerry West 34
Rebs: Wilt Chamberlain 24
Asts: Garrett, Erickson 6 each
Pts: Willis Reed 29
Rebs: Willis Reed 15
Asts: Walt Frazier 11
Series tied, 1–1
April 29
New York Knicks 111, Los Angeles Lakers 108 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 20–26, 22–30, 26–17, 34–29, Overtime: 9–6
Pts: Willis Reed 38
Rebs: Willis Reed 17
Asts: Walt Frazier 7
Pts: Jerry West 34
Rebs: Wilt Chamberlain 26
Asts: Elgin Baylor 11
New York leads series, 2–1
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,500
  • Jerry West hit a desperation buzzer-beating 60-foot shot to tie it at 102 and force OT.
May 1
New York Knicks 115, Los Angeles Lakers 121 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 27–24, 20–30, 20–17, 32–28, Overtime: 16–22
Pts: Dick Barnett 29
Rebs: Dave Stallworth 13
Asts: Walt Frazier 11
Pts: Jerry West 37
Rebs: Wilt Chamberlain 25
Asts: Jerry West 18
Series tied, 2–2
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,509
May 4
Los Angeles Lakers 100, New York Knicks 107
Scoring by quarter: 30–20, 23–20, 29–35, 18–32
Pts: Wilt Chamberlain 22
Rebs: Wilt Chamberlain 19
Asts: Keith Erickson 6
Pts: Walt Frazier 21
Rebs: Cazzie Russell 8
Asts: Walt Frazier 12
New York leads series, 3–2
May 6
New York Knicks 113, Los Angeles Lakers 135
Scoring by quarter: 16–36, 35–35, 29–28, 33–36
Pts: Dave DeBusschere 25
Rebs: Dave DeBusschere 9
Asts: Dick Barnett 8
Pts: Wilt Chamberlain 45
Rebs: Wilt Chamberlain 27
Asts: Jerry West 13
Series tied, 3–3
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,509
May 8
Los Angeles Lakers 99, New York Knicks 113
Scoring by quarter: 24–38, 18–31, 27–25, 30–19
Pts: Jerry West 28
Rebs: Wilt Chamberlain 24
Asts: Keith Erickson 6
Pts: Walt Frazier 36
Rebs: Dave DeBusschere 17
Asts: Walt Frazier 19
New York wins series, 4–3


The 1970 NBA Finals were the first to be nationally televised in full, with ABC providing the coverage. Chris Schenkel was the play-by-play man, with Jack Twyman serving as the color analyst.

However, 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 premium-channel MSG Network in New York City, which was then only available in about 25,000 cable households in Manhattan.

Player statistics

  GPGames 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


Team rosters

New York Knicks

Los Angeles Lakers

External links

Uses material from the Wikipedia article 1970 NBA Finals, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.