1973 NBA Finals

The 1973 NBA World Championship Series was the championship series of the 1972–73 National Basketball Association (NBA) season, and the culmination of that season's playoffs. The Eastern Conference champion New York Knicks defeated the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 1. The series was an exact reversal of the prior year, with the Lakers winning Game 1 and the Knicks taking the next four games. Knicks center Willis Reed was named as the NBA Finals MVP.

Background

Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers entered the 1973 NBA Playoffs as co-favorites in the West with the Milwaukee Bucks, but both teams faced inspired opponents in the first round. The Chicago Bulls gave the Lakers all they could handle before the Lakers came from behind in Game 7 to take the series. The Lakers next faced the Golden State Warriors for the Western Conference Championship (the Warriors had upset the Bucks in six games). In Game 1, the Lakers won by 2, and in Game 2 the Lakers won by 10. In Game 3 at Oakland, the Lakers routed the Warriors 126-70, but the Warriors won Game 4 to send the series back to Los Angeles. In the Forum, the Lakers took Game 5 and advanced to their fifth NBA Finals series in six seasons.

New York Knicks

One year after their NBA Finals loss, the Knicks were back in the playoffs. For some of the Knicks, including Jerry Lucas and Earl Monroe, this was probably their last shot at an NBA title. In the first round they paired against the Baltimore Bullets. The Knicks won Game's 1 and 2 in New York, but lost Game 3 at Baltimore (in that game, the Bullets used a strange lineup of two centers and three guards). New York would take Games 4 and 5 Walt Frazier averaging 20 points per game in this series. In the Conference Finals, the Knicks faced the 68-14 Boston Celtics, who not only had the league's best record but also, to that point, the third-best won-lost record in NBA history. The Celtics routed New York, 134-108, Game 1 at the Boston Garden, but the Knicks returned the favor with a 129-96 rout in Game 2 at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks then beat the Celtics in Game 3 in Boston, and took a 3-1 series lead with a double overtime Easter Sunday win back in New York. Boston came back with two critical wins, winning 98-97 in Boston on two Paul Silas free throws, then regaining the home-court advantage with a 110-100 win New York in Game 6. For Game 7, however, the Celtics were without their star John Havlicek, who was nursing an elbow injury. In that Game 7, played in Boston, the Celtics unbeaten record in seventh games played in Boston Garden was snapped when New York won easily, 94-78.

Road to the Finals

Series summary

After losing the first game, the Knicks reeled off four straight wins to reclaim the NBA title. This is the Knicks' most recent NBA Championship to date. New York would not make it back to the NBA Finals until 1994.

This would also be the last Finals appearance of the decade for the Lakers. Their next appearance would be in 1980, which would be the first of nine Finals appearances in 12 years for the Franchise.

Knicks win series 4-1

This was the only NBA Championship for Jerry Lucas and Earl Monroe.

Game 5 of the series was Wilt Chamberlain's last game played in the NBA. Chamberlain scored the last points of the game, and of his career, on an uncontested fast break dunk with one second remaining.

ABC televised its last NBA Finals, until 2003. This is, to date, the last time a New York/Los Angeles NBA Finals of any combination has taken place, as well as the fifth-to-last championship series contested by both cities in any sport (the 1981 World Series is the last such matchup in the 20th century, and the 2014 Stanley Cup Final is the latest).

Team rosters

New York Knicks

Roster listing
1972–73 New York Knicks roster
PlayersCoaches
Pos.No.NameHeightWeightDOB (YYYY-MM-DD)From
SG12Barnett, Dick6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)190 lb (86 kg)1936–10–02Tennessee State
PG17Bibby, Henry6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)185 lb (84 kg)1949–11–24UCLA
SF24Bradley, Bill6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)205 lb (93 kg)1943–07–28Princeton
PF22DeBusschere, Dave6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)220 lb (100 kg)1940–10–16Detroit
PG10Frazier, Walt6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)200 lb (91 kg)1945–03–29Southern Illinois
C40Gianelli, John6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)220 lb (100 kg)1950–06–10Pacific
PF18Jackson, Phil6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)220 lb (100 kg)1945–09–17North Dakota
PF32Lucas, Jerry6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)230 lb (104 kg)1940–03–30Ohio State
SG7Meminger, Dean6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)175 lb (79 kg)1948–05–13Marquette
SG15Monroe, Earl6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)185 lb (84 kg)1944–11–21Winston-Salem State
C19Reed, Willis (C)6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)235 lb (107 kg)1942–06–25Grambling State
C6Riker, Tom6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)225 lb (102 kg)1950–02–28South Carolina
F43Wingo, Harthorne6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)210 lb (95 kg)1947–09–09Friendship Junior College
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Roster
Last transaction: 1973–05–10

Los Angeles Lakers

Roster listing
1972–73 Los Angeles Lakers roster
PlayersCoaches
Pos.No.NameHeightWeightDOB (YYYY-MM-DD)From
PF32Bridges, Bill6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)228 lb (103 kg)1939-04-04Kansas
C30Brown, Roger6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)225 lb (102 kg)1950-02-23Kansas
C13Chamberlain, Wilt7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)275 lb (125 kg)1936-08-21Kansas
C31Counts, Mel7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)230 lb (104 kg)1941-10-16Oregon State
C14Ellis, Leroy6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)210 lb (95 kg)1940-03-10St. John's
SF24Erickson, Keith6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)195 lb (88 kg)1944-04-19UCLA
SG25Goodrich, Gail6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)170 lb (77 kg)1943-04-23UCLA
SF33Grant, Travis6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)215 lb (98 kg)1950-01-01Kentucky State
PF52Hairston, Happy6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)255 lb (116 kg)1942-05-31New York
SF5McMillian, Jim6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)225 lb (102 kg)1948-03-11Columbia
PG15Price, Jim6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)195 lb (88 kg)1949-11-27Louisville
SG12Riley, Pat6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)205 lb (93 kg)1945-03-20Kentucky
SG21Robinson, Flynn6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)185 lb (84 kg)1941-04-28Wyoming
SF31Trapp, John6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)210 lb (95 kg)1945-10-02UNLV
PF30Turner, Bill6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)220 lb (100 kg)1944-02-18Akron
PG44West, Jerry6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)175 lb (79 kg)1938-05-28West Virginia
Head coach

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Roster
Last transaction: 2013-03-22

See also

External links

Uses material from the Wikipedia article 1973 NBA Finals, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.