Basketball Wiki
1950 NBA Finals
Team Coach Wins
Minneapolis Lakers John Kundla 4
Syracuse Nationals Al Cervi 2
Dates: April 8–23
Eastern Finals: Nationals defeated Knicks, 2–1
Western Finals: Not the Western final; Central finalist Lakers defeated Western finalist Packers, 2–0

The 1950 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s inaugural 1949–50 season.

The Central Division champion Minneapolis Lakers faced the Eastern Division champion Syracuse Nationals in a best-of-seven series with Syracuse having home-court advantage.

The NBA recognizes three preceding Basketball Association of America (BAA) seasons as part of its own history, and thus presents the 1950 Finals as its fourth championship series. Minneapolis had won the 1949 BAA Finals and its 1950 win over Syracuse is officially the Lakers second of five titles in Minneapolis.

In the event, six games were played in 16 days, beginning Saturday and Sunday, April 8 and 9, in Syracuse and incorporating two subsequent Sunday games in Minneapolis. Counting a Central Division tiebreaker played on Monday, March 20, the entire postseason tournament spanned five full weeks to Sunday, April 23.

The NBA was arranged in three divisions (for its first season only) and the first two rounds of the 1950 NBA Playoffs generated three Division champions. With the league's best regular season record, Syracuse had earned a place in the Finals by winning the Eastern Division title on the preceding Sunday, and had been five days idle while the Central and Western champions had played a best-of-three series mid-week.

In Game 1, The Lakers won on a buzzer beating shot by sub Bob "Tiger" Harrison, the first known case of a buzzer beater in the Finals. 6'8" Dolph Schayes of Syracuse led his team out to the finals after a 16.8 ppg average during the regular season. George Mikan, however, averaged 27.4 ppg and led the league. Mikan would lead the Lakers past Syracuse in six games.

1951 NBA Playoffs

The NBA was created in 1949 by merger of two competing professional basketball leagues, the BAA and NBL. For its first season only, the NBA teams were arranged in three divisions: Eastern, comprising the five surviving BAA Eastern Division teams plus Syracuse from the NBL; Central, comprising the five surviving BAA Western Division teams; and Western, comprising all the NBL teams except Syracuse. Within each division the top four teams were matched in two rounds of short series to generate a champion, after which the three division champions contended for the NBA title. With three contenders the third round of the tournament comprised a bye for one and a best-of-three match between the other two.

Minneapolis Lakers (Central Division Champion) Syracuse Nationals (Eastern Division Champion)
51–17 (.750)

1st Central, 11th Overall

Regular season 51–13 (.797)

1st Eastern, 5th Overall

Defeated the (4) Chicago Stags, 2–0 Division Semifinals Defeated the (4) Philadelphia Warriors, 2–1
Defeated the (3) Fort Wayne Pistons, 2–0 Division Finals Defeated the (2) New York Knicks, 2–1
Defeated the (3) Western finalist Anderson Packers, 2–0* NBA Semifinals Qualified for the NBA Finals


  • *Division Final winners were re-seeded based on their regular season win-loss record.
Preceded by
NBA Finals
Succeeded by