Basketball Wiki
1951 NBA Finals
Team Coach Wins
Rochester Royals Les Harrison 4
New York Knicks Joe Lapchick 3
Dates: April 7–21
Eastern Finals: Knicks defeated Nationals, 3–2
Western Finals: Royals defeated Lakers, 3–1

The 1951 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the 1951 NBA Playoffs, which concluded the National Basketball Association 1950–51 season.

The Western Division champion Rochester Royals faced the Eastern Division champion New York Knicks in a best-of-seven series with Rochester having home-court advantage.

Rochester won the first three games, two at home, but New York won the next three, two at home. It was the first BAA or NBA Finals (spanning 1947 to 1951) that extended to a seventh-game conclusion, a 4-point win by Rochester at home on Saturday, April 21.

The seven games were played in fifteen days, beginning Saturday and Sunday, April 7 and 8, in Rochester and incorporating one game in Rochester on each following weekend. Three Wednesday or Friday games were played in New York City. The entire postseason tournament spanned 33 days in which both Rochester and New York played 14 games.

The Royals appeared in their first NBA finals by defeating the Fort Wayne Pistons in the semifinals and the two-time defending champion Minneapolis Lakers in the division finals while the Knicks defeated the Boston Celtics in the semifinals and the Syracuse Nationals in the division finals. This was the first finals appearance for both teams, and the first Finals with two teams that had not made a finals appearance since the 1947 BAA Finals.

As of 2021, this remains the Sacramento Kings (the Royals' successors) franchise’s last appearance in the NBA Finals as well as the franchise's last NBA championship won. The Kings own both the longest NBA title drought and longest Finals appearance drought in NBA history at 70 seasons, the longest such active droughts in all of the American major four pro sports leagues.

1951 NBA Playoffs

Rochester Royals (Western Division Champion) New York Knicks (Eastern Division Champion)
41–27 (.603)

2nd Western, 3rd Overall

Regular season 36–30 (.545)

3rd Eastern, 5th Overall

Defeated the (3) Fort Wayne Pistons, 2–1 Division Semifinals Defeated the (2) Boston Celtics, 2–1
Defeated the (1) Minneapolis Lakers, 3–1 Division Finals Defeated the (4) Syracuse Nationals, 3–2
Preceded by
NBA Finals
Succeeded by