Basketball Wiki
1972 NBA Finals
Team Coach Wins
New York Knicks Red Holtzman 4
Los Angeles Lakers Joe Mullaney 3
Dates: April 24 - May 8
MVP: Willis Reed
(New York Knicks)
Eastern Finals: Knicks defeated Bucks, 4–1
Western Finals: Lakers defeated 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. Wilt Chamberlain inbounded the ball 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. Unfortunately for West, his heroics were all for naught as him and the Lakers fell to the Knicks in overtime, 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."

1970 NBA Playoffs

Los Angeles Lakers (Western Division Champion) New York Knicks (Eastern Division Champion)
46–36 (.561)

2nd Western, 5th Overall

Regular season 60–22 (.732)

1st Eastern, 1st Overall

Defeated the (4) Phoenix Suns, 4–3 Division Semifinals Defeated the (3) Baltimore Bullets, 4–3
Defeated the (1) Atlanta Hawks, 4–0 Division Finals Defeated the (2) Milwaukee Bucks, 4–1

Series summary

Game Date Home Team Result Away Team
Game 1 April 24 New York 124–112 Los Angeles
Game 2 April 27 New York 103–105 Los Angeles
Game 3 April 29 Los Angeles 108–112 (OT) New York
Game 4 May 1 Los Angeles 121–115 (OT) New York
Game 5 May 4 New York 107–100 Los Angeles
Game 6 May 6 Los Angeles 135–113 New York
Game 7 May 8 New York 113–99 Los Angeles
Preceded by
1969
NBA Finals
1970
Succeeded by
1971