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1976 NBA Finals
Team Coach Wins
Boston Celtics Tom Heinsohn 4
Phoenix Suns John MacLeod 2
Dates: May 23–June 6
MVP: Jo Jo White
(Boston Celtics)
Eastern Finals: Celtics defeated Cavaliers, 4–2
Western Finals: Suns defeated Warriors, 4–3

The 1976 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round for the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 1975–76 season, and the culmination of the season's playoffs.

The Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeated the Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns 4 games to 2. Celtics point guard Jo Jo White was named as the series MVP.

1976 NBA Playoffs

Phoenix Suns (Western Conference Champion) Boston Celtics (Eastern Conference Champion)
49–33 (.598)

3rd Pacific, 3rd West, 8th Overall

Regular season 54–28 (.659)

1st Atlantic, 1st East, 2nd Overall

Earned first-round bye First Round Earned first-round bye
Defeated the (2) Seattle SuperSonics, 4–2 Conference Semifinals Defeated the (5) Buffalo Braves, 4–2
Defeated the (1) Golden State Warriors, 4–3 Conference Finals Defeated the (2) Cleveland Cavaliers, 4–2

Series summary

Game Date Home Team Result Away Team
Game 1 May 23 Boston 98–87 Phoenix
Game 2 May 27 Boston 105–90 Phoenix
Game 3 May 30 Phoenix 105–98 Boston
Game 4 June 2 Phoenix 109–107 Boston
Game 5 June 4 Boston 128–126 (3OT) Phoenix
Game 6 June 6 Phoenix 80–87 Boston

Game 1

Boston turned back the Suns in game one behind a balanced attack. John Havlicek did not start for the Celtics due to a painful heel injury. However, Boston coach Tom Heinsohn rushed Havlicek into the game with 7:24 left in the first quarter as Phoenix took an early 10–7 lead and the Ohio State product never came back out of the game. Dave Cowens recorded a triple-double with 25 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists while Jo Jo White shot only 1–4 from the field in the first half before making 8-of-11 shots in the second half to keep Phoenix at bay. Phoenix trailed by two at the end of the first quarter as they failed to take advantage of 11 first quarter Celtic turnovers. Kevin Stacom scored five straight points (his only points) to put Boston up for good 22–20. Charlie Scott fouled out when he picked up his fifth and sixth fouls in an 11-second span.


Preceded by
NBA Finals
Succeeded by