2021 NBA Finals: Boston Celtics Denver Nuggets: 2 MVP: Jayson Tatum, BOS 2022 NBA Finals: Dallas Mavericks: 4 Brooklyn Nets: 1 MVP: Luka Doncic, DAL 2023 NBA Finals: Philidelphia 76ers: 4 Portland Trail-Blazers: 1 MVP: James Harden, PHI 2024 NBA Finals: Miami Heat: 4 New Orleans Pelicans: 0 MVP: Bam Adebayo, MIA 2025 NBA Finals: Los Angeles Lakers: 4 Milwaulkee Bucks: 2 MVP: Anthony Davis, … [5] This period marks the largest stretch of seasons that a single team made up over 65% of Finals appearances, and also includes the only ever time the NBA Finals was decided in double overtime. In 1970, a classic final featured the New York Knicks against the Lakers. [10] The Heat won Game 7, 95–88, to clinch the title. The 1974 championship went back to the Celtics as the remaining players demonstrated excellent teamwork and resilience in the Finals. He also passed Auerbach's and National Hockey League coach Scotty Bowman's record for most titles as head coach in any major American professional sport. Year NBA Champion Runner Up 2000 Los Angeles Lakers Indiana Pacers, 4-2 2001 Los Angeles Lakers Philadelphia 76ers, 4-1 2002 Los Angeles Lakers New Jersey Nets, 4-0 2003 San Antonio Spurs New Jersey Nets, 4-2 2004 The Warriors started strong with a 3–0 lead over the Cavs, eventually winning the series in five games with Durant being named Finals MVP. This was a capstone to Horry's long career of similarly dramatic game-winning heroics. The Eastern Conference champion Chicago Bulls played against the Western Conference champion Utah Jazz, with the Jazz holding home-court advantage with the first 2 games in Salt Lake City. The Mavericks, led by Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Tyson Chandler, and Jason Kidd, won the series 4–2, with Nowitzki being named the Finals MVP. Both losses in Detroit came in Game 7s. The Eastern Conference Champions, the Miami Heat defeated the Western Conference Champions, San Antonio Spurs in six games. In Game 7, Red Auerbach, Boston's coach, lit up his traditional "victory cigar" only to see his team's lead melt away. For most of the late 1950s and the 1960s, the Celtics always seemed to have the upper hand on Chamberlain's teams. The National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals is the championship series for the NBA … The Lakers pounded out two victories, but Boston took the third. 1 seeds to reach the Finals. In the 2016 NBA Finals, the Warriors got out to a 3–1 lead, but James and Irving led the Cavs to two straight victories to force a deciding Game 7. However, the Warriors lost several key players to injuries throughout the playoffs, and were defeated by the Toronto Raptors 4–2, ending their bid for a three-peat, and the Raptors won their first championship and it was the first NBA title for a team based in Canada. 1 Eastern Division Finals 1.1 1950-1970 2 Eastern Conference Finals 2.1 1971-2006 2.2 2007-2017 3 Eastern Finals 3.1 2018-present Other franchises that won their first titles in the 1970s included the Portland Trail Blazers in 1977, and the Washington Bullets, who defeated the SuperSonics in 1978. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). The first four games were blowouts for the home team, but Game 5 produced an instant classic. Michigan State won the game. In the 1998–99 off-season, veteran stars Clyde Drexler and Charles Barkley signed with the Houston Rockets, joining Hakeem Olajuwon in an attempt to win the championship, particularly Barkley. Our scribes assess L.A.'s chances of winning back-to-back NBA titles. Jordan altered his game to deal with Payton, and the Bulls won Game 6 to win their fourth title. However, Chamberlain's desire to score was so great that the coach made a famous statement to him to seek to play a team game, not an individual game, to avoid drawing double-teams. Online. The Heat were then considered the favorites by many to win multiple championships. Led by Dream Team Olympians John Stockton and Karl Malone, the Jazz were defeated in both Finals by the Bulls in six games. Golden State, spearheaded by 2014–15 MVP Stephen Curry, achieved a 67–15 record and managed to take the West, while the Cavs won the East as James, along with James Jones who played for both the Heat and Cavaliers, made their fifth straight finals appearance – the first two players to do so since the 1960s Celtics. Post Game Thread. Won 4–2 in their last Finals appearance in 2019. During the 2003 NBA Finals, the Spurs defeated the New Jersey Nets in 6 games, which also marked the first championship contested between two former ABA teams. In the 2003 off-season, veteran stars Gary Payton and Karl Malone signed with the Lakers. The Lakers went on to claim the first seed in the Western Conference, while the Warriors failed to make the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons. Lost 4–2 in their last Finals appearance in 2000. Johnson, a natural point guard, was shifted to center, and ended up playing every position on the court during the game, scoring 42 points, while also attaining 15 rebounds and 7 assists[6] to win his first championship while being awarded his first NBA Finals MVP; a remarkable performance in the annals of the sport. Chicago defeated the Trail Blazers in Game 1 by 33 points, a game notable for Jordan breaking the record for the most three-pointers in a first half, with six. The winners of the Finals are awarded the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy, which replaced the Walter A. All appearances have occurred while the team was in Rochester. The team winning the Eastern Conference Finals earns one of the two berths in the championship round, with the other going to the team that wins the Western Conference Finals. Lost 4–2 in their last Finals appearance in 1993. The 1947 BAA Finals was the championship round of playoffs following the inaugural Basketball Association of America 1946–47 season. For the rest of the series, Pippen guarded Johnson, allowing Jordan to primarily focus on scoring, and Chicago won the next four games. That was the only year that both the NBA and NHL Finals went to seven games, with the Rockets facing the New York Knicks in 1994. With these championship victories, Jackson surpassed Red Auerbach's record for most NBA titles of all time. The Warriors fell to a 3–1 deficit in the Western Conference Finals against a Kevin Durant-led Oklahoma City Thunder team, but won three straight elimination games to take the series and advance to a second straight Finals. In the 1985 championship, the Lakers made amends for their previous eight losses to the Celtics by defeating them in six games. The competition oversaw further name changes to NBA World Championship Series from 1950 to 1985, as well as a brief stint as the Showdown, before settling on NBA Finals in 1986. The following season the Warriors would again reach the Finals, however they would fall short to the now defunct Baltimore Bullets. Basketball Wiki is a FANDOM Lifestyle Community. The flamboyant Wallace thus earned some redemption for his gaffe at the end of Game 5 when he left the red-hot Horry unguarded on the game-winning shot. After finishing 67–15 (the first team to win 67+ games in three straight seasons), they returned to the Finals with a 12–0 sweep of the West, the first team to do so since 2001. After the Bulls took a 3–0 series lead, Seattle won the next two games after point guard Gary Payton asked his coach George Karl to be switched onto Jordan, leading to a sixth game. The Game 7 between the Rockets and Knicks in 1994, would be the last game 7 of the NBA Finals until the 2005 series between San Antonio and Detroit. The 1947 BAA Finals was the championship round of playoffs following the inaugural Basketball Association of America 1946–47 season. No other team in NBA History has done that. The team that wins the series is awarded the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy, which replaced the Walter A. The Lakers and the Boston Celtics hold the record for the most victories, having both won the competition 17 times. The Celtics, who defeated the Lakers 4–2, were led by their "Big Three" superstars of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce, who was also named Finals MVP. After an inspired performance from Bird, the Celtics toppled the Lakers 4–3. In 1997 and 1998, the Bulls met with perhaps their most formidable foe, the Utah Jazz. In this best-of-seven play The NBA Finals, previously known as the NBA World Championship Series until 1987, is the championship series of the National Basketball Association, played under a best-of-seven playoff format. NBA.com has detailed NBA Finals History information for all the finals, for example, the 2015 Warriors, 2003 Spurs, 2002 Lakers and more from their All-Time Champions page. In this best-of-seven play The Cavaliers finished the season as the top seed in the Eastern Conference and won their first 10 straight playoff games, ultimately defeating the Toronto Raptors 4–2 in the Eastern Conference Finals to ensure the rematch of last year's Finals. Lusia Harris was the first woman to be drafted in the NBA. It went into three overtimes but eventually went to Boston 128-126. Despite encountering some difficulty when up against teams led by Wilt Chamberlain, for most of the late 1950s and 1960s, the Celtics and Russell managed to have an upper hand on Chamberlain's teams. The SuperSonics defeated the Bullets 4 games to 1. The 2005 Finals was won by the Spurs 81-74, giving them their third NBA Finals championship in seven years. The next year, 1976, saw the rise of the Phoenix Suns. The 76ers defeated the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals in a 7-game series, but were defeated by Lakers in 6 games, with Johnson being named Finals MVP. In overtime, the Pistons jumped to a quick 95-91 lead but Robert Horry scored the game-winning 3-point basket with 6 seconds left. 3.8m. 29.0k. A decisive Game 7 was now set up to conclude this suddenly gripping series, the first Finals Game 7 in 11 years (when Houston defeated New York). With the establishment of the Celtics dynasty in 1957, Russell instantly became the star of the league. The Boston Celtics went 11–1 in the NBA Finals during 12 seasons (1956–57 to 1968–69). Nevertheless, for the sixth consecutive time, they defeated L.A., winning by a four games to two margin. The final game of this series attracted the largest ever TV audience for an NBA game, and the second-largest ever for a basketball game, with only the game between the two stars played five years earlier having a larger audience. Although both markets were small (so little coverage was offered) the series was spectacular. The Boston Celtics also won the most consecutive titles, winning eight in a row from 1959 to 1966. Lost 2–4 in their last Finals appearance in 2020. The Knicks returned to win the Finals again a season later, their second championship. After he sprained his ankle in Game 5, Magic Johnson (then little known) shifted to center and played out a huge game in Game 6, scoring 42 points and netting 15 rebounds as the Lakers clinched the title 123-107. They dominated in the playoffs, with series records of 3–0, 4–1 and 4–0, before facing the Seattle SuperSonics in the NBA Finals. Three of their four Finals losses occurred against the rival Lakers. This event has been played at the conclusion of every NBA and BAA season in history, the first being held in 1947. Nevertheless, Celtics player-coach Bill Russell's experience led to an effective counter-attack. This capped an explosive 21-point performance by Horry off the bench, even though Horry had not scored at all until 1 second remained in the third quarter. Led by future Hall of Famer George Mikan, the Lakers would win the third and final BAA championship in 1949 over the Red Auerbach coached Washington Capitals. Despite the rise of the Knicks, the 1974 championship returned to the Celtics. The Eastern Conference Finals is the championship of the Eastern Conference (NBA). Meanwhile, though the Cavaliers slipped to the second seed going into the playoffs, they only lost one game en route to defeating the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, setting up another match against the Warriors in the 2017 NBA Finals. This series began on 30 May and ended on 13 June after six games were played. In 1990, the Pistons then went back-to-back after defeating the Clyde Drexler led Portland Trail Blazers in five games, attaining the nickname "Bad Boys" due to its rough, physical play. In the 2002 NBA Finals, the Lakers swept the New Jersey Nets, leading almost the entire time in each game; only for a short while after the beginning of Game 4 did the New Jersey Nets gain any significant lead in any game. With the series tied 2-2 against the Phoenix Suns, Boston took a huge lead at Boston Garden but could not hold it. The series was a rematch of the 1978 NBA Finals, which the Washington Bullets had won 4–3. James was named Finals MVP for the second straight year. The 2019-20 NBA season was suspended in March 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and resumed on a shortened schedule in July 2020 inside the NBA's isolated "bubble" set-up at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. This championship team was recently voted the best in history by the NBA's officials and experts. The Eastern and Western conference champions play a best-of-seven game series to determine the league champion. The Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs combined to win nine NBA Championships during this period, representing the Western Conference every year except 2006. The Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat met in the 2020 NBA Finals, marking the first time in NBA history that two teams that missed the playoffs the year before met in the Finals, and the first time that the NBA Finals were played at a neutral site with no spectators. The 1986 NBA Finals brought the Celtics back against the Houston Rockets. The comeback was led by Dwyane Wade's 12 points in the final six minutes and a clutch outside jumpshot by Gary Payton, who was appearing in his third NBA finals. 1980–1990: Celtics–Lakers rivalry and the Bad Boys Pistons, 2011–2019: Heat wave and Warriors dynasty, Franchises with no Conference Finals appearances. This was the series that Julius Erving executed the behind-the-backboard "Baseline Move". James won his first championship and was unanimously named NBA Finals MVP. The team that wins the series is awarded the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy, which replaced the Walter A. 1967 Eastern Division Finals – (E1) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (E2) Boston Celtics 1983 NBA Finals – (E1) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (W1) Los Angeles Lakers 1966–67 Philadelphia 76ers vs. Los Angeles Lakers And in four games (43, 42, 36 twice), he scored as many as or more than Jordan did in his best game in the '91 Finals (36). The first two games are played the higher-seeded team's home, the following two at the home of the lower-seeded team, and the remaining three are played at each team's home arena alternately. Although they were the favorites, the Los Angeles Lakers beat them in the playoffs, and San Antonio Spurs, led by the "Twin Towers" Tim Duncan and David Robinson, won the West and proceeded to end the injury-plagued New York Knicks magical run (they had been the #8 seed) in the NBA Finals. 2014 > The 2013 NBA Finals was the championship series of the 2012–13 NBA season and the conclusion of the season's playoffs.The defending NBA Champion and Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat defeated the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs to win their second straight title. [16], As part of a multiyear partnership that began in 2018, the internet television service YouTube TV became the presenting sponsor of the NBA Finals. Won the first championship and another title in Philadelphia, before eventually winning four more as the Golden State Warriors, including three in four years between 2015 and 2018. The 1998 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1998 playoffs of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the conclusion of the 1997–98 NBA season. In 1969, the Celtics faced great difficulty entering the postseason, as they had an aging team and multiple injuries to a number of players. The Cavaliers traded away Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in the 2017 off-season and continued to change their roster throughout the season, while the Warriors largely remained intact. 1994: The Knicks took a 3-2 lead on the Houston Rockets and had a chance to clinch it in Game 6 but John Starks' final shot was blocked by Hakeem Olajuwon. All Finals appearances have occurred while the team was in New Jersey, and lost 4–2 in their last Finals appearance in 2003. However, the Detroit Pistons, under coach Larry Brown and led by defensive star Ben Wallace and offensive floor general Chauncey Billups, defeated the injury-and dissension-ridden Lakers in five games to become the first Eastern Conference team since the Bulls in 1998 to win the NBA championship. Highlight. Franchise defunct; not to be confused with current Washington Wizards franchise. The 2014 NBA Finals was the championship series of the 2013–14 season of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the conclusion of the season's playoffs. The Lakers won Game 3 easily and almost won Game 4, but were again thwarted. The Heat's second appearance in the Finals came in 2011, where they were pitted against the Dallas Mavericks in a rematch of the finals from five years earlier. NBA Finals List. More NBA coverage on NBA.COM Johnson shifted to center, ended up playing every position on the court and scored 42 points to win his first championship, a remarkable performance in the annals of the sport. The Lakers lost Game 5, but eventually won Game 6 to clinch the series, and a 2–1 win against the Celtics. The game was close throughout: even as the Spurs pulled away in the third quarter the Pistons came back, and the game was tied 89-89 and went into overtime after Tim Duncan missed a potential winning shot for San Antonio. Games 3 and 4 were split between Chicago and Portland, respectively, but the Bulls won the final two games, clinching their second championship. The teams split the first four games, before Game 5 went into three overtimes and Boston won 128–126. Boston reached the 1981 NBA Finals led by the "Big Three" of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish. Lost 4–2 in their last Finals appearance in 2019. The Lakers went on to claim the first seed in the Western Conference, while the Warriors struggled with injuries and failed to make the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons. 2017: Golden State Warriors 4-1 Cleveland Cavaliers (*) As a result of the original franchise's relocation to New Orleans, the NBA team in Charlotte suspended operations for the 2002–03 and the 2003–04 seasons, before a new team, named the Bobcats, was established for the 2004–05 season. The Lakers bounced back from their 2008 loss and returned to the Finals in 2009, where they faced the Orlando Magic, led by Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard in 2009. The Heat's clinching victory in game 6 was their first win at Dallas in four years, and they became only the third team to ever win the finals after going down 0-2, the first since the 2-3-2 setup after 1985. The Cavs were without star Love due to an injury suffered earlier in the playoffs, and also lost Irving to injury in a Game 1 overtime loss in the 2015 NBA Finals. View source. Media in category "NBA Finals" The following 15 files are in this category, out of 15 total. Cleveland managed to hold on to the lead to win the title and end the city's 52-year championship drought, with James earning his third Finals MVP honor. Add new page. Before the lockout shortened 1998–99 season, Jackson decided to retire, which set off a chain reaction that resulted in most of the team, including Jordan and Pippen, leaving the Bulls. This would be the fifth championship in six years for the Lakers and their last title won in Minneapolis. Second franchise to appear in five consecutive NBA Finals. The pre-series hype and buildup of the Finals was centered on the meeting of the two centers opposing each other: Shaquille O'Neal of … The winner goes to the NBA Finalsto face the winner of the NBA Western Conference Finals. Jordan decided to retire after the 1993 championship season, in part because of the death of his father. After his short stint with baseball, Jordan returned to basketball late in the 1994–95 season. The Lakers met the Celtics once again in 2010, trailing 3–2 before winning the last two at home, marking the first time in the history of the Celtics that they lost a Game 7 in the NBA Finals. As many stars either declined or retired following this win, it is largely recognized as the last NBA Finals conducted by the Celtics dynasty. In 2005, for the first time since 1987, the previous two champions met to decide it all, despite neither having played the other in their championship season. 1976: Chiefly remembered for the fifth game, a classic that was often labelled afterwards as the "greatest NBA game ever". Between 1980 and 1990, the Celtics, 76ers, Lakers, or the Detroit Pistons won every NBA Finals.