1951 NBA Finals

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)[a] 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.[1]

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

1951 NBA Finals
Rochester Royals Les Harrison 4
New York Knicks Joe Lapchick 3
DatesApril 7–21
Eastern FinalsKnicks defeat Nationals, 3–2
Western FinalsRoyals defeat Lakers, 3–1

Series summary

Game Date Home Team Result Road Team
Game 1 April 7 Rochester Royals 92–65 (1–0) New York Knicks
Game 2 April 8 Rochester Royals 99–84 (2–0) New York Knicks
Game 3 April 11 New York Knicks 71–78 (0–3) Rochester Royals
Game 4 April 13 New York Knicks 79–73 (1–3) Rochester Royals
Game 5 April 15 Rochester Royals 89–92 (3–2) New York Knicks
Game 6 April 18 New York Knicks 80–73 (3–3) Rochester Royals
Game 7 April 21 Rochester Royals 79–75 (4–3) New York Knicks

Royals win series 4–3


The 79–75 Game 7 loss by the New York Knicks is the closest of any Game 7 involving teams overcoming 3–0 deficits in NBA history.

In 1994 the Denver Nuggets forced a Game 7 against the Utah Jazz, but lost 91–81 (10 points). Also, the 2003 Portland Trail Blazers forced a Game 7 against the Dallas Mavericks, but lost 107–95 (12 points).

In Game 7, Bob Davies snapped a 75–75 tie by sinking both free throws to give the Royals the lead for good.


This was the first and to date last title for the Rochester Royals, who would move to Cincinnati for the 1957–58 NBA season. The Royals would spend 15 years mired in mediocrity before moving to Kansas City in 1972, changing their name in the process to the Kings. One notable highlight was their appearance in the 1981 NBA Playoffs, in which their 40-42 team reached the Conference Finals before losing to the Houston Rockets. The Kings moved to Sacramento in 1985. The team reached the conference finals in the 2002 NBA Playoffs, their closest to reaching the NBA finals in recent years. The Royals/Kings have the longest NBA title drought, and also the longest Finals appearance drought in NBA history and actively in all of the American major four pro sports leagues.

This would be the Knicks first of three consecutive appearances in the Finals, but they would lose all three times. They would not return to the Finals until 1970, which they won.


  1. ^ The Basketball Association of America (BAA) played three seasons, 1946–47 to 1948–49, all with postseason tournaments that concluded in best-of-seven series. The NBA recognizes BAA history as part of its own, sometimes without comment.[2]
      The NBA was actually created by 1949 merger of the BAA and its older competitor, the National Basketball League. There were 12 NBL championships, all finally decided by a best-of-three or best-of-five series.


  1. ^ "1950–51 NBA Season Summary". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2015-03-04.
      Select "Previous Season" from the heading for 1949–50, and so on. Select "Finals" from League Playoffs for the daily schedule of the final series, and so on.
  2. ^ "NBA Season Recaps". NBA History (nba.com/history). July 1, 2014. Retrieved 2015-03-04.

External links

1952 NBA Finals

The 1952 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the 1952 NBA Playoffs, which concluded the National Basketball Association 1951–52 season. The Western Division champion Minneapolis Lakers faced the Eastern Division champion New York Knicks in a best-of-seven series with Minneapolis having home-court advantage.

Minneapolis won game one and the teams thereafter alternated victories, Minneapolis winning the decisive game by a 17-point margin at home on Friday, April 25.

The seven games were played in fourteen days, beginning Saturday and Sunday, April 12 and 13, in Minneapolis and returning to Minneapolis for games five and seven on the following Saturday and Friday. Meanwhile, three Wednesday or Friday games were played in New York City. The entire postseason tournament spanned 39 days in which Minneapolis played 13 games and New York 14.

Game seven

A game seven is the final game of a best of seven series. This game can occur in the postseasons for Major League Baseball (MLB) (League Championship Series and World Series), the National Basketball Association (NBA) (all rounds of the NBA playoffs), and the National Hockey League (NHL) (all rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs).

The game is generally played at the site of the team holding the home advantage across the series.

The nature of a best-of-seven series requires that the series be tied 3–3 going into game seven, such that either team can take the series (advancing further in the playoffs or winning the championship) by winning the game. Because of this decisive nature, game sevens add an element of drama to their sports.

Aside from North American sports leagues, game sevens are also a fixture in many other sports around the world, mostly in baseball, basketball, and ice hockey leagues. Most codes of football do not employ a best-of-seven series (or any best-of-x series in general), hence game sevens are not played in those leagues.

Some playoff rounds (such as MLB's current Division Series) are played in a best of five format, such that game 5 has similar qualities to those described above, though the suspense and drama have less time to build in a shorter series. Furthermore, the World Series of 1903, 1919, 1920, and 1921 were played in a best of nine format, though none of the four went to a decisive game 9.

The game seven is comparable to a final or to a single game in a single-elimination tournament or to a one-game playoff. A championship series' game seven is equivalent to the Super Bowl game in the National Football League in that the game's winner is the league's champion for the season.

List of NBA franchise post-season droughts

This is a list of National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise post-season appearance droughts. This list includes the all-time and the active consecutive non-playoffs. Aside from the NBA playoff appearance droughts, this list also includes droughts of series wins, appearances in the NBA Finals and NBA championship wins. The oldest such franchise is the Suns (51 seasons), while the Royals/Kings and the Hawks have even longer championship droughts (68 and 61 seasons, respectively). Six franchises have never been to the NBA Finals, the highest number among the major North American sports. The oldest such team is the Braves/Clippers franchise (49 seasons); the Kings and the Hawks have appearance droughts that are even longer (69 and 59 seasons, respectively). The longest a franchise has gone without appearing in the playoffs at all is 15 seasons: the Braves/Clippers franchise from 1977 to 1991.

Of the 19 franchises that have won an NBA championship, 8 have droughts of 36 seasons or more, which is to say that the past 36 championships have been shared among only 11 franchises: the Lakers (8), the Bulls (6), the Spurs (5), the Celtics (3), the Pistons (3), the Heat (3), the Warriors (3), the Rockets (2), the Mavericks (1), the Cavaliers (1), and the Raptors (1). By contrast, the other three major North American sports have each had at least 16 franchises become champions over the same period of time.

List of Sacramento Kings head coaches

The Sacramento Kings are an American professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California. The Kings play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team was founded as the Rochester Royals by Lester Harrison and his brother Jack Harrison in Rochester, New York in 1945. The Royals won the National Basketball League (NBL) championship during their inaugural season by defeating the Sheboygan Redskins 3–0. In 1948, the team joined the Basketball Association of America (BAA), which merged with the NBL to become the NBA a year later. The franchise won its first NBA championship in the 1951 NBA Finals under the coaching of Lester Harrison. The Harrison brothers moved the team to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1957 due to poor attendance. After spending 15 years in Cincinnati, the team was purchased by a group of businessmen from Kansas City, who moved the team to Kansas City and renamed it to the Kings in 1972. The team was briefly named the Kansas City-Omaha Kings from 1972 to 1975 when home games were split between two cities. In 1982, the franchise was bought by a Sacramento-based group and became the Sacramento Kings.There have been 28 head coaches for the franchise since joining the NBA. Rick Adelman is the franchise's all-time leader in regular season games coached (624), regular season games won (395), playoff games coached (69), and playoff games won (34). Phil Johnson and Cotton Fitzsimmons have won NBA Coach of the Year in the 1974–75 and 1978–79 season, with the Kings respectively. Harrison, Bobby Wanzer, Ed Jucker, Bob Cousy, Draff Young, Jerry Reynolds, Reggie Theus, and Kenny Natt have spent their entire NBA head coaching careers with the Kings. Wanzer, Tom Marshall, Jack McMahon, Cousy, Larry Staverman, Adelman and Theus formerly played for the Kings. The Kings are currently owned by Vivek Ranadivé, with former Kings player Vlade Divac as the general manager and Luke Walton as the head coach.

Tony Lavelli

Anthony Lavelli, Jr. (July 11, 1926 – January 8, 1998) was an American professional basketball player and musician. He averaged 6.9 points per game during his two-year National Basketball Association (NBA) career (1949–1951) while also providing half-time entertainment with his accordion performances.

Rochester Royals 1950–51 NBA champions
G League affiliate
Retired numbers
NBA Championships
Culture and lore
G League affiliate
Retired numbers
NBA Championships
Culture and lore


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.