2002 NBA playoffs

The 2002 NBA playoffs were the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2001–02 season. This was the final postseason that held a best-of-5 first-round series; the 2003 NBA Playoffs saw those series expand to a best-of-7 format. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Nets 4 games to 0. Shaquille O'Neal was named NBA Finals MVP for the third straight year.

This year marked the return of playoff success for the Boston Celtics, who had last made the playoffs in 1995, won their last playoff series in 1992 and made their last Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 1988. Though they eventually lost to the Nets 4–2 (preventing a Celtics–Lakers NBA Finals), they did create the biggest 4th quarter playoff comeback in Game 3, winning 94–90 after trailing by as much as 21 prior to the fourth quarter. (This record was later broken by the Los Angeles Clippers, who came back from 24 in the fourth quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies in 2012).

The Detroit Pistons won their first playoff series since 1991. They would lose in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Celtics in five games.

The playoffs also marked the last appearance of the Charlotte Hornets in the playoffs until 2010. The Hornets moved the next year to New Orleans, while an expansion team, formerly the Bobcats, was formed in 2004. The Hornets were renamed the Pelicans in 2013, after which the Bobcats reclaimed the Hornets name in 2014. The Hornets also reclaimed the history and records of the 1988–2002 Charlotte teams. The Charlotte Coliseum played host to its final playoff game on May 12.

The playoffs marked the last time NBC and TBS aired NBA games as regular TV partners of the league. The last TBS-aired game under its various contracts was Game 5 of the Lakers-Spurs series, while Game 4 of the NBA Finals marked the last telecast on NBC. TBS and NBC were replaced with ESPN and ABC the following season, since both channels are owned by the Walt Disney Company. TBS has aired some NBA basketball in the ensuing years due to conflicts on sister network TNT.

Pat Riley also missed the playoffs for the first time in his coaching career.

The total number of playoff games was 70, including the NBA Finals.

2002 NBA playoffs
2002NBAPlayoffs
DatesApril 20–June 12, 2002
Season2001–02
Teams16
ChampionsLos Angeles Lakers (14th title)
Runners-upNew Jersey Nets (1st finals appearance)
Semifinalists
2001 2003

Bracket

  First Round Conference Semifinals Conference Finals NBA Finals
                                     
E1 New Jersey* 3  
E8 Indiana 2  
  E1 New Jersey* 4  
  E4 Charlotte 1  
E4 Charlotte 3
E5 Orlando 1  
  E1 New Jersey* 4  
Eastern Conference
  E3 Boston 2  
E3 Boston 3  
E6 Philadelphia 2  
  E3 Boston 4
  E2 Detroit* 1  
E2 Detroit* 3
E7 Toronto 2  
  E1 New Jersey* 0
  W3 LA Lakers 4
W1 Sacramento* 3  
W8 Utah 1  
  W1 Sacramento* 4
  W4 Dallas 1  
W4 Dallas 3
W5 Minnesota 0  
  W1 Sacramento* 3
Western Conference
  W3 LA Lakers 4  
W3 LA Lakers 3  
W6 Portland 0  
  W3 LA Lakers 4
  W2 San Antonio* 1  
W2 San Antonio* 3
W7 Seattle 2  


* Division winner
Bold Series winner
Italic Team with home-court advantage

Playoff qualifying

Western Conference

Best record in NBA

The Sacramento Kings clinched the best record in the NBA, and earned home court advantage throughout the entire playoffs.

Clinched a playoff berth

The following teams clinched a playoff berth in the West:

  1. Sacramento Kings (61-21, clinched Pacific division)
  2. San Antonio Spurs (58-24, clinched Midwest division)
  3. Los Angeles Lakers (58-24)
  4. Dallas Mavericks (57-25)
  5. Minnesota Timberwolves (50-32)
  6. Portland Trail Blazers (49-33)
  7. Seattle SuperSonics (45-37)
  8. Utah Jazz (44-38)

Eastern Conference

Best record in conference

New Jersey Nets

Clinched a playoff berth

The following teams clinched a playoff berth in the East:

  1. New Jersey Nets (52-30, clinched Atlantic division)
  2. Detroit Pistons (50-32, clinched Central division)
  3. Boston Celtics (49-33)
  4. Charlotte Hornets (44-38)
  5. Orlando Magic (44-38)
  6. Philadelphia 76ers (43-39)
  7. Toronto Raptors (42-40)
  8. Indiana Pacers (42-40)

Western Conference

Champion: Los Angeles Lakers

First Round

(1) Sacramento Kings vs. (8) Utah Jazz

April 20
3:00 PM
Utah Jazz 86, Sacramento Kings 89
Scoring by quarter: 20–25, 27–21, 17–25, 22–18
Pts: Karl Malone 25
Rebs: Donyell Marshall 10
Asts: John Stockton 12
Pts: Chris Webber 24
Rebs: Chris Webber 12
Asts: Chris Webber 7
Sacramento leads series, 1–0
ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 17,317
Referees: Bernie Fryer, Ron Garretson, Blane Reichelt
April 23
10:30 PM
Utah Jazz 93, Sacramento Kings 86
Scoring by quarter: 15–14, 29–15, 20–23, 29–34
Pts: Donyell Marshall 19
Rebs: Karl Malone 12
Asts: John Stockton 12
Pts: Vlade Divac 21
Rebs: Chris Webber 9
Asts: Doug Christie 5
Series tied, 1–1
ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 17,317
Referees: Dick Bavetta, Mike Callahan, Monty McCutchen
April 27
3:00 PM
Sacramento Kings 90, Utah Jazz 87
Scoring by quarter: 32–21, 14–24, 23–21, 21–21
Pts: Mike Bibby 26
Rebs: Chris Webber 13
Asts: Mike Bibby 5
Pts: Karl Malone 23
Rebs: Malone, Russell 6 each
Asts: Malone, Stockton 7 each
Sacramento leads series, 2–1
Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
Attendance: 19,911
Referees: David Jones, Eddie F. Rush, Greg Willard
April 29
10:00 PM
Sacramento Kings 91, Utah Jazz 86
Scoring by quarter: 28–20, 18–20, 21–22, 24–24
Pts: Peja Stojaković 30
Rebs: Chris Webber 9
Asts: Doug Christie 9
Pts: Karl Malone 14
Rebs: Greg Ostertag 15
Asts: John Stockton 9
Sacramento wins series, 3–1
Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
Attendance: 19,911
Referees: Ted Bernhardt, Dan Crawford, Don Vaden

This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Jazz winning the first meeting.

(2) San Antonio Spurs vs. (7) Seattle SuperSonics

April 20
5:30 PM
Seattle SuperSonics 89, San Antonio Spurs 110
Scoring by quarter: 29–24, 23–28, 13–38, 24–20
Pts: Vin Baker 22
Rebs: Vin Baker 7
Asts: four players 2 each
Pts: Duncan, Parker 21 each
Rebs: Tim Duncan 10
Asts: Tim Duncan 11
San Antonio leads series, 1–0
Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
Attendance: 23,634
Referees: Jim Clark, Bob Delaney, Jack Nies
April 22
9:30 PM
Seattle SuperSonics 98, San Antonio Spurs 90
Scoring by quarter: 22–36, 30–18, 21–17, 25–19
Pts: Gary Payton 21
Rebs: Gary Payton 11
Asts: Gary Payton 5
Pts: Tim Duncan 32
Rebs: Tim Duncan 12
Asts: Tim Duncan 3
Series tied, 1–1
Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
Attendance: 23,059
Referees: Bernie Fryer, Ron Garretson, Luis Grillo
April 27
5:30 PM
San Antonio Spurs 102, Seattle SuperSonics 75
Scoring by quarter: 23–21, 34–18, 22–15, 23–21
Pts: Tim Duncan 27
Rebs: Tim Duncan 13
Asts: Tim Duncan 5
Pts: Gary Payton 20
Rebs: Brent Barry 8
Asts: Gary Payton 6
San Antonio leads series, 2–1
KeyArena, Seattle, Washington
Attendance: 17,072
Referees: Ted Bernhardt, James Capers, Dan Crawford
May 1
10:30 PM
San Antonio Spurs 79, Seattle SuperSonics 91
Scoring by quarter: 13–24, 18–33, 28–19, 20–15
Pts: Malik Rose 28
Rebs: Malik Rose 13
Asts: Porter, Rose 3 each
Pts: Gary Payton 28
Rebs: Gary Payton 12
Asts: Gary Payton 11
Series tied, 2–2
KeyArena, Seattle, Washington
Attendance: 17,072
Referees: Bennett Salvatore, Bill Spooner, Don Vaden
May 3
9:30 PM
Seattle SuperSonics 78, San Antonio Spurs 101
Scoring by quarter: 10–27, 16–28, 32–26, 20–20
Pts: Gary Payton 23
Rebs: Gary Payton 9
Asts: Gary Payton 5
Pts: Tim Duncan 23
Rebs: Malik Rose 13
Asts: Steve Smith 6
San Antonio wins series, 3–2
Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
Attendance: 23,369
Referees: Dick Bavetta, Mike Callahan, Tom Washington

This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Spurs winning the first meeting.

(3) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (6) Portland Trail Blazers

April 21
5:30 PM
Portland Trail Blazers 87, Los Angeles Lakers 95
Scoring by quarter: 23–19, 21–27, 18–22, 25–27
Pts: Rasheed Wallace 25
Rebs: Rasheed Wallace 14
Asts: Bonzi Wells 6
Pts: Kobe Bryant 34
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 9
Asts: Rick Fox 6
Los Angeles leads Series, 1–0
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: Dick Bavetta, Mike Callahan, Monty McCutchen
April 25
10:30 PM
Portland Trail Blazers 96, Los Angeles Lakers 103
Scoring by quarter: 18–27, 19–24, 26–26, 33–26
Pts: Rasheed Wallace 31
Rebs: Rasheed Wallace 11
Asts: Damon Stoudamire 5
Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 31
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 14
Asts: Kobe Bryant 5
Los Angeles leads series, 2–0
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: James Capers, Dan Crawford, Greg Willard
April 28
5:30 PM
Los Angeles Lakers 92, Portland Trail Blazers 91
Scoring by quarter: 19–19, 31–22, 17–26, 25–24
Pts: Kobe Bryant 25
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 11
Asts: Bryant, O'Neal 7 each
Pts: Rasheed Wallace 20
Rebs: Rasheed Wallace 12
Asts: Scottie Pippen 8
Los Angeles wins series, 3–0
Rose Garden Arena, Portland, Oregon
Attendance: 20,580
Referees: Tim Donaghy, Steve Javie, Tom Washington

The Lakers sweep the Blazers thanks to a series-winning 3 by Robert Horry with 2.1 seconds left in Game 3.

This was the 11th playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Lakers winning eight of the first ten meetings.

(4) Dallas Mavericks vs. (5) Minnesota Timberwolves

Dirk Nowitzki was virtually unstoppable in this series, averaging 33 points and 16 rebounds per game.[4]

April 21
3:00 PM
Minnesota Timberwolves 94, Dallas Mavericks 101
Scoring by quarter: 31–22, 16–28, 26–23, 21–28
Pts: Chauncey Billups 25
Rebs: Kevin Garnett 21
Asts: Chauncey Billups 9
Pts: Dirk Nowitzki 30
Rebs: Dirk Nowitzki 15
Asts: Nick Van Exel 7
Dallas leads series, 1–0
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 20,010
Referees: Ted Bernhardt, Joe Crawford, Hue Hollins
April 24
9:30 PM
Minnesota Timberwolves 110, Dallas Mavericks 122
Scoring by quarter: 28–33, 31–30, 28–34, 23–25
Pts: Kevin Garnett 31
Rebs: Kevin Garnett 18
Asts: Billups, Garnett 4 each
Pts: Dirk Nowitzki 31
Rebs: Dirk Nowitzki 15
Asts: Steve Nash 10
Dallas leads series, 2–0
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 20,084
Referees: Scott Foster, Bennett Salvatore, Don Vaden
April 28
3:00 PM
Dallas Mavericks 115, Minnesota Timberwolves 102
Scoring by quarter: 40–28, 27–29, 30–22, 18–23
Pts: Dirk Nowitzki 39
Rebs: Dirk Nowitzki 17
Asts: Steve Nash 11
Pts: Kevin Garnett 22
Rebs: Kevin Garnett 17
Asts: Kevin Garnett 5
Dallas wins series, 3–0
Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Attendance: 18,795
Referees: Dick Bavetta, Jess Kersey, Bill Spooner

This was the first playoff meeting between the Mavericks and the Timberwolves.[5]

Conference Semifinals

(1) Sacramento Kings vs. (4) Dallas Mavericks

May 4
6:30 PM
Dallas Mavericks 91, Sacramento Kings 108
Scoring by quarter: 24–27, 26–28, 24–27, 17–26
Pts: Dirk Nowitzki 23
Rebs: Dirk Nowitzki 14
Asts: Steve Nash 5
Pts: Peja Stojaković 26
Rebs: Vlade Divac 16
Asts: Bibby, Christie 8 each
Sacramento leads series, 1–0
ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 17,317
Referees: Scott Foster, Ken Mauer, Bennett Salvatore
May 6
9:00 PM
Dallas Mavericks 110, Sacramento Kings 102
Scoring by quarter: 23–36, 36–24, 22–20, 29–22
Pts: Steve Nash 30
Rebs: Dirk Nowitzki 15
Asts: Steve Nash 8
Pts: Bibby, Webber 22 each
Rebs: Stojaković, Webber 12 each
Asts: Mike Bibby 7
Series tied, 1–1
ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 17,317
Referees: Ron Garretson, Hue Hollins, Steve Javie
May 9
9:30 PM
Sacramento Kings 125, Dallas Mavericks 119
Scoring by quarter: 38–25, 28–41, 25–25, 34–28
Pts: Chris Webber 31
Rebs: Chris Webber 15
Asts: Mike Bibby 9
Pts: Michael Finley 37
Rebs: Raef LaFrentz 13
Asts: Steve Nash 15
Sacramento leads series, 2–1
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 20,265
Referees: Joe Crawford, Bob Delaney, Derrick Stafford
May 11
3:30 PM
Sacramento Kings 115, Dallas Mavericks 113 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 25–27, 26–27, 31–35, 27–20, Overtime: 6–4
Pts: Chris Webber 30
Rebs: Vlade Divac 14
Asts: Bobby Jackson 5
Pts: Dirk Nowitzki 31
Rebs: Dirk Nowitzki 12
Asts: Dirk Nowitzki 7
Sacramento leads series, 3–1
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 20,274
Referees: Jim Clark, Bernie Fryer, Greg Willard
May 13
9:00 PM
Dallas Mavericks 101, Sacramento Kings 114
Scoring by quarter: 26–32, 27–27, 20–27, 28–28
Pts: Dirk Nowitzki 32
Rebs: Dirk Nowitzki 12
Asts: Steve Nash 9
Pts: Bibby, Webber 23 each
Rebs: Hedo Türkoğlu 13
Asts: Doug Christie 7
Sacramento wins series, 4–1
ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 17,317
Referees: Ted Bernhardt, Dan Crawford, Joe Forte

This was the first playoff meeting between the Mavericks and the Kings.[6]

(2) San Antonio Spurs vs. (3) Los Angeles Lakers

The Spurs led going into the fourth quarter of all five games, yet were able to win only one. Bryant would pace Los Angeles to 2 crucial victories in the Alamodome with 31 points in Game 3 and a game-winning bucket in Game 4,[7] and would offset the steady production of Tim Duncan (who had a double double in every game including 34 points and 25 rebounds in Game 5) with his fourth quarter heroics. It would be San Antonio's final 2 home games in the Alamodome, as they would move into the SBC Center (now the AT&T Center) the following year.

May 5
5:30 PM
San Antonio Spurs 80, Los Angeles Lakers 86
Scoring by quarter: 17–13, 21–19, 23–25, 19–29
Pts: Tim Duncan 26
Rebs: Tim Duncan 21
Asts: Tim Duncan 5
Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 23
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 17
Asts: three players 4 each
Los Angeles leads series 1–0
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: Bernie Fryer, Luis Grillo, Jack Nies
May 7
10:30 PM
San Antonio Spurs 88, Los Angeles Lakers 85
Scoring by quarter: 31–26, 25–14, 17–25, 15–20
Pts: Tim Duncan 27
Rebs: Tim Duncan 17
Asts: Tony Parker 9
Pts: Kobe Bryant 26
Rebs: Robert Horry 11
Asts: Kobe Bryant 6
Series tied, 1–1
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: Ted Bernhardt, Dan Crawford, Bill Spooner
May 10
9:30 PM
Los Angeles Lakers 99, San Antonio Spurs 89
Scoring by quarter: 24–28, 29–24, 21–19, 25–18
Pts: Kobe Bryant 31
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 15
Asts: Kobe Bryant 6
Pts: Tim Duncan 28
Rebs: Tim Duncan 12
Asts: Tony Parker 5
Los Angeles leads series, 2–1
Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
Attendance: 35,520
Referees: Ken Mauer, Eddie F. Rush, Bennett Salvatore
May 12
5:30 PM
Los Angeles Lakers 87, San Antonio Spurs 85
Scoring by quarter: 25–25, 17–21, 25–29, 20–10
Pts: Kobe Bryant 28
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 11
Asts: Shaquille O'Neal 5
Pts: Tim Duncan 30
Rebs: Duncan, Robinson 11 each
Asts: Tim Duncan 6
Los Angeles leads series, 3–1
Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
Attendance: 32,342
Referees: Dick Bavetta, Mike Callahan, Monty McCutchen
May 14
10:30 PM
San Antonio Spurs 87, Los Angeles Lakers 93
Scoring by quarter: 22–15, 23–24, 16–23, 26–31
Pts: Tim Duncan 34
Rebs: Tim Duncan 25
Asts: Tony Parker 6
Pts: Kobe Bryant 26
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 11
Asts: Rick Fox 7
Los Angeles wins series, 4–1
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: Ron Garretson, Steve Javie, Derrick Stafford

This was the eighth playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Lakers winning five of the first seven meetings.

Conference Finals

(1) Sacramento Kings vs. (3) Los Angeles Lakers

The 2002 Western Conference Finals is widely regarded as one of the best series in NBA playoff history, with the last four games coming down to the final seconds. Two games were decided on game winning shots and Game 7 was decided in overtime. However, the series was marred by controversy and allegations of corruption. On June 10, 2008, convicted NBA referee Tim Donaghy's attorney filed a court document alleging that Game 6 was fixed by two referees. The letter states that Donaghy "learned from Referee A that Referees A and F wanted to extend the series to seven games. Tim knew Referees A and F to be 'company men', always acting in the interest of the NBA, and that night, it was in the NBA's interest to add another game to the series." The Lakers won Game 6 106-102, attempting 18 more free throws than the Kings in the fourth quarter, and went on to win the series, and eventually the NBA championship. The document claimed that Donaghy told federal agents that in order to increase television ratings and ticket sales, "top executives of the NBA sought to manipulate games using referees". It also said that NBA officials would tell referees to not call technical fouls on certain players, and states that a referee was privately reprimanded by the league for ejecting a star player in the first quarter of a January 2000 game. Stern denied the accusations, calling Donaghy a "singing, cooperating witness".

The Lakers and Kings split the first two games in Sacramento. Los Angeles raced out to a 36-point first quarter in Game 1 behind 67% shooting and never trailed, paced by Kobe Bryant's 30 point effort and 26 points from Shaquille O'Neal. Chris Webber had 28 points and 14 rebounds, but the other Kings combined shot under 40 percent.[9] Sacramento rebounded to win Game 2, paced behind Webber (21 points, 13 rebounds) and Mike Bibby (20 points). O'Neal had 35 points and 13 rebounds, but struggled with foul trouble; Bryant shot 9-for-21 from the field and was suffering from food poisoning which he contracted from a meal at the team hotel, and some felt it was done deliberately by the hotel staff.[10] The loss snapped the NBA record 12-game playoff road winning streak for the Lakers.[11]

The Kings went to Staples Center and dominated Game 3 to regain home-court advantage, leading by as many as 27 and never trailing. They were again paced by Webber and Bibby, who combined for 50 points, and got solid contributions from Doug Christie (17 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals) and Vlade Divac (11 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks). Other than a brief 3-point barrage in the 4th quarter by the Lakers to cut the lead to 12, there was not much help provided for O'Neal, who had 20 points and 19 rebounds.[12]

In Game 4, Sacramento again got out to a fast start with a 40-point first quarter and built a 24-point first half lead. However, the Lakers cut the lead to 14 at halftime with a Samaki Walker 3-pointer at the buzzer that should not have counted (replay was not used at the time), and to 7 after three quarters. They whittled it down to 2 on the final possession with a chance to tie or win it, but Bryant missed a running layup and Shaq missed a put-back attempt. Divac knocked the ball away from the hoop in an attempt to run out the clock, but instead it wound up going to a wide open Robert Horry behind the 3 point line, who hit the 3 over Webber at the buzzer to give the Lakers an improbable victory, which tied the series going back to Sacramento. Horry scored 11 of his 18 points in the 4th quarter, including two more crucial 3-pointers. O'Neal finished with 27 points and 18 rebounds, Bryant had 25. Divac, Webber and Bibby all finished with 20+ points for the Kings.[13]

As the series shifted back to Sacramento for Game 5, the Kings trailed almost the entire fourth quarter, but a jump shot by Bibby off a screen with 8.2 seconds left gave them the lead and was the game-winner in a 92-91 win. Bibby scored 23 in all, and Webber had 29 points and 13 rebounds in support. Bryant led L.A. with 30 points, but missed a potential game winner at the buzzer.[14] O'Neal had 28 points, but did not take a shot in the 4th quarter and fouled out.[15]

Game 6 is considered to be one of the most controversial games in NBA history, as numerous questionable calls went against the Kings in the fourth quarter. The Lakers, led by O'Neal's 41 points and 17 rebounds, won 106-102, setting the stage for Game 7 in Sacramento. There are allegations that the game was affected by the referees in relationship to the Tim Donaghy scandal.[16] The Lakers shot 40 free throws overall, 27 in the fourth quarter alone, and the Kings' big men were plagued with foul trouble (Divac, Webber, Scot Pollard, and Lawrence Funderburke were called for 20 fouls, with Divac and Pollard both fouling out). Webber nearly had a triple double (26 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists), Bibby scored 23, and Divac had 12 points and 12 rebounds.[17] The Washington Post sports columnist Michael Wilbon responded to the calls in Game 6: "I wrote down in my notebook six calls that were stunningly incorrect, all against Sacramento, all in the fourth quarter when the Lakers made five baskets and 21 foul shots to hold on to their championship." For example, Wilbon pointed out that Kobe Bryant did not get a foul called on him after elbowing Mike Bibby in front of an official.[18]

Game 7 was tense, featuring 16 ties and 19 lead changes. In the final ten seconds with L.A. up 99-98, Peja Stojaković air-balled a wide open 3, and O'Neal was fouled on the rebound. After O'Neal hit 1 of 2 free throws, Bibby was fouled by Bryant and made both free throws to force overtime. The Kings' offense stalled in the extra period, and the Lakers prevailed 112-106. Sacramento was undone by poor free throw shooting (16-30 from the line), a horrid 2-20 from behind the arc, and a seeming unwillingness for anyone other than Bibby to take crucial shots down the stretch. O'Neal scored 35 and Bryant added 30 in the victory, as all five Laker starters finished in double figures. Bibby finished with 29 points, and Webber finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists. Divac added 15 points and 10 rebounds.[19]

This would be the last Western Conference Finals to go through a Game 7 until 2016.

Announcers: For NBC, Mike Breen announced Game 1, Marv Albert Games 3-7; Bill Walton & Steve Jones joined them as the analysts. TNT had Kevin Harlan, Danny Ainge, & John Thompson on hand for Game 2.

May 18
6:30 PM
Los Angeles Lakers 106, Sacramento Kings 99
Scoring by quarter: 36–22, 22–23, 24–24, 24–30
Pts: Kobe Bryant 30
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 9
Asts: three players 5 each
Pts: Chris Webber 28
Rebs: Chris Webber 14
Asts: Chris Webber 6
Los Angeles leads series, 1–0
ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 17,317
Referees: Dick Bavetta, Mike Callahan, Tom Washington
May 20
9:30 PM
Los Angeles Lakers 90, Sacramento Kings 96
Scoring by quarter: 26–25, 24–27, 17–24, 23–20
Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 35
Rebs: Robert Horry 20
Asts: Fisher, Horry 4 each
Pts: Chris Webber 21
Rebs: Vlade Divac 14
Asts: Mike Bibby 8
Series tied, 1–1
ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 17,317
Referees: Joe DeRosa, Bernie Fryer, Eddie F. Rush
May 24
9:00 PM
Sacramento Kings 103, Los Angeles Lakers 90
Scoring by quarter: 32–15, 20–25, 23–12, 28–38
Pts: Chris Webber 26
Rebs: Chris Webber 12
Asts: Christie, Webber 6 each
Pts: Kobe Bryant 22
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 19
Asts: Brian Shaw 7
Sacramento leads series, 2–1
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: Steve Javie, Bennett Salvatore, Don Vaden
May 26
5:30 PM
Sacramento Kings 99, Los Angeles Lakers 100
Scoring by quarter: 40–20, 25–31, 15–22, 19–27
Pts: Vlade Divac 23
Rebs: Hedo Türkoğlu 12
Asts: Christie, Webber 5 each
Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 27
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 18
Asts: Robert Horry 5
Series tied, 2–2
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: Dan Crawford, Ron Garretson, Ken Mauer
May 28
9:00 PM
Los Angeles Lakers 91, Sacramento Kings 92
Scoring by quarter: 33–27, 13–24, 28–22, 17–19
Pts: Kobe Bryant 30
Rebs: Robert Horry 11
Asts: three players 3 each
Pts: Chris Webber 29
Rebs: Chris Webber 13
Asts: three players 3 each
Sacramento leads series, 3–2
ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 17,317
Referees: Joe Crawford, Jack Nies, Bill Spooner
May 31
9:30 PM
Sacramento Kings 102, Los Angeles Lakers 106
Scoring by quarter: 26–28, 30–23, 19–24, 27–31
Pts: Chris Webber 26
Rebs: Chris Webber 13
Asts: Chris Webber 8
Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 41
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 17
Asts: Bryant, Horry 5 each
Series tied, 3–3
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: Dick Bavetta, Ted Bernhardt, Bob Delaney
June 2
7:30 PM
Los Angeles Lakers 112, Sacramento Kings 106 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 22–21, 30–33, 21–20, 27–26, Overtime: 12–6
Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 35
Rebs: Rick Fox 14
Asts: Bryant, Fox 7 each
Pts: Mike Bibby 29
Rebs: Vlade Divac 10
Asts: Chris Webber 11
Los Angeles wins series, 4–3
ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 17,317
Referees: Dan Crawford, Bernie Fryer, Eddie F. Rush

This was the tenth playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Lakers winning eight of the first nine meetings.

Eastern Conference

Champion: New Jersey Nets

First Round

(1) New Jersey Nets vs. (8) Indiana Pacers

Although the Nets won the series in 5, it would be most remarkable for more playoff heroics by Reggie Miller; Miller banked in a 40-footer at the buzzer to force OT, and then fly in for a dunk over 3 Net defenders with 3.1 seconds left in the extra session to force the 2nd overtime.[21]

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(NJN-IND)

Venue TV Time (EST) Recap
1 April 20 Indiana 89 New Jersey 83 0-1 Continental Airlines Arena, New Jersey NBC 12:30 Recap
2 April 22 Indiana 79 New Jersey 95 1-1 Continental Airlines Arena, New Jersey TNT 7:00 Recap
3 April 26 New Jersey 85 Indiana 84 2-1 Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis TNT 8:30 Recap
4 April 30 New Jersey 74 Indiana 97 2-2 Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis TNT 7:00 Recap
5** May 2 Indiana 109 New Jersey 120 3-2 Continental Airlines Arena, New Jersey TNT 7:00 Recap
New Jersey wins series 3–2

This was the first NBA playoff meeting between the Pacers and the Nets. As members of the ABA, both teams met in the 1972 ABA Finals, where the Pacers won 4–2.[22]

(4) Charlotte Hornets vs. (5) Orlando Magic

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(CHA-ORL)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 April 20 Orlando 79 Charlotte 80 1-0 Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte TNT 8:30et Recap
2* April 23 Orlando 111 Charlotte 103 1-1 Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte TBS 8:00et Recap
3* April 27 Charlotte 110 Orlando 100 2-1 TD Waterhouse Centre, Orlando NBC 12:30et Recap
4 April 30 Charlotte 102 Orlando 85 3-1 TD Waterhouse Centre, Orlando TBS 8:30et Recap
Charlotte wins series 3–1

Game 4 is Patrick Ewing's final NBA game.

This was the first playoff meeting between the Magic and the Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats franchise.[23]

(2) Detroit Pistons vs. (7) Toronto Raptors

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(DET-TOR)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 April 21 Toronto 63 Detroit 85 1-0 The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills TNT 8:30et Recap
2 April 24 Toronto 91 Detroit 96 2-0 The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills TNT 7:00et Recap
3 April 27 Detroit 84 Toronto 94 2-1 Air Canada Centre, Toronto TNT 8:30et Recap
4 April 29 Detroit 83 Toronto 89 2-2 Air Canada Centre, Toronto TNT 8:00et Recap
5 May 2 Toronto 82 Detroit 85 3-2 The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills TBS 8:30et Recap
Detroit wins series 3–2

Game 5 is Hakeem Olajuwon's final NBA game.

This was the first playoff meeting between the Pistons and the Raptors.[24]

(3) Boston Celtics vs. (6) Philadelphia 76ers

This series marked the return of the Celtics to the playoffs for the first time in seven years, and they faced the reigning Eastern Conference champion in the first round. The first two games were played in Boston, where the Celtics won both games resoundingly. The 76ers fought back, however, and with Allen Iverson scoring 42 points the 76ers won Game 3 and stayed alive. In Game 4, Iverson was slowed down, scoring 26 points on just 9-of-26 shooting, and Antoine Walker stepped up for the Celtics, scoring 25. But Iverson's play at the end making a layup, scoring off an Eric Snow steal, and hitting some free throws after Walker drilled a three sealed the victory for the 76ers. This set the stage for a Game 5 in Boston to decide the series. The Celtics had control on this game throughout, but the 76ers kept within striking distance into the 4th quarter. But Boston went on an amazing streak of three-pointers, hitting an NBA playoff record nine of them in the 4th quarter and 19 in the game. Paul Pierce led the way with 46, on 8-10 shooting from downtown, and Boston won in a huge blowout, sending them to the conference semifinals to face second-seed Detroit.

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(BOS-PHI)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 April 21 Philadelphia 82 Boston 92 1-0 FleetCenter, Boston NBC 12:30et Recap
2 April 25 Philadelphia 85 Boston 93 2-0 FleetCenter, Boston TNT 8:00et Recap
3 April 28 Boston 103 Philadelphia 108 2-1 First Union Center, Philadelphia NBC 12:30et Recap
4 May 1 Boston 81 Philadelphia 83 2-2 First Union Center, Philadelphia TNT 8:00et Recap
5 May 3 Philadelphia 87 Boston 120 3-2 FleetCenter, Boston TNT 7:00et Recap
Boston wins series 3–2

This was the 19th playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Celtics winning 10 of the first 18 meetings.

Conference Semifinals

(1) New Jersey Nets vs. (4) Charlotte Hornets

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(NJN-CHA)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 May 5 Charlotte 93 New Jersey 99 1-0 Continental Airlines Arena, New Jersey NBC 12:30et Recap
2 May 7 Charlotte 88 New Jersey 102 2-0 Continental Airlines Arena, New Jersey TBS 8:00et Recap
3 May 9 New Jersey 97 Charlotte 115 2-1 Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte TNT 7:00et Recap
4 May 12 New Jersey 89 Charlotte 79 3-1 Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte NBC 12:30et Recap
5 May 15 Charlotte 95 New Jersey 103 4-1 Continental Airlines Arena, New Jersey TNT 8:00et Recap
New Jersey wins series 4–1
  • Game 4 would not only be the last game played at Charlotte Coliseum until 2004 when the Charlotte Bobcats were an expansion team(the Bobcats would make the first of their two only playoff appearances in 2010), but the last playoff game ever played at the arena. Game 5 would also be the Hornets' last playoff game before moving to New Orleans and then being renewed in 2014. They would make the playoffs again in 2016.

This was the first playoff meeting between the Nets and the Hornets.[26]

(2) Detroit Pistons vs. (3) Boston Celtics

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(DET-BOS)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 May 5 Boston 84 Detroit 96 1-0 The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills NBC 3:00et Recap
2 May 8 Boston 85 Detroit 77 1-1 The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills TNT 8:00et Recap
3 May 10 Detroit 64 Boston 66 1-2 FleetCenter, Boston TNT 7:00et Recap
4 May 12 Detroit 79 Boston 90 1-3 FleetCenter, Boston NBC 3:00et Recap
5 May 14 Boston 90 Detroit 81 1-4 The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills TBS 8:00et Recap
Boston wins series 4–1

This was the seventh playoff meeting between these two teams, with each team winning three series apiece.

Conference Finals

(1) New Jersey Nets vs. (3) Boston Celtics

The Nets won game one, but Boston came back to steal game two in New Jersey to send the series back to Boston tied 1-1. In Game 3, the Celtics were down by as much as 26 points (21 coming into the 4th quarter), but they accomplished the biggest comeback in NBA Playoff history as the Celtics outscored the Nets 41-16 in the fourth quarter. The Celtics almost completed another comeback in game four, but the Nets held on for the victory to tie the series at two games apiece. The Nets won games five and six to advance to the team's first of two consecutive NBA Finals.

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(NJN-BOS)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 May 19 Boston 97 New Jersey 104 1-0 Continental Airlines Arena, New Jersey NBC 5:30et Recap
2 May 21 Boston 93 New Jersey 86 1-1 Continental Airlines Arena, New Jersey TNT 8:00et Recap
3 May 25 New Jersey 90 Boston 94 1-2 FleetCenter, Boston NBC 5:30et Recap
4 May 27 New Jersey 94 Boston 92 2-2 FleetCenter, Boston NBC 5:30et Recap
5 May 29 Boston 92 New Jersey 103 3-2 Continental Airlines Arena, New Jersey NBC 9:00et Recap
6 May 31 New Jersey 96 Boston 88 4-2 FleetCenter, Boston NBC 7:00et Recap
New Jersey wins Eastern Conference Championship series 4–2

This was the first playoff meeting between the Celtics and the Nets.[28]

NBA Finals

(W3) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (E1) New Jersey Nets

Last Playoff Meeting: This is the first meeting between the Lakers and Nets.

In Game 1, the Nets stayed within striking distance, but Shaquille O'Neal's 36 points and 16 rebounds led the Lakers to victory. In Game 2, the Nets were blown out by 23, with O'Neal leading the way again, putting up 40 points and 12 rebounds and coming within 2 assists of a triple double. This brought the series to New Jersey with the Lakers up 2-0. Game 3 was a close matchup with Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin, O'Neal, and Kobe Bryant all scoring 26 or more points. Bryant and O'Neal's combined 71 points was too much for the Nets to handle though, and the Lakers took a 3-0 series lead. In Game 4, O'Neal put up 34 points and the Lakers won the game and the championship, accomplishing the NBA's second three-peat in seven years.

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(LAL-NJ)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 June 5 New Jersey 94 Los Angeles 99 1-0 Staples Center, Los Angeles, California NBC 9:00et/6:00pt Recap
2 June 7 New Jersey 83 Los Angeles 106 2-0 Staples Center, Los Angeles, California NBC 9:00et/6:00pt Recap
3 June 9 Los Angeles 106 New Jersey 103 3-0 Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey NBC 8:30et/5:30pt Recap
4 June 12 Los Angeles 113 New Jersey 107 4-0 Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey NBC 9:00et/6:00pt Recap
Los Angeles wins NBA Championship series 4–0

This was the first playoff meeting between the Nets and the Lakers.[29]

References

  1. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Sacramento Kings versus Utah Jazz (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  2. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Oklahoma City Thunder versus San Antonio Spurs (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  3. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Los Angeles Lakers versus Portland Trail Blazers (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  4. ^ "Sacramento 125, Dallas 119". cnn.com.
  5. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Dallas Mavericks versus Minnesota Timberwolves (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  6. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Dallas Mavericks versus Sacramento Kings (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  7. ^ "Kobe Continues to be Thorn in Spurs' Side". www.nba.com.
  8. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Los Angeles Lakers versus San Antonio Spurs (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  9. ^ "Lakers vs. Kings - Game Recap - May 18, 2002 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  10. ^ Abrams, Jonathan (7 May 2014). "All the Kings' Men". grantland.com.
  11. ^ "Lakers vs. Kings - Game Recap - May 20, 2002 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  12. ^ "Kings vs. Lakers - Game Recap - May 24, 2002 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  13. ^ "Kings vs. Lakers - Game Recap - May 26, 2002 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  14. ^ "NBA.com: Kings One Away from a Crowning Achievement". www.nba.com.
  15. ^ "Lakers vs. Kings - Game Recap - May 28, 2002 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  16. ^ Sheridan, Chris (2008-06-11). "2002 Lakers-Kings Game 6 at heart of Donaghy allegations". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on 11 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  17. ^ "Kings vs. Lakers - Game Recap - May 31, 2002 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  18. ^ Wilbon, Michael (June 2, 2002). "Talk About Foul! Game 6 Was A Real Stinker". The Washington Post. pp. D1. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
  19. ^ "NBA.com: Lakers March On as Kings Can't Dethrone Dynasty". www.nba.com.
  20. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Los Angeles Lakers versus Sacramento Kings (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  21. ^ "New Jersey 120, Indiana 109". cnn.com.
  22. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Brooklyn Nets versus Indiana Pacers (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  23. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Charlotte Hornets versus Orlando Magic (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  24. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Detroit Pistons versus Toronto Raptors (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  25. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Boston Celtics versus Philadelphia 76ers (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  26. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Brooklyn Nets versus Charlotte Hornets (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  27. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Boston Celtics versus Detroit Pistons (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  28. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Boston Celtics versus Brooklyn Nets (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  29. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Brooklyn Nets versus Los Angeles Lakers (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.

External links

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) 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

2001–02 NBA season

The 2001–02 NBA season was the 56th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning their third straight championship, beating the New Jersey Nets 4–0 in the 2002 NBA Finals.

2001–02 Sacramento Kings season

The 2001–02 NBA season was the Kings' 53rd season in the National Basketball Association, and 17th season in Sacramento. During the offseason, the Kings acquired Mike Bibby from the Vancouver Grizzlies, and second-year guard Mateen Cleaves from the Detroit Pistons. Despite Chris Webber missing the first 20 games due to an ankle injury, the Kings posted a 12-game winning streak between December and January, as they held a 37–12 record before the All-Star break. The team won eleven straight games near the end of the season, finishing with a 61–21 record (.744 winning percentage), the best record in the league, while winning their division for the first time since 1979, when the team was in Kansas City. The Kings also made the Western Conference finals for the first time since 1981 (also as the Kansas City Kings). Webber and Peja Stojaković were both selected for the 2002 NBA All-Star Game.

In the playoffs, the Kings defeated the Utah Jazz three games to one in the first round, and the Dallas Mavericks four games to one in the semifinals. In their first trip to the Western Conference Finals, they would take a 3–2 series lead over the 3rd-seeded Los Angeles Lakers, but went on to lose the final two games in one of the most controversial playoff series in NBA history.

The rap sheet of people claiming the series to be tampered with included former presidential candidate Ralph Nader, Stephen A Smith, Skip Bayless, and even some Lakers' beat reporters. Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy has overtly admitted to the series being fixed by the league to ensure the Lakers play in the NBA finals, furthering the NBA tradition of dominance in Los Angeles. It is also worth noting that David Stern was once quoted "Lakers versus the Lakers...I'd be lying if I told you there wasn't a special fascination with the Lakers" (when asked about his dream finals scenario). (See 2002 NBA Playoffs#(1) Sacramento Kings vs. (3) Los Angeles Lakers). It was also the third straight year that the Kings had their playoff run ended by the Lakers.

The team's season roster is featured in NBA 2K18.

2002 NBA Finals

The 2002 NBA Finals was the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s championship series for the 2001–02 season. The best-of-seven playoff was contested between the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers (who were also two-time defending NBA champions), and the Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Nets. The Lakers swept the Nets four games to none to win the franchise's 14th NBA championship. The 56th edition of the championship series was played between June 5 and June 12 and was broadcast on NBC — the last NBA games broadcast on the network to date.

Shaquille O'Neal, who averaged 36 points and 12 rebounds in the Finals, was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player. Lakers coach Phil Jackson won his ninth ring, tying him with Red Auerbach for most all-time. During the series, he surpassed Pat Riley for most career playoffs wins with 156.Will Lyman narrated the season-ending documentary for NBA Entertainment.

2002 Western Conference Finals

2002 Western Conference Finals might refer to:

The Western Conference Finals of the 2002 Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Western Conference Finals of the 2002 NBA Playoffs

Ben Wallace

Ben Camey Wallace (born September 10, 1974) is an American retired professional basketball player. A native of Alabama, Wallace attended Cuyahoga Community College and Virginia Union University and signed with the Washington Bullets (later Wizards) as an undrafted free agent in 1996. In his NBA career, Wallace played with the Washington Bullets/Wizards, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers.

He won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award four times, a record he shares with Dikembe Mutombo. In nine seasons with the Pistons (2000–2006; 2009–2012), Wallace made two NBA Finals appearances (2004 and 2005) and won a championship with the Pistons in 2004. The Pistons retired his jersey number 3 in 2016.

Bob Costas

Robert Quinlan Costas (born March 22, 1952) is an award-winning American sportscaster, who currently is employed by MLB Network, where he does play-by-play and hosts an interview show called Studio 42 with Bob Costas. He is known for his long on the air tenure with NBC Sports from 1980 through 2018, and many Emmy awards. He was the prime-time host of 11 Olympic Games from 1992 until 2016.

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. Founded in 1946 as one of the league's original eight teams, the team play their home games at TD Garden, which they share with the National Hockey League (NHL)'s Boston Bruins. The Celtics are one of the most successful teams in NBA history; the franchise has won the most championships in the NBA with 17, accounting for 23.9 percent of all NBA championships since the league's founding.The Celtics have a notable rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers, and have played the Lakers a record 12 times in the NBA Finals (including their most recent appearances in 2008 and 2010), of which the Celtics have won nine. Four Celtics players (Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Dave Cowens and Larry Bird) have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award for an NBA record total of 10 MVP awards. Both the nickname "Celtics" and their mascot "Lucky the Leprechaun" are a nod to Boston's historically large Irish population.After winning 16 championships throughout the 20th century, the Celtics, after struggling through the 1990s, rose again to win a championship in 2008 with the help of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen in what was known as the new "Big Three" era, following the original "Big Three" era that featured Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, which combined to win the 1981, 1984, and 1986 championships.

Following the win in 2008, general manager Danny Ainge began a rebuilding process with the help of head coach Brad Stevens, who led the Celtics to a return to the playoffs from 2015. During the following season, the Celtics clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but were eliminated in the Conference Finals. This prompted an aggressive rebuild in 2017, where the team acquired All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. However, the pair struggled with injuries throughout the 2017–18 season, and the team was again defeated in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Bruce Bowen

Bruce Eric Bowen Jr. (born June 14, 1971) is an American former professional basketball player. Bowen played small forward and graduated from Edison High School and Cal State Fullerton. He went on to play for the National Basketball Association's Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs and the Continental Basketball Association's Rockford Lightning, and also played abroad in France.

One of the most feared perimeter "lockdown" defenders in NBA history, Bowen was elected to the NBA All-Defensive First and Second Teams eight times, and was a member of the Spurs teams that won the NBA championships in 2003, 2005 and 2007. Off the court, Bowen became an informal ambassador for child obesity awareness.

Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks (often referred to as the Mavs) are an American professional basketball team based in Dallas, Texas. The Mavericks compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division. The team plays its home games at the American Airlines Center, which it shares with the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars.

As of the 2017 season, the Mavericks have sold out 704 consecutive games since December 15, 2001, the longest currently running sellout streak in North American major league sports.Since their inaugural 1980–81 season, the Mavericks have won three division titles (1987, 2007, 2010), two conference championships (2006, 2011), and one NBA championship (2011).

Dig In

"Dig In" is a song by Lenny Kravitz, and the lead single from his sixth studio album, Lenny. It was released in August 2001. It was used in promos by the National Basketball Association for the 2002 NBA Playoffs, as well as the ending theme for the film Returner. It was also featured in the pilot episode of the Nickelodeon sitcom, Drake & Josh.

Jon Barry

Jon Alan Barry (born July 25, 1969) is an American former basketball player and current television analyst for ABC and ESPN.

Marv Albert

Marv Albert (born Marvin Philip Aufrichtig; June 12, 1941) is an American sportscaster. Honored for his work as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, he is commonly referred to as "the voice of basketball". From 1967 to 2004, he was also known as "the voice of the New York Knicks". Albert currently works for Turner Sports, serving as lead announcer for NBA games on TNT.

In addition to calling both professional and college basketball, he has experience announcing other sports such as American football, ice hockey, horse racing, boxing, and tennis. Albert has called the play-by-play of eight Super Bowls, NBA Finals, and seven Stanley Cup Finals. He has also called the Wimbledon Tennis Championships for TNT with Jim Courier and Mary Carillo. He also worked as a co-host and reporter for two World Series (1986 and 1988)

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves (also commonly known as the Wolves) are an American professional basketball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league's Western Conference Northwest Division. Founded in 1989, the team is owned by Glen Taylor who also owns the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx. The Timberwolves play their home games at Target Center, their home since 1990.Like most expansion teams, the Timberwolves struggled in their early years, but after the acquisition of Kevin Garnett in the 1995 NBA draft, the team qualified for the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons from 1997 to 2004. Despite losing in the first round in their first seven attempts, the Timberwolves won their first division championship in 2004 and advanced to the Western Conference Finals that same season. Garnett was also named the NBA Most Valuable Player for that season. The team had been in rebuilding mode for more than a decade after missing the postseason in 2005, and trading Garnett to the Boston Celtics in 2007. Garnett returned to the Timberwolves in a February 2015 trade and finished his career there, retiring in the 2016 offseason.

NBA on NBC

The NBA on NBC is the branding used for presentations of National Basketball Association (NBA) games produced by the NBC television network in the United States. NBC held broadcast rights from 1955 to 1962 and again from 1990 (when it obtained the rights from CBS) to 2002. During NBC's partnership with the NBA in the 1990s, the league rose to unprecedented popularity, with ratings surpassing the days of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird in the mid-1980s.

Scoreboard

A scoreboard is a large board for publicly displaying the score in a game. Most levels of sport from high school and above use at least one scoreboard for keeping score, measuring time, and displaying statistics. Scoreboards in the past used a mechanical clock and numeral cards to display the score. When a point was made, a person would put the appropriate digits on a hook. Most modern scoreboards use electromechanical or electronic means of displaying the score. In these, digits are often composed of large dot-matrix or seven-segment displays made of incandescent bulbs, light-emitting diodes, or electromechanical flip segments. An official or neutral person will operate the scoreboard, using a control panel.

Tim Duncan

Timothy Theodore Duncan (born April 25, 1976) is an American former professional basketball player. He spent his entire 19-year career (1997–2016) with the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Duncan started out as a swimmer, and did not begin playing basketball until ninth grade (after Hurricane Hugo destroyed the only Olympic-sized pool on his home of Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands). He played basketball for St. Dunstan's Episcopal High School. In college, Duncan played for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, winning the Naismith College Player of the Year, USBWA College Player of the Year, and John Wooden awards in his senior year.

After graduating from college, Duncan earned NBA Rookie of the Year honors after being selected by San Antonio with the first overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft. Widely regarded as the greatest power forward of all time as well as one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history, he is a five-time NBA champion, a two-time NBA MVP, a three-time NBA Finals MVP, a 15-time NBA All-Star, and the only player to be selected to both the All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams for 13 consecutive seasons.Off the court, Duncan is known for his quiet and unassuming nature and his active philanthropy. He holds a degree in psychology and created the Tim Duncan Foundation to raise general health awareness and fund education and youth sports in various parts of the United States.

Tracy McGrady

Tracy Lamar McGrady Jr. (born May 24, 1979), nicknamed T-Mac, is an American former professional basketball player who is best known for his career in the National Basketball Association (NBA), where he played as both a shooting guard and small forward. McGrady was a seven-time NBA All-Star, seven-time All-NBA selection, two-time NBA scoring champion, and one-time winner of the NBA Most Improved Player Award. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2017.

McGrady entered the NBA straight out of high school and was selected as the ninth overall pick by the Toronto Raptors in the 1997 NBA draft. Beginning his career as a low-minute player, he gradually improved his role with the team, eventually forming an exciting duo with his cousin Vince Carter. In 2000, he left the Raptors for the Orlando Magic, where he became one of the league's most prolific scorers and a candidate for the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. In 2004, he was traded to the Houston Rockets, where he paired with center Yao Ming to help the Rockets become a perennial playoff team. His final seasons in the NBA were plagued by injuries, and he retired in 2013 following a brief stint with the Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and the San Antonio Spurs.

Since retiring, McGrady has worked as a basketball analyst for ESPN. From April–July 2014, he realized his dream of playing professional baseball, pitching for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

Vince Carter

Vincent Lamar Carter (born January 26, 1977) is an American professional basketball player for the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) tall and plays both shooting guard and small forward. Carter is one of five players that have played an NBA-record 21 seasons. He is widely regarded as the greatest dunker of all time.A high school McDonald's All-American, Carter played three years at the University of North Carolina. While there, he twice reached the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament before being selected as the fifth overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft by the Golden State Warriors, who traded him to the Toronto Raptors.

Carter emerged as a star in Toronto. He won the 1999 NBA Rookie of the Year Award and won the Slam Dunk Contest at the 2000 NBA All-Star Weekend. That summer, he represented the United States in the Summer Olympics, winning a gold medal. He entertained crowds with his leaping ability and slam dunks, earning nicknames such as "Vinsanity", "Air Canada", and "Half-Man, Half-Amazing". In December 2004, Carter was traded to the New Jersey Nets, where he continued to put up big numbers. Carter has also played for the Orlando Magic, the Phoenix Suns, the Dallas Mavericks, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Sacramento Kings, and the Atlanta Hawks. He received the Twyman–Stokes Teammate of the Year Award in 2016. Carter is an eight-time NBA All-Star.

Off the court, Carter established the Embassy of Hope Foundation, assisting children and their families in Florida, New Jersey and Toronto. He was also recognized in 2000 as Child Advocate of the Year by the Children's Home Society, and received the Florida Governor's Points of Light award in 2007 for his philanthropy in his home state.

Regular-season series
Sacramento won 4–0 in the regular-season series
Previous playoff series[1]
Utah leads 1–0 in all-time playoff series
Regular-season series
Tied 2–2 in the regular-season series
Previous playoff series[2]
San Antonio leads 1–0 in all-time playoff series
Regular-season series
Tied 2–2 in the regular-season series
October 30, 2001
Portland Trail Blazers 87, Los Angeles Lakers 98
Staples Center, Los Angeles
March 29, 2002
Portland Trail Blazers 79, Los Angeles Lakers 91
Staples Center, Los Angeles
Previous playoff series[3]
Los Angeles leads 8–2 in all-time playoff series
Regular-season series
Tied 2–2 in the regular-season series
Regular-season series
Dallas won 3–1 in the regular-season series
Regular-season series
Los Angeles won 3–1 in the regular-season series
January 25, 2002
San Antonio Spurs 91, Los Angeles Lakers 94
Staples Center, Los Angeles
March 31, 2002
San Antonio Spurs 95, Los Angeles Lakers 96
Staples Center, Los Angeles
Previous playoff series[8]
Los Angeles leads 5–2 in all-time playoff series
Regular-season series
Los Angeles won 3–1 in the regular-season series
November 18, 2001
Sacramento Kings 85, Los Angeles Lakers 93
Staples Center, Los Angeles
April 17, 2002
Sacramento Kings 95, Los Angeles Lakers 109
Staples Center, Los Angeles
Previous playoff series[20]
Los Angeles leads 8–1 in all-time playoff series
Regular-season series
New Jersey won 3–1 in the regular-season series
Regular-season series
Charlotte won 3–1 in the regular-season series
Regular-season series
Detroit won 3–1 in the regular-season series
Regular-season series
Philadelphia won 3–1 in the regular-season series
Previous playoff series[25]
Boston leads 10–8 in all-time playoff series
Regular-season series
New Jersey won 3–1 in the regular-season series
Regular-season series
Tied 2–2 in the regular-season series
Previous playoff series[27]
Tied 3–3 in all-time playoff series
Regular-season series
Boston won 3–1 in the regular-season series
Regular-season series
Tied 1–1 in the regular-season series
March 5, 2002
New Jersey Nets 92, Los Angeles Lakers 101
Staples Center, Los Angeles
1940s
1950s
1960s
1970s
1980s
1990s
2000s
2010s
Eastern
Western

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