1976 NBA Finals

1976NBA Finals1976 champion1976 finals1976 Finals, Perry was a key player in "the greatest game ever played1976 Finals, Sobers was a key player in "the greatest game ever played1976 NBA1976 NBA Champion1976 NBA Championshipdefending champion
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.wikipedia
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1975–76 NBA season

19761975–761975–76 season
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 season ended with the Boston Celtics winning the NBA Championship, beating the Phoenix Suns 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals.

1975–76 Boston Celtics season

BostonBoston CelticsBOS
The Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeated the Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns 4 games to 2.
The 1975–76 Boston Celtics season was their 30th in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and concluded with their 13th championship, defeating the Phoenix Suns in six games in the 1976 NBA Finals.

Eastern Conference (NBA)

Eastern ConferenceEastEastern
The Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeated the Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns 4 games to 2.

1975–76 Phoenix Suns season

PhoenixPhoenix Suns1975–76
The Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeated the Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns 4 games to 2.
The 1976 NBA Finals would feature a memorable Game 5 triple-overtime thriller filled with controversies in which the Suns narrowly lost.

1976 NBA playoffs

1976Conference SemifinalsFirst Round
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. With Adams fortifying the center position, and with new addition Paul Westphal and Dick Van Arsdale providing the scoring punch, the Suns reached the playoffs for only the second time, finishing with 42 wins.
The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeating the Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals.

Phoenix Suns

PhoenixSunsAnnual NBA Outdoors Game
The Phoenix Suns entered the NBA as an expansion team in the 1968–69 season.
The franchise began play in 1968 as an expansion team, and their early years were shrouded in mediocrity, but their fortunes changed in the 1970s, where, after partnering long-term guard Dick Van Arsdale and center Alvan Adams with Paul Westphal, the Suns reached the 1976 NBA Finals, in what is considered to be one of the biggest upsets in NBA history.

NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award

NBA Finals MVPFinals MVPNBA Finals Most Valuable Player
Celtics point guard Jo Jo White was named as the series MVP.

Alvan Adams

The Suns redeemed themselves in the 1975 NBA draft by selecting Alvan Adams fourth overall.
After starring at the University of Oklahoma, the 6'9" (2.06 m) power forward/center was selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 4th pick of the 1975 NBA draft. Adams was a rookie on a Suns team whose season included an improbable playoff run that took them all the way to the 1976 NBA Finals. In the same year, he was selected to play in the All-Star Game and won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award as well as being named to the All-NBA Rookie Team. Adams spent his entire career with the Suns and retired in 1988 as the second all-time Suns scorer with 13,910 career points.

Paul Westphal

With Adams fortifying the center position, and with new addition Paul Westphal and Dick Van Arsdale providing the scoring punch, the Suns reached the playoffs for only the second time, finishing with 42 wins.
In 1976, Westphal helped the Suns reach their first-ever NBA Finals appearance, where they played against the Celtics.

Western Conference (NBA)

Western ConferenceWestWestern
The Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeated the Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns 4 games to 2.

Jo Jo White

JoJo WhiteJoe WhiteJoseph White
Celtics point guard Jo Jo White was named as the series MVP.
During the playoffs, White led the Celtics to the NBA championship and was a starring player in what is often referred to as "the greatest game ever played" in NBA history.

1975 NBA Finals

1975NBA FinalsNBA championship
The Suns defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in six games of the conference semifinals, before achieving a major upset in dethroning the previous year's champions the Golden State Warriors in seven games.
The first June game to actually be played was Game 4 of the following year's finals.

Tom Heinsohn

Tommy Heinsohn Tom HeinsohnThomas Heinsohn
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.
The next season Heinsohn and the Celtics won the championship, and they claimed another title in 1976.

Richie Powers

Referee Richie Powers appeared to have seen Silas signal the timeout, but did not grant it.
He worked 25 NBA Finals games, including the triple-overtime Game 5 contest in the 1976 NBA Finals between the Suns and the Celtics, considered "the greatest game ever played" in the NBA, as well as three All-Star Games.

John Havlicek

HavlicekHavlicek stole the ball!!
John Havlicek did not start for the Celtics due to a painful heel injury.
In the second overtime of game five of the 1976 NBA Finals, Havlicek made a leaning, running bank shot that appeared to be the game-winner, as fans spilled onto the floor, but Havlicek's shot went in with one second left and Phoenix was allowed one final shot (after Jo Jo White converted the technical foul shot for Phoenix's illegal timeout), which Gar Heard scored to force the game's third overtime.

Gar Heard

Garfield HeardGarfield "Gar" Heard
When play resumed, Phoenix's Gar Heard took the inbounds pass from Perry and made a buzzer-beating shot (a turn-around jumper at the top of the key) for the Suns that tied the score yet again, 112–112.
Heard is best known for a buzzer beater he made to send Game 5 of the 1976 Phoenix–Boston championship series into a third overtime.

Ricky Sobers

Then, the Suns' Ricky Sobers and Boston's Kevin Stacom got into a fistfight, and both were ejected.
A 6'3" guard born in the Bronx, New York, Sobers attended DeWitt Clinton High School in New York City, the College of Southern Idaho, and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas before being selecting by the Phoenix Suns with the 16th pick of the 1975 NBA draft. Sobers played two seasons for the Suns. In the 1976 Finals, Sobers was a key player in "the greatest game ever played" in NBA history. In 1977, he joined the Indiana Pacers, with whom he averaged a career best 18.2 points per game during the 1977–78 NBA season.

Glenn McDonald

Boston eventually took a six-point lead, 128–122, late in the third overtime, as Glenn McDonald, a little-used Celtic reserve player, chipped in half a dozen.
He played a huge role in Game 5 of the 1976 NBA Finals, scoring eight points in the third overtime period as the Celtics won 128-126 before eventually winning the championship in six games.

John MacLeod (basketball)

John MacLeodTeam MacLeod
Sobers was having a good game at that point, and Phoenix coach John MacLeod would later accuse the Celtics of having Stacom bait Sobers into the fight in order to get him out of the game.
MacLeod had considerable success with Phoenix, but his teams did not win it all in the playoffs—they lost once in the NBA Finals, and twice at the Western Conference level.

Jerry Colangelo

Colangelo
The Suns' players repeatedly had to shove the fans out of the way, and Phoenix general manager Jerry Colangelo even threatened to not bring his team back to the Boston Garden for Game 7 if security couldn't maintain control.
The Suns were competitive during most of the 1970s, making it to the NBA Finals in 1976, but losing to the Boston Celtics in six games.

Charlie Scott

Charles Scott1967Charles Thomas Scott
They kept the core of the team that won the 1974 NBA Finals, but made some tweaks, such as the trade of Westphal to Phoenix for Charlie Scott.

Curtis Perry

As his momentum was carrying him out of bounds, Westphal saved the ball to Van Arsdale, who passed it to Curtis Perry.
In the 1976 Finals, Perry was a key player in "the greatest game ever played" in NBA history.

Kevin Stacom

Then, the Suns' Ricky Sobers and Boston's Kevin Stacom got into a fistfight, and both were ejected. Kevin Stacom scored five straight points (his only points) to put Boston up for good 22–20.

1974 NBA Finals

1974NBA Finals1974 NBA Championship
They kept the core of the team that won the 1974 NBA Finals, but made some tweaks, such as the trade of Westphal to Phoenix for Charlie Scott.
The Celtics would return to the Finals two years later and win their 13th NBA title.

Boston Celtics

BostonCelticsBoston Celtic
The Boston Celtics were seeking to make up for the lost opportunity they squandered in the 1975 NBA Playoffs.