NBA Finals

ESPNDB Research | Created: Friday, May 15, 2009 | Updated: June 19, 2:43 PM ET
First Held1947
Most ChampionshipsCeltics, 17
Most AppearancesLakers, 30
Reigning ChampLos Angeles Lakers
Reigning MVPKobe Bryant, LAL
BroadcastersABC/ESPN Radio
The NBA Finals, formerly known as the NBA World Championship Series, are contested at the end of the NBA playoffs every season to determine the winner of the league's championship. The series has been held every year since 1947, when it was the BAA Championship Series. The series determined the champion of what was then the Basketball Association of America from 1947-49, when the league merged with the National Basketball League to become the NBA. Under the current format, the winners of the Eastern and Western Conference meet in a best-of-seven series with the team holding home-court advantage hosting the first two games and the last two games, if necessary. The team with the better regular-season record gets home-court advantage for the Finals. If the two teams posted the same regular-season record, then the first tiebreaker is head-to-head record. If they split their two meetings, the tiebreaker becomes conference record. The winner of the NBA Finals receives the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy. The current trophy was first awarded in 1978, and renamed after former NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien in 1984.
1940s: Beginnings
The foundation of the Basketball Association of America brought professional basketball to a major national stage for the first time. In the early years of the league, teams that had played in other leagues before the formation of the BAA dominated play, winning two of the three championships awarded in the 1940s. This decade also saw the only championship ever won by a team that would eventually fold -- the 1948 Baltimore Bullets, who joined the league from the ABL, lasted just six more full seasons before folding 14 games into the 1954-55 season.
1950s: Bookend Dynasties
The league's first full decade began the way the previous one ended, with a championship by the Minneapolis Lakers. The Lakers dynasty, led by center George Mikan and coach John Kundla, dominated the early part of the decade, winning four championships in five seasons. The Lakers' run was interrupted only by the Rochester Royals, who won the only championship in their franchise history in 1951. The team, currently known as the Sacramento Kings, has yet to return to the Finals. The end of the decade saw the emergence of Red Auerbach's Boston Celtics dynasty. After drafting Tom Heinsohn and trading for Bill Russell in 1956, Auerbach steered his Celtics to three consecutive Finals appearances to close out the 1950s, winning the title in 1957 and 1959.
1960s: Celtics Domination
Auerbach's Celtics teams continued their run of success in the 1960s, cementing their status as one of the most successful dynasties in all of sports. Boston won nine of the 10 championships in the 1960s, failing to win only in 1967 when Wilt Chamberlain led the Philadelphia 76ers to the title. Chamberlain was a key figure in the decade's most dynamic individual matchup, battling with Celtics center Bill Russell as both a member of the Warriors (in Philadelphia and San Francisco) and the 76ers. The decade began with the Celtics wrapping up their rivalry with the St. Louis Hawks. The two teams, who met in the Finals twice in the 50s, played in both 1960 and 1961, with Boston winning each time. The Celtics' most frequent opponent in the Finals during this decade was the Lakers, who had moved to Los Angeles since their meeting in the 1959 NBA Finals. Boston and Los Angeles met six times in a span of eight years in the 1960s, with the Celtics winning all six series. The last two meetings came with Russell serving as a player/coach, having replaced Auerbach after the 1966 Finals. Russell himself retired after the 1969 Finals.
1970s: Decade of Parity
With Auerbach and Russell no longer holding court in Boston, the league became wide open, with eight different teams winning championships in 10 seasons during the 1970s. The New York Knicks, who won the first championship of the post-Russell era, and the Celtics each won twice during the decade. The Lakers finally broke through for their first title since the early '50s in 1972, winning 69 games in the regular season and defeating the New York Knicks in the Finals. The Knicks won the rematch a year later for their second title in the decade. Including the Knicks, six of the eight franchises who won a title in this decade have failed to win one since. The league made history in 1975, when Al Attles led his Warriors against K.C. Jones' Bullets in the first championship series in the four major professional sports to feature two black head coaches. The decade ended with the then-Washington Bullets (not the same franchise as the 1948 champion Baltimore Bullets) and the then-Seattle SuperSonics meeting in back-to-back series, with the Bullets winning in 1978 and the Sonics winning in 1979.
1980s: Bird vs. Magic
With popularity and ratings plummeting, the league needed a spark, and it got it in the form of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, a pair of young stars who met in a memorable 1979 NCAA championship game. Johnson was the first one to break through for a championship in the NBA, teaming with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to win as a rookie in 1980. Bird got his championship the next year, with Johnson coming back to win in 1982. The run of Johnson/Bird titles was interrupted by the 76ers in 1983, but in 1984, the league finally got a matchup of the two dynamic superstars in the NBA Finals, with Bird leading his Celtics to a 7-game win over the Lakers, maintaining the status quo in the Celtics-Lakers rivalry. The Lakers finally figured out the Celtics the next year, and added another title over Boston in 1987. When all was said and done, the Lakers and Celtics combined for eight titles in the 1980s, with Johnson leading the Lakers to five championships and Bird winning three with the Celtics. The end of the decade saw the emergence of a new power in the East: the "Bad Boys" of the Detroit Pistons. After struggling to get past the Celtics, Detroit broke through in 1988, only to fall to the Lakers in the NBA Finals. The Pistons got their revenge a year later, closing out the decade with the first championship in franchise history.
1990s: Jordan Rules
Detroit opened the 1990s with a successful defense of its title against the Portland Trail Blazers, but the real competition was coming from its own conference. After years of successfully holding off the Chicago Bulls in the playoffs -- much like the Celtics had done to the Pistons in the mid-80s -- the Pistons finally fell to Chicago in 1991, setting the stage for the NBA's greatest dynasty since the 1960s Celtics. Chicago reached the NBA Finals for the first time in 1991, knocking off the defending champion Pistons in the conference finals, then dispatching five-time NBA champions Magic Johnson and his Lakers in the Finals. It was the first of three consecutive titles for the Bulls, who pulled off what Pat Riley couldn't in Los Angeles, a "three-peat." However, after the 1993 Finals, Jordan retired, opening the door for another star from the 1984 draft to earn his championship rings. Hakeem Olajuwon led his Houston Rockets to their first title in 1994 and repeated in 1995 despite Jordan's return to the NBA in time for the playoffs. Jordan did not lead the Bulls to the Finals in 1995, losing to Shaquille O'Neal and the Magic, who in turn were swept by Houston in the Finals. Coming off the disappointment of the 1995 playoffs, Jordan and the Bulls came back on a mission in the 1995-96 season, going 72-10 and winning the first of three more consecutive titles. After winning six championships in the decade, Jordan retired again after the 1998 Finals (and the NBA lockout that followed), as did head coach Phil Jackson. Scottie Pippen was traded to Houston, ending the Bulls' dynasty and making way for the San Antonio Spurs to win their first championship.
2000s: Shaq and Duncan
As the Finals moved into the new millennium, there was a familiar face leading the champions. Phil Jackson returned from his brief retirement to lead the Lakers to three consecutive championships to open the decade, this time leaning on center Shaquille O'Neal. O'Neal's top nemesis in the Western Conference during the 2000s was Spurs center Tim Duncan, who had won the last Finals MVP award of the 1990s. Duncan led his team back to the top in 2003 and would win twice more, in 2005 and 2007. O'Neal returned to the Finals with the Lakers in 2004 but was upset by the Detroit Pistons. After that series, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat, whom he would help win a title in 2006, though Dwyane Wade was named the MVP of that series. As the decade drew to a close, the league crowned a familiar champion. The Boston Celtics, who hadn't won the title since 1986, took home the championship in 2008, using a "Big Three" of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, defeating their old rivals the Los Angeles Lakers in six games. The Lakers came back the next season and defeated the Orlando Magic in five games, becoming the first team since 1989 to win a title the year after losing. It was their fourth title of the decade, the most of any team in the NBA.
Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy
The winner of the NBA Finals gets the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy, which replaced the original Walter A. Brown Trophy in 1978. The O'Brien Trophy originally retained the name of its predecessor, but was renamed after outgoing commissioner Larry O'Brien in 1984. The team that wins the championship gets permanent possession of the trophy, and a replacement is commissioned by the league. The trophy, comprised of nearly sixteen pounds of sterling silver and vermeil (sterling silver with 24-karat gold overlay) and standing about two feet tall, is etched to resemble a basketball net. A single rod extends from the base to the ball, giving the appearance of a play in motion. The regulation size sterling silver and vermeil basketball rests along the rim of the net. The trophy is created each year in the Tiffany & Co. silver shop.
Research Notes
Jordan Won at All Levels
How good was Michael Jordan? Not only was he a great player, he was a great winner. Jordan is one of seven players in the history of basketball to win an NCAA title, an NBA title and a gold medal. Jordan will be the sixth of those players in the Hall of Fame.
Player NCAA Champion NBA Champion Olympics
Quinn Buckner 1975-76 Indiana 1983-84 Celtics 1976
Magic Johnson< 1978-79 Michigan State 5 titles w/Lakers 1992
K.C. Jones< 1954-55 San Francisco 8 titles w/Celtics 1956
Michael Jordan< 1981-82 North Carolina 6 titles w/Bulls 1984,1992
Clyde Lovellette< 1951-52 Kansas 1953-54 Lakers, 1963-64 Celtics 1952
Jerry Lucas< 1959-60 Ohio State 1972-73 Knicks 1960
Bill Russell< 1954-55, 1955-56 San Francisco 11 titles w/Celtics 1956
>in Basketball Hall of Fame
Most Rebounds, Postseason Since Merger
Most Rebounds in Single Postseason
Since ABA-NBA Merger (1977 Playoffs)
Player Team Reb
'03 Tim Duncan Spurs 369
'00 Shaquille O'Neal Lakers 355
'09 Dwight Howard Magic 353
Most Points, Single Postseason
Most Points in Single Postseason
NBA History
Player Team Pts
'92 Michael Jordan Bulls 759
'95 Hakeem Olajuwon Rockets 725
'01 Allen Iverson 76ers 723
'00 Shaquille O'Neal Lakers 707
'09 Kobe Bryant Lakers 695
Largest Margin of Victory, Road Finals Clincher
Largest Margin of Victory
Road Win to Clinch NBA Finals, All-time
Team Won By Opponent
'80 Lakers 16 76ers
'74 Celtics 15 Bucks
'68 Celtics 15 Lakers
'09 Lakers 13 Magic
Most Points, 5-Game Series
Most Points
5-Game NBA Finals Series, All-time
Player Pts PPG
'01 Allen Iverson, PHI<<< 178 35.6
'65 Jerry West, LAL<<< 169 33.8
'01 Shaquille O'Neal, LAL 165 33.0
'09 Kobe Bryant, LAL 162 32.4
'91 Michael Jordan, CHI 156 31.2
Dwight Howard recorded 21 rebounds at the age of 23 years and 185 days old in Game Four. Only two players in NBA history registered 20-or-more rebounds in an NBA Finals game at a younger age than Howard: Tom Heinsohn in 1957 (22 years, 230 days old) and Bill Russell (five times in 1957, his youngest age being 23 years, 47 days old).
Bryant Adds Fourth Title to MVP Trohpy
Kobe Bryant becomes just the 8th player in NBA history to win at least 4 titles and one regular-season MVP in his career.
At Least 1 MVP and 4 Titles
NBA History
Player MVPs NBA Titles
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 6 6
Kobe Bryant 1 4
Bob Cousy 1 6
Tim Duncan 2 4
Magic Johnson 3 5
Michael Jordan 5 6
Shaquille O'Neal 1 4
Bill Russell 5 11
Kobe Adds Finals MVP to Regular-Season MVP
Taking into account Kobe Bryant's regular-season MVP award (from 2007-08), he becomes only the 13th player in NBA history to win at least 1 MVP and 1 Finals MVP, joining the following list.
At Least 1 MVP and 1 Finals MVP
NBA History
Player MVPs Finals MVPs<<
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 6 2
Larry Bird 3 2
Kobe Bryant 1 1
Wilt Chamberlain 4 1
Tim Duncan 2 3
Magic Johnson 3 3
Michael Jordan 5 6
Moses Malone 3 1
Shaquille O'Neal 1 3
Hakeem Olajuwon 1 2
Willis Reed 1 2
Wes Unseld 1 1
Bill Walton 1 1
>>NBA Finals MVP began in 1968-69
Kobe Has Plenty of Hardware
Kobe Bryant becomes just the 6th player in NBA history with at least 1 MVP, 1 Finals MVP, and 4 titles, joining 3 Hall of Famers and 2 active legends.
At Least 1 MVP, 1 Finals MVP, and 4 Titles
NBA History
Player MVPs Finals MVPs<< NBA Titles
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 6 2 6
Kobe Bryant 1 1 4
Tim Duncan 2 3 4
Magic Johnson 3 3 5
Michael Jordan 5 6 6
Shaquille O'Neal 1 3 4
>>NBA Finals MVP began in 1968-69
Kobe Gets Title, After Losing MVP
Kobe Bryant finished second in the MVP voting this year behind LeBron James, but went on to win the "more important" MVP award by taking home the Bill Russell Finals MVP award along with his 4th NBA title. This is just the 9th time in NBA history that the runner-up in the MVP voting went on to win the NBA title in the same season, and the first time since Michael Jordan did it back in 1997.
Runner-Up in MVP Voting Winning NBA Title That Season
NBA History
2008-09 Kobe Bryant, LAL<<
1996-97 Michael Jordan, CHI<<
1984-85 Magic Johnson, LAL
1980-81 Larry Bird, BOS
1976-77 Bill Walton, POR<<
1971-72 Jerry West, LAL
1959-60 Bill Russell, BOS
1958-59 Bill Russell, BOS
1955-56 Paul Arizin, PHW
>>Won Finals MVP (began in 1968-69)
Kobe Matches Shaq in Titles
Kobe Bryant vs Shaquille O'Neal
NBA Careers
Player Bryant O'Neal
Seasons 13 17
All-Star selections 11 15
All-NBA 1st teams 7 8
MVPs 1 1
Finals MVPs 1 3
NBA Titles 4<< 4<<
>>Won 3 titles together with Lakers (2000-02)
Jackson and Bryant Among Best Combos
Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson become the 6th "perennial All-Star"/head coach combination to win at least 4 titles since 1970-71. They join a couple of great Laker duos from the 1980s, Phil Jackson with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in the 1990s, and the Spurs' Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich, who have won 4 titles together in the past decade.
Most NBA Titles By Player-Coach Combination Since 1970-71
Among Players With 5+ Career All-Star Selections
Player & Coach Titles
Michael Jordan & Phil Jackson 6
Scottie Pippen & Phil Jackson 6
Kobe Bryant & Phil Jackson 4
Tim Duncan & Gregg Popovich 4
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & Pat Riley 4
Magic Johnson & Pat Riley 4
Lakers Bounce Back From Finals Loss
The Lakers become the first team in 20 years to win the NBA title the season after losing in the Finals. They are the 10th runner-up to make it back to the Finals and win the next season in NBA history.
Teams to Win NBA Title
Season After Losing in NBA Finals
Team Finals Opponent
2009 Lakers Magic
1989 Pistons Lakers
1986 Celtics Rockets
1985 Lakers Celtics
1983 76ers Lakers
1979 Sonics Bullets
1973 Knicks Lakers
1959 Celtics Lakers
1958 Hawks Celtics
1955 Nationals Pistons
Lakers Among Best Teams Ever
The Lakers' title victory means that each of the 12 teams in NBA history that has won at least 65 regular season games and made it to the NBA Finals has won the title.
Most Wins in Single Regular Season, Made Finals
NBA History
Team W-L Finals Result
1995-96 Bulls 72-10 Won NBA Title
1996-97 Bulls 69-13 Won NBA Title
1971-72 Lakers 69-13 Won NBA Title
1966-67 76ers 68-13 Won NBA Title
1999-00 Lakers 67-15 Won NBA Title
1991-92 Bulls 67-15 Won NBA Title
1985-86 Celtics 67-15 Won NBA Title
2007-08 Celtics 66-16 Won NBA Title
1970-71 Bucks 66-16 Won NBA Title
2008-09 Lakers 65-17 Won NBA Title
1986-87 Lakers 65-17 Won NBA Title
1982-83 76ers 65-17 Won NBA Title
2008-09 Ranks Among Best Lakers Seasons
With their 15th NBA title after a 65-win regular season, this Lakers team can now argue that it belongs up there with some of the best in franchise history. All 4 Laker teams that won at least 65 regular-season games won the NBA title that postseason.
Best Regular-Season Record
Lakers History
Year W-L Playoff Result
1971-72 69-13 Won NBA Title
1999-00 67-15 Won NBA Title
2008-09 65-17 Won NBA Title
1986-87 65-17 Won NBA Title
Lakers Pass Celtics
The Lakers' win in the Finals is their 100th playoff series win all-time. Not only are they the first franchise to reach 100 series wins, but their performance this postseason puts them atop of the playoff series win percentage list, passing their hated rival, the Boston Celtics.
Best Postseason Series Record
Minimum 10 Series Played, NBA History
Team W-L Win pct
Lakers<< 100-41 .709
Celtics 71-30 .703
Bulls 35-22 .614
Spurs 32-25 .561
Knicks 40-35 .533
>>Trailed Celtics entering 2009 postseason
Gasol, Vujacic Are Latest European Champions
Pau Gasol becomes the first player born in Spain to win an NBA championship, while Sasha Vujacic becomes the third player born in Slovenia to win a title. They are the 8th and 9th European-born players to play at least 1 game in the Finals for a title-winning team.
European-Born Players to Win NBA Championship
Players Who Played A Least 1 Game in NBA Finals
Player Birth Country Title Season(s)
Pau Gasol Spain 2009
Sasha Vujacic Slovenia 2009
Tony Parker Belgium 2003, '05, '07
Beno Udrih Slovenia 2005, '07
Francisco Elson Netherlands 2007
Rasho Nesterovic Slovenia 2005
Darko Milicic Serbia-Montenegro 2004
Slava Medvedenko Ukraine 2002
Toni Kukoc Croatia 1996, '97, '98
Gasol Joins Elite Group of European Champions
Pau Gasol is only the third European-born player to win a championship as a significant contributor (averaging at least 20 minutes per game in the postseason) on a title-winning team.
European-Born Players to Win NBA Championship
Averaged At Least 20 Minutes PG in Postseason
Player Birth Country Title Season(s)
Pau Gasol Spain 2009
Tony Parker Belgium 2003, '05, '07
Toni Kukoc Croatia 1996, '97, '98
Magic Lose in Finals Again
The Magic lose in the Finals for the second time, making them the 9th franchise to lose in their first 2 NBA Finals appearances.
Franchises to Lose in 1st 2 Finals Appearances
NBA History
Team Seasons
Magic 1995, 2009
Nets 2002, 2003
Jazz 1997, 1998
Suns 1976, 1993
Rockets 1981, 1986
Bullets 1971, 1975
Pistons 1955, 1956
Nationals 1950, 1954
Knicks 1951, 1952
Defensive POY Loses Finals Again
Dwight Howard and the Magic's loss in the NBA Finals means that teams featuring the Defensive Player of the Year are now 1-4 in their last 5 NBA Finals appearances. Such teams are 4-4 all-time in the Finals.
Defensive Player of the Year in NBA Finals
Since Award Began in 1982-83
Player Opponent Result
'09 Dwight Howard, ORL Lakers L, 4-1
'08 Kevin Garnett, BOS Lakers W, 4-2
'05 Ben Wallace, DET Spurs L, 4-3
'01 Dikembe Mutombo, PHI Lakers L, 4-1
'96 Gary Payton, SEA Bulls L, 4-2
'94 Hakeem Olajuwon, HOU Knicks W, 4-3
'90 Dennis Rodman, DET Trail Blazers W, 4-1
'87 Michael Cooper, LAL Celtics W, 4-2
Howard Loses to Kobe in First-Team All-NBA Matchup
This was the 5th time since 1970 that an All-NBA first team center faced off against an All-NBA first team guard in the NBA Finals. Unfortunately for Dwight Howard, his loss to Kobe Bryant means he's the only one of the "big guys" to lose to the "little guys" in these five matchups.
All-NBA 1st Team Center vs All-NBA 1st Team Guard
NBA Finals Matchups Since 1970
Year Center Guard
2009 Dwight Howard, ORL Kobe Bryant, LAL<<
2002 Shaquille O'Neal, LAL<< Jason Kidd, NJN
2001 Shaquille O'Neal, LAL<< Allen Iverson, PHI
1983 Moses Malone, PHI<< Magic Johnson, LAL
1970 Willis Reed, NYK<< Jerry West, LAL
>>Won NBA Title
First-Time Coach Loses Again
Stan Van Gundy winds up on the losing end in his first NBA Finals appearance, but he shouldn't hang his head. The previous 10 coaches making their Finals debut with a team that did not have home-court advantage (the team that is generally the "underdog" in the series) also lost in the Finals. The last coach to win in that situation was Pat Riley, who led the Lakers to a title in his first Finals appearance in 1982.
First NBA Finals Appearance as Head Coach
On Team Without Home-Court Advantage, Last 25 Years
Coach Opponent Result
'09 Stan Van Gundy, ORL Lakers<< L, 4-1
'07 Mike Brown, CLE Spurs L, 4-0
'02 Byron Scott, NJN Lakers<< L, 4-0
'01 Larry Brown, PHI Lakers<< L, 4-1
'00 Larry Bird, IND Lakers<< L, 4-2
'99 Jeff Van Gundy, NYK Spurs L, 4-1
'97 Jerry Sloan, UTAH Bulls<< L, 4-2
'96 George Karl, SEA Bulls<< L, 4-2
'91 Mike Dunleavy, LAL Bulls<< L, 4-1
'90 Rick Adelman, POR Pistons L, 4-1
'88 Chuck Daly, DET Lakers L, 4-3
>>Coached by Phil Jackson
Turkoglu Keeps Running Into Lakers
Hedo Turkoglu has played on 3 different teams during his 9-year NBA career, but no matter where he goes, he can't seem to do one thing: beat the Lakers in the playoffs. All 4 times that his team has met the Lakers in the postseason  no matter what round it has been in - Hedo's squad has seen its season come to an end.
Hedo Turkoglu's Teams vs Lakers
Postseason Meetings
Team Round Result
2008-09 Magic NBA Finals L, 4-1
2003-04 Spurs Conf Semis L, 4-2
2001-02 Kings Conf Finals L, 4-3
2000-01 Kings Conf Semis L, 4-0
Turkoglu Keeps Running Into Lakers
Hedo Turkoglu has played on 3 different teams during his 9-year NBA career, but no matter where he goes, he can't seem to do one thing: beat the Lakers in the playoffs. All 4 times that his team has met the Lakers in the postseason  no matter what round it has been in - Hedo's squad has seen its season come to an end.
Hedo Turkoglu's Teams vs Lakers
Postseason Meetings
Team Round Result
2008-09 Magic NBA Finals L, 4-1
2003-04 Spurs Conf Semis L, 4-2
2001-02 Kings Conf Finals L, 4-3
2000-01 Kings Conf Semis L, 4-0
Kobe Adds 4th Title and Finals MVP
This is Kobe Bryant's 1st NBA Finals MVP and his 4th NBA title. He becomes only the 7th player in NBA history to win at least 4 NBA titles with at least 1 Finals MVP (which began in 1968-69).
At Least 1 Finals MVP and 4 Titles
NBA History
Player Finals MVPs<< NBA Titles
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 2 6
Kobe Bryant 1 4
Tim Duncan 3 4
John Havlicek 1 8
Magic Johnson 3 5
Michael Jordan 6 6
Shaquille O'Neal 3 4
>>NBA Finals MVP began in 1968-69
Does Game 5 Matter?
Even if the Magic win Game 5, history is not on their side: No team has ever won the NBA title in the 2-3-2 format (since 1985) by winning the final two games of the NBA Finals on the road. Nine teams have trailed 3-2 in the Finals in that situation since 1985 and none have come back to win the title. In fact, the only team even to take it to a Game 7 was the Pistons against the Spurs in 2005.
Clinching an NBA Title
Of the 62 prior NBA titles won, 35 were clinched at home and 27 were clinched on the road. Two of the last three NBA titles (2007 Spurs, 2006 Heat) were clinched on the road. Boston clinched at home last season.
Most Titles, NBA History
One more win will give the Lakers their 15th NBA title. Nine of the Lakers 14 titles saw the deciding game won in at home. But each of the last two Lakers championships have been clinched on the road (2001, 2002).
Most Championships
NBA History
Team Titles Last Title
Celtics 17 2008
Lakers 14 2002
Bulls 6 1998
Spurs 4 2007
Leading 3-1 in the NBA Finals
The Lakers lead the series 3-1 and history says this series is all-but over. In the history of the NBA Finals, teams that hold a 3-1 series lead have never lost... in fact only 2 teams have ever forced a Game 7 -- the 1966 Lakers and the 1951 Knicks.
NBA Finals Result, When Team Leads Series 3-1
Won in 5 14
Won in 6 13
Won in 7 2
Lost in 7 0
Worst Shooting, 30+ Field Goal Attempts
Kobe Bryant's 11-31 shooting performance in Game 4 was the worst shooting performance in an NBA Finals game by a player that took MORE than 30 shots since Scottie Pippen's 12-35 shooting in Game 3 of the 1993 Finals against the Suns.
Multiple OT Games, Finals Series
Year Matchup Home Team W-L
2009 Lakers vs Magic 1-1
1984 Lakers vs Celtics 1-1
1974 Celtics vs Bucks 1-1
1970 Lakers vs Knicks 2-0
1957 Celtics vs Hawks 1-1
1952 Lakers vs Knicks 2-0
Lakers Up 3-1
The Lakers with three wins in the NBA Finals equal their playoff win total in their previous 2 NBA Finals appearances. This is the 7th time this decade in which a team had a 3-1 lead or swept the NBA Finals after 4 games. ('03, '05, '06 were 2-2 after 4.)
30 Points, 8 Assists, Through 4 Finals Games
30.0 PPG and 8.0 APG
1st 4 Games of NBA Finals
Player PPG APG
'09 Kobe Bryant 33.3 8.0
'91 Michael Jordan 31.5 11.8
'70 Jerry West 34.5 8.0
Kobe Jordan-Like Again
Kobe Bryant has his 4th straight Finals game with at least 25 points and 8 assists.. The only other player with 4 straight is Michael Jordan, who did it in 7 straight from 1991-1992.
Games 2 and 4 Go to OT
1st NBA Finals series with 2 separate OT games since 1984 (Lakers and Celtics, games 2 and 4).
20 Rebounds, 5 Blocks, NBA Finals History
NBA Finals Game, All-Time
Player Opp Reb-Blk
2009 Dwight Howard Gm 4 vs LAL ?-?
2003 Tim Duncan Gm 6 vs NJ 20-8
2003 Tim Duncan Gm 1 vs NJ 20-7
2001 Shaquille O'Neal Gm 2 vs PHI 20-8
1977 Bill Walton Gm 6 vs PHI 23-8
>Blocks have been recorded since 1973-74
20 Rebounds, 5 Blocks
Dwight Howard: 3rd player in last 10 years with 20 rebounds and 5 blocks in an NBA Finals game (others are Shaq in 2001 and Tim Duncan twice in 2003).
Howard Breaks Blocks Record
Most Blocked Shots in NBA Finals Game
Player Team Opp Blocks
'09 Dwight Howard Magic Lakers 9
'03 Tim Duncan Spurs Nets 8
'01 Shaquille O'Neal Lakers 76ers 8
'94 Patrick Ewing Knicks Rockets 8
'86 Hakeem Olajuwon Rockets Celtics 8
'77 Bill Walton Blazers 76ers 8
Five Blocks in a Half
Dwight Howard, 5 blocks: the last player with 5 blocks in a single half of a NBA Finals game was Ben Wallace in Game 3 of the 2005 NBA Finals vs the Spurs.
Howard Approaching Blocks Record
Dwight Howard already has 5 blocked shots. The record for an NBA Finals game is 8, done 5 times, most recently by Tim Duncan in the clincher against the Nets in 2003.
Dwight Howard had 11 first quarter rebounds. In the last 20 years, only 2 other players have had 10+ rebounds in any quarter in the Finals: Ben Wallace had 10 in the third quarter on 6/15/04 vs. Lakers; Dennis Rodman had 10 in the third quarter on 6/7/96 vs. Seattle.
If the Magic Win Game 4....
If the Magic win, it will be the 8th time in NBA Finals history that the home team has won each of the 1st 4 games of the series. In the previous 7 instances, the team with home court advantage has ended winning the series 4 times (2005 Spurs, 1997 Bulls, 1976 Celtics and 1955 Nationals). The 3 times the team with home court advantage lost are obviously the only 3 teams that came back from down 2-0: the 2006 Heat, the 1977 Blazers and the 1969 Celtics
Kobe Moving Up Single-Season List
Most Points in Single Postseason
NBA History
Player Team Pts
'92 Michael Jordan<< Bulls 759
'95 Hakeem Olajuwon<< Rockets 725
'01 Allen Iverson 76ers 723
'00 Shaquille O'Neal<< Lakers 707
'98 Michael Jordan<< Bulls 680
'93 Michael Jordan<< Bulls 666
'94 Hakeem Olajuwon<< Rockets 664
'06 Dwyane Wade<< Heat 654
'93 Charles Barkley Suns 638
'09 Kobe Bryant Lakers 633
'08 Kobe Bryant Lakers 633
>>Won Title and Finals MVP
Pau Gasol is shooting only .357 (5-for-14) from the field in the first quarter in this series. From the second quarter on, Gasol is shooting .783 (18-for-23) from the field in the 2009 Finals.
Dwight Howard is shooting .664 from the field at home in the 2009 playoffs. That is over 100 percentage points higher than his road field-goal percentage in this year's playoffs (.560).
Stan Van Gundy has posted a 24-6 (.800) career record at home during the postseason. Only five other head coaches have won at least 80 percent of their home games in the playoffs (minimum: 20 games): Phil Jackson (134-24, .848), Al Cervi (24-5, .828), K.C. Jones (60-13, .822), Larry Bird (22-5, .815) and Johnny Kundla (41-10, .804).
FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Fisher Playing 30th Finals Game
Derek Fisher will be appearing in the 30th NBA Finals game of his career tonight. Only one other active player has appeared in as many NBA Finals games as Fisher: Shaquille O'Neal (30).
FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Courtney Lee Making Rookie History
Orlando rookie Courtney Lee has started each of the first three games of this series. Only one rookie over the last 20 years has started at least three games in an NBA Finals series: Richard Dumas (six starts for Phoenix in 1993).
FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Howard Gets 20 Double-Doubles
Dwight Howard had 21 points and 14 rebounds in Orlando's Game Three victory. Howard has now recorded 20 double-doubles in the 2009 playoffs. Only four other players have posted a double-double in at least 20 games in a single postseason: Moses Malone in 1981 (20), Charles Barkley in 1993 (22), Shaquille O'Neal in 2000 (21) and Tim Duncan in 2003 (22).
FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Kobe's 5-for-10 Night Rare
Kobe Bryant was 5-for-10 from the free-throw line in the Lakers' Game Three loss. That marked the fourth time in his career that Bryant missed as many free throws as he made in a postseason game in which he had at least 10 attempts from the line. Bryant also did that on June 4, 2000 (6-for-12), May 5, 2002 (4-for-10) and April 28, 2008 (4-for-10)
Kobe Bryant has scored 633 points in this year's playoffs, the same total he scored in the postseason last year. Only two other players in NBA history have scored 600-or-more points in back to back postseasons: Michael Jordan (1992-93) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1994-95).
Kobe Bryant has scored at least 25 points and handed out at least eight assists in each of his last three NBA Finals games. Only one player in NBA history has recorded 25+ points and 8+ assists in three straight Finals games: Michael Jordan (seven straight from 1991 to 1992).
How important is tonight game for Orlando? The Magic are the 305th team in NBA history to trail a best-of-seven series two-games-to-one. Of the 151 teams that won Game Four to even the series 2-2, 31.1 percent went on to win the series and of the 153 teams that lost Game Four to fall behind 3-1, only 5.2 percent went on to win the series.
Dwight's Finals First
Dwight Howard is the only player in the shot clock era to score 20-plus points on six field goal attempts or fewer in an NBA Finals game.
Kobe, Jordan and The Logo
Players with 100+ Points and 20+ Assists
First 3 Games of NBA Finals
Player Pts-Ast Opponent
'09 Kobe Bryant, LAL 100-24 Magic
'93 Michael Jordan, CHI 117-20 Suns
'92 Michael Jordan, CHI 104-25 Blazers
'69 Jerry West, LAL 118-24 Celtics
Highest FG Pct., Finals Game
Highest FG Pct In NBA Finals Game
NBA History
Team FG Pct Opponent
'09 Magic 62.5 Lakers
'91 Bulls 61.7 Lakers
'87 Lakers 61.5 Celtics
'85 Celtics 60.8 Lakers
Best FG Pct in a Quarter
The Magic shot 13-of-16 in the second quarter, tied for the third-best mark in Finals history:
Best FG Pct in a Quarter
Finals History
Team Opp FG Pct
'91 Bulls Lakers 85.0
'89 Pistons Lakers 82.4
'09 Magic Lakers 81.3
'84 Lakers Celtics 81.3
'86 Celtics Rockets 81.3
Magic Break Shooting Record
The Magic shot 75.0% from field in 1st half (24-32) breaking this record: The highest FG pct for one half in NBA Finals was: 70.6 --- 76ers vs Lakers, June 6, 1982 (76ers went on to win game, but lose series).
FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Lakers History When Up 2-0
The Lakers are 38-1 in best-of-seven series in which they have held a two-games-to-none lead in their franchise history. The Lakers only loss in that situation came during the 1969 NBA Finals against Boston. Since their loss to the Celtics, the Lakers have won 30 straight best-of-seven series in which they have held a 2-0 lead.
The Lakers win in Game Two was the 41st victory in the NBA Finals for Phil Jackson as a head coach. Jackson now holds the NBA record for victories in the NBA Finals, breaking the tie he was in with Red Auerbach entering Game Two.
FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Howard among rebounding elite
Dwight Howard has registered a total of 31 rebounds in the first two NBA Finals games of his career. Only five other players who made their Finals debut in the last 40 years have recorded as many rebounds as Howard through their first two NBA Finals games: Larry Bird (42), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (41), Bill Walton (36), Tim Duncan (31) and Willis Reed (31).
FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Magic Finals Losing Streak
" The Magic have lost six consecutive NBA Finals games. Only one team has had a longer losing streak in the NBA Finals than Orlando currently has: the Baltimore/Washington Bullets (nine straight losses in the Finals from 1971 to 1978).
FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Lakers Road Finals Losing Streak
" The Lakers have lost each of their last six road games in the NBA Finals. That is one short of the NBA record for most consecutive road losses in the NBA Finals. Fort Wayne lost seven consecutive road games spanning the 1955 and 1956 Finals.
" Kobe Bryant has recorded two 40-point games at Amway Arena during the regular season in his career (41 on November 12, 2004 and 41 on December 20, 2008). That is tied with Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson for the most regular-season 40-point games by any visiting player in this arena since it opened prior to the 1989-90 season.
FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Magic Setting 3-pt Records
" Orlando has attempted 497 three-point field goals in the 2009 playoffs, the highest figure by any team in a single postseason in NBA history. The previous record was 483 three-point field goal attempts by the Rockets in the 1995 playoffs. The Magic have made 181 of those attempts, which is eight shy of the record for the most three-point field goals made in a single postseason. The Rockets made 189 three-point field goals in the 1995 postseason.
" The Magic lost Game Two despite having a lead entering the fourth quarter, marking the fourth time in the 2009 playoffs that Orlando has lost a game in which they have led at the end of three quarters. Only one team in NBA history has suffered more losses when leading after three quarters in a single postseason than Orlando has this year: San Antonio in 2003 (five). Four other teams had four such losses: Dallas in 2006 and 2005, Utah in 1997 and Chicago in 1992.
FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Home Team Takes First Two Again
" This is the fifth consecutive season that the home team has won the first two games of the NBA Finals. The last team to go home for Game Three with the series tied was Detroit in 2004.
The Elias Sports Bureau | 6/9/2009
Magic Can't Buy a Bucket
Only two Magic players are shooting 40% or better in this series. Those players are Tony Battie (50.0%; 2-4 FG) and Rashard Lewis (45.2%; 14-31 FG).
Kobe Jordan-esque Again
Kobe Bryant has 69 points and 16 assists through the first two games of the NBA Finals. The last player to have at least 69 points and 16 assists through the first two games of an NBA Final series was Michael Jordan in 1997. Bryant is only the third player (Jordan, Jerry West) to accomplish the feat.
69 Points and 16 Assists
Through First 2 Games of NBA Finals
Player Points Assists
2009 Kobe Bryant, LAL 69 16
1997 Michael Jordan, CHI< 69 17
1992 Michael Jordan, CHI< 78 21
1991 Michael Jordan, CHI< 69 25
1969 Jerry West, LAL< 94 18
>named Finals MVP
Odds Not Good for Magic
Under the current 2-3-2 format of the NBA Finals, implemented in 1985, 14 teams have won the first two games of the Finals. Out of those teams, only one team led the Finals 2-0, but lost the series. That was in 2006, when the Mavericks led the Heat 2-0, before Miami won the next four games to win the NBA title. The Magic have trailed 2-0 on seven different occasions in their postseason history. They have never won a playoff series in which they trailed 2-0.
Comebacks from 2-0 Deficits, Finals History
Trailed 2-0 in NBA Finals
Came Back to Win Title
Team Opponent Won In
'06 Heat Mavericks 6 games
'77 Trail Blazers 76ers 6 games
'69 Celtics Lakers 7 games
W-L in OT Finals Games
Orlando: 0-1 vs Houston in 1995. Lakers are 6-8 all time. There have been 34 OT finals games entering tonight.
Game 2 Goes into OT
1st OT game in NBA Finals since Game 5 in 2006 (Heat defeated Mavericks).
the Lakers defeated Orlando by 25 points in Game One. Prior to this season, five teams lost the first game of the NBA Finals by 25-or-more points. Only one of those teams came back to win the series: the Lakers vs. Boston in 1985 (lost by 34 points; won series in six games).
Largest Margin in First Two Games of Finals
Largest Point Differential
First 2 Game of NBA Finals, All-Time
Team Opponent Points
1961 Celtics<< Hawks 42
1951 Royals<< Knicks 42
1965 Celtics<< Lakers 38
1967 76ers<< Warriors 37
2005 Spurs<< Pistons 36
Orlando lost by 25 points in Game One despite having a lead at the end of the first quarter. Only two teams in NBA history have lost an NBA Finals game by 25-or-more points after leading at the end of the first quarter: Seattle vs. Washington on June 4, 1978 (led 21-19 after one quarter; lost by 35) and Boston vs. the Lakers on June 2, 1985 (led 29-25 after one; lost by 25).
Most Points in First Two Games of Finals
Most Points in 1st Two Games
NBA Finals History
Player Opponent Points
'69 Jerry West Celtics 94
'00 Shaquille O'Neal Pacers 83
'69 John Havlicek Lakers 80
'92 Michael Jordan Blazers 78
'02 Shaquille O'Neal Pacers 76
Kobe Bryant became the third different player to score 40+ points in an NBA Finals game under Phil Jackson (Shaquille O'Neal and Michael Jordan are the others). No other head coach has had more than two different players record a 40-point game in the NBA Finals under them. Four coaches have had two: Pat Riley, Fred Schaus, Paul Seymour and Paul Westhead.
Andrew Bynum was in the starting lineup for the Lakers in Game One at the age of 21 years, 220 days old. Over the last 40 years, only four players have started an NBA Finals game at a younger age than Bynum: Portland's Johnny Davis in 1977, the Lakers' Magic Johnson in 1980, San Antonio's Tony Parker in 2003 and Cleveland's Daniel Gibson in 2007.
The Magic scored only 75 points in their Game One defeat. Only two teams scored as few as 75 points in the first game of an NBA Finals in the shot-clock era (since 1954-55): Detroit vs. San Antonio in 2005 (69) and the Lakers vs. Detroit in 2004 (75).
Orlando made only 29.9 percent of their field goal attempts in Game One. Over the last 40 years, only one other team made less than 30 percent of their field-goal attempts in an NBA Finals game: San Antonio vs. New Jersey in Game Four in 2003 (28.9 percent).
Derek Fisher is shooting .461 from three-point range in the NBA Finals in his career. That is the second highest career three-point field-goal percentage among the 27 players with at least 40 attempts from three-point range in NBA Finals history, behind Ray Allen (.524).
Howard Bounces Back Well
Dwight Howard in 2009 Playoffs
Following Game Scoring Less Than 15 Pts
PPG 26.0
FG pct 69.1
FT pct 67.9
Magic W-L 4-1
>>All higher than full postseason averages
Lakers Good When Kobe Goes for 40
Lakers This Postseason
When Kobe Bryant Scores at Least 40 Points
W-L 4-0
Pt diff PG +11.3
FG Pct 45.7
3-pt FG pct 37.1
No Morrison vs Redick Showdown
Has anyone realized that the college superstars of the 2005-06 NCAA season are going head-to-head in this series? Well, kind of. J.J. Redick is a role player for the Magic and Adam Morrison is at the end of the bench for the Lakers. Morrison has not played for the Lakers in the 2009 postseason.
J.J. Redick vs Adam Morrison
2005-06 Season in NCAA
Player Redick Morrison
Teams Duke w/Gonzaga
PPG 26.8< 28.1<
FG Pct. 47.0 49.6
AP 1st-team All-American Yes Yes
Overall Pick in 2006 Draft 11 3
>Morrison led NCAA; Redick was second
NEXT LEVEL: Lakers Avoid Double-Team on Howard
We took a look at which Lakers defended Dwight Howard in Game 1, how much that player defended him, and how effective they were at guarding Howard. This looks at all Magic half-court possessions, not just the ones where Howard took a shot or drew a foul. This only looks at half-court possessions because it provides a clear look at how the Lakers plan to defend Howard. So, fastbreak possessions and last-second end-of-quarter possessions are not included.
Defending Dwight Howard
Magic Half-Court Offensive Possessions
Primary Defender Possessions Pct. Howard's Numbers
Andrew Bynum 41 56.2 7 pts (1-5 FG, 5-8 FT)
Pau Gasol 27 37.0 5 pts (0-1 FG, 5-8 FT)
Lamar Odom 4 5.5 0 pts (0-0 FG, 0-0 FT)
D.J. Mbenga 1 1.4 0 pts (0-0 FG, 0-0 FT)
>double-teamed on 5 of 73 possessions (6.8%)
NEXT LEVEL: Magic Point Guards in Game 1
In Game 1, Jameer Nelson was on the floor for more than 23 minutes, much longer than most expected him to play in his first NBA game since February. This limited Rafer Alston to about 24 and a half minutes of playing time, as one or the other was on the court the entire game (but never both at the same time). The Magic were -19 with Nelson on the court as compared to -6 with Alston on the court - something Stan Van Gundy might want to consider when determining their playing time in Game 2.
Magic Point Guards
Game 1 vs Lakers
Qtr Time Span Player Plus/minus
1st 12:00 Rafer Alston +2
2nd 12:00 Jameer Nelson -12
3rd 7:53 Rafer Alston -8
3rd/4th 7:14 Jameer Nelson -8
4th 4:40 Rafer Alston 0
4th 4:13 Jameer Nelson +1
Gasol Better in Second Half
In Game 1, Pau Gasol had somewhat of a lackluster first half, but really turned things up in the second half.
Pau Gasol
Game 1 vs Magic
Half First Half Second Half
Points 6 10
FGM-FGA 3-7 4-5
Rebounds 3 5
Turnovers 2 0
Kobe Goes for 40 with No Threes
Since 1991, Kobe Bryant is just the 3rd guard to drop 40 while not connecting from beyond the arc. In the previous two occurrences, both D-Wade and MJ went on to win the NBA Finals MVP.
40 Pts, 0 3-Pt FG in NBA Finals
Guards, Since 1991
Player Opp Pts
2009 Kobe Bryant vs ORL 40
2006 Dwyane Wade<< vs DAL 43
1993 Michael Jordan<< vs PHX 55
>>Won NBA Finals MVP
Kobe Uses Pick-and-Roll in Game 1
While Kobe Bryant showed off many aspects of his offensive repertoire in Game 1, he did most of his damage off the pick-and-roll and in the post. For the Magic to have success guarding Kobe in the remainder of this series, they may want to try limiting him to more isolation plays, where he was 2-9 from the field in Game 1.
Kobe Bryant
Breakdown of Shooting by Play Type in Game 1
Type FG Pts<<
Pick and Roll 7-10 15
Post-Up 4-9 11
Transition 1-3 6
Isolation 2-9 4
Other 2-3 4
>>Includes FT
Magic Extend Finals Losing Streak to 5
Most Consecutive NBA Finals Losses
By Franchise Before 1st Win, All-Time
Bullets 9
Nets 5
Magic 5<
Cavaliers 4<
Knicks 3
>Active streak
NEXT LEVEL: Howard Ineffective vs Lakers Big Men
Dwight Howard vs primary defenders
Game 1 vs. Lakers
Defender vs Bynum vs Gasol
Possessions 26 18
FG-FGA 1-5 0-1
FT-FTA 4-6 3-4
Pts 6 3
Fouls drawn 4 3
NEXT LEVEL: Lee, Pietrus can't stop Kobe
Out of the two predominant defenders, Kobe Bryant was defended more by Mickael Pietrus, but shot the ball more per touch vs. Courtney Lee. 32 of his 40 points came against Lee and Pietrus
Kobe vs primary defenders
Game 1 vs Magic
Defender vs Lee vs Pietrus
Possessions 21 36
No. of touches 20 31
Touches no shots 7 15
FG-FGA 6-11 8-16
FT-FTA 2-2 2-2
Pts 18 14
Magic Relying on Wrong Center?
Orlando was outscored by 19 points when Dwight Howard was on the floor for his 34:58 of playing time in Game 1 of the 2009 NBA Finals. His backup, Marcin Gortat, had four points, eight boards and four blocks, and the Magic were only outscored by 3 with Gortat on the floor for a total of 20:06.
Lakers Close and Open Big
The Lakers are the 2nd team in NBA history to close out the conference finals and start the NBA Finals with wins of at least 20 points. The other team to do this was the 1961 Boston Celtics. The Lakers are the 1st team in NBA history to win each by 25 points
Kobe Shoots Often in Game 1
Kobe Bryant took 34 shots in Game 1 of the 2009 NBA Finals. The Last player to attempt at least 34 shots in a Finals Game was Allen Iverson, in Game 1 of 2001 (35 shots, 48 points). Prior to that, you have to go back to Jordan's last game with the Bulls (Game 6, 1998). Kobe taking 34 shots in 38 minutes is even more of a feat. The last player to take at least 34 shots in 40 minutes of less of playing time in a playoff game was Michael Jordan -- 36 shots in 40 minutes in Game 2 of the '93 Finals against the Suns.
NEXT LEVEL: Shooting by Distance in Game 1
Shot Range Breakdown
In Paint 11-32 28-54
Mid Range 4-22 10-26
3-Point 8-23 3-9
>>LAL: Outscored ORL 76-30 on 2-PT FG
NEXT LEVEL: Magic Struggle on Close Shots
Magic vs. Lakers
Shot type - Game 1
Shot type Magic Pct Lakers Pct
Close shots 8-24 33.3 19-39 48.7
2-pt Jump shots 7-30 23.3 19-41 46.3
3-pt jump shots 8-23 34.8 3-9 33.3
Close shots: Layups, dunks, hooks, tips
Kobe Makes Difference in 3rd Quarter
Kobe Bryant vs. Magic
Third quarter - Game 1
Player/Team Bryant Magic
Points 18 >> 15
Field goals 6-11 4-19
Free throws 6-6 4-6
Assists 2 2
>> 18 of 29 Lakers points in 3rd qtr
Most Points in Game 1 of the NBA Finals
Most Points in Game 1
Since NBA-ABA Merger
Player Pts Opponent
'01 Allen Iverson 48 Lakers
'01 Shaquille O'Neal 44 76ers
'00 Shaquille O'Neal 43 Pacers
'09 Kobe Bryant 40 Magic
Orlando has reached the NBA Finals as the third seed in the Eastern Conference. In the 26 years since the NBA instituted the current playoff format, this is only the third time that a team seeded third or lower has reached the finals out of the East. The only other teams not seeded first or second in the East to reach the finals were New York in 1999 (eight) and Detroit in 2004 (three).
Phil Jackson will be appearing in the NBA Finals at the age of 63. Only one head coach in NBA history has reached the NBA Finals at an older age than Jackson: Larry Brown (64).
Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher are each appearing in the NBA Finals for the sixth time, and Orlando is the sixth different opponent they will be facing in the finals (they faced Indiana in 2000, Philadelphia in 2001, New Jersey in 2002, Detroit in 2004 and Boston in 2008). Only two other players in NBA history have faced at least six different opponents in the NBA Finals: Robert Horry (seven) and Shaquille O'Neal (six).
Big Three, Version 3.0
Notable Celtics Trios
First Year as Teammates
1962-63 Cousy, Havlicek, Russell Won Title
1980-81 Bird, McHale, Parish Won Title
2007-08 R. Allen, Garnett, Pierce Won Title
Most Titles, Major Pro Sports
The Celtics' 17th Championship is the most in NBA history -- and the 3rd most in major sports history... Only the Yankees and Canadiens have more... They've been playing the World Series since 1903 and the Stanley Cup Final since 1927... The NBA Finals didn't start until 1947, so Boston's done their work in considerably less time.
Yankees 26
Canadiens 24
Celtics 17
Most Titles, NBA History
Celtics 17
Lakers 14
Bulls 6
Spurs 4
Miss the Playoffs, Then Win a Title
A year ago, Celtics fans were calling for Doc Rivers' head. Now he's on top of the NBA world. His Celtics are the first team to win the title after missing the playoffs since the 1977 Blazers did it with Bill Walton and Dr. Jack Ramsay.
Won NBA Title
Season After Missing Postseason
2008 Celtics
1977 Blazers
1975 Warriors
1956 Warriors
1948 Bullets<<
1947 Warriors<<
>>First season in league
Biggest Finals Blowouts
Largest Margin of Victory
NBA Finals History
Team Opp Margin
'98 Bulls Jazz 42
'08 Celtics Lakers 39<<
'78 Bullets Sonics 35
'85 Celtics Lakers 34
'61 Celtics Hawks 34
>>Clinching game
Largest Blowout to Clinch an NBA Title
Largest Margin of Victory
Title-Clinching Game
Team Opponent Margin
'08 Celtics Lakers 39
'65 Celtics Lakers 33
'49 Lakers Capitols 21
'60 Celtics Hawks 19
Most Points Before First Title
Most Career Points
Before Winning First Title
Oscar Robertson 23,578
Wilt Chamberlain 23,442
Jerry West 22,988
Gary Payton 21,455
Mitch Richmond 20,497
Kevin Garnett 20,378
Active MVPs with an NBA Title
Won MVP and NBA Title
Active Players
Player MVP(s) Title(s)
Kobe Bryant 2008 2000-02
Tim Duncan 2002-03 '99, '03, '05, '07
Kevin Garnett 2004 2008
Shaquille O'Neal 2001 2000-02, '06
Celtics Up 3-2 vs Lakers
Celtics Leading Lakers 3-2
In NBA Finals, All-Time
Year Series Result
2008 ?
1984 W, 4-3
1968 W, 4-2
1966 W, 4-3
1963 W, 4-2
Largest Comebacks, Finals History
Largest Halftime Deficit Overcome
NBA Finals, Shot-Clock Era
Team Opponent Pts
2008 Celtics Lakers 18
>>1970 Knicks Lakers 14
>>1975 Warriors Bullets 14
>>1983 76ers Lakers 14
>>Won series
NBA Finals Iron Men
Played All 48 Minutes of Regulation
NBA Finals, Last 15 Seasons
June 12, 2008 Ray Allen, BOS
June 13, 2003 Jason Kidd, NJ
June 10, 2001 Kobe Bryant, LAL
June 9, 2000 Jalen Rose, IND
June 9, 1995 Robert Horry, HOU
Lakers Down 2-1 in Finals
The Lakers' win closes the series deficit to 1 game. This is the 3rd time since 1980 that the Lakers have trailed 2 games to 1 in the Finals. In both of the previous series, LA lost game 4, and then went on to lose the series in 5.
Lakers Trailing 2-1
Since 1980 in NBA Finals
Year Opponent Game 4 Result
2008 Celtics ?
2004 Pistons Lost<<
1991 Bulls Lost<<
>>Lost series in 5 games
Magic Become Latest Lakers Finals Opponent
Lakers Opponents in NBA Finals
Team Meetings Series W-L
Celtics 11 2-9
76ers/Nationals 6 5-1
Knicks 5 3-2
Pistons 3 1-2
Magic 1 ?
Nets 1 1-0
Pacers 1 1-0
Bulls 1 0-1
Capitols 1 1-0
Lakers Bounce Back From '08 Loss
After Losing it in Previous Season, Last 25 Years
Team Result
2009 Lakers ?
2003 Nets Lost in 6
1998 Jazz Lost in 6
1989 Pistons Won in 4
1986 Celtics Won in 6
1985 Lakers Won in 6
Howard Looking for Rare Double
Dwight Howard looks to become the 5th Defensive Player of the Year to win an NBA Title:
Defensive Player of the Year
Won NBA Championship
2007-08 Kevin Garnett Celtics
1993-94 Hakeem Olajuwon Rockets
1989-90 Dennis Rodman Pistons
1986-87 Michael Cooper Lakers
Finals Not Kind to First-Time Coaches
First Appearance in NBA Finals
Head Coaches, Last 10 Seasons
Year Coach Series Result
2009 Stan Van Gundy, ORL ?
2008 Doc Rivers, BOS W, 4-2
2007 Mike Brown, CLE L, 4-0
2006 Avery Johnson, DAL L, 4-2
2002 Byron Scott, NJ L, 4-0
2001 Larry Brown, PHI L, 4-1
2000 Larry Bird, IND L, 4-2
1999 Jeff Van Gundy, NY L, 4-1
1999 Gregg Popovich, SA W, 4-1
Magic Have Lost a Lot En Route to Finals
Teams Entering NBA Finals With 7+ Playoff Losses
NBA History
Team W-L Finals Result
'09 Magic 12-7 ?
'08 Celtics 12-8 W, 4-2
'01 76ers 11-7 L, 4-1
'95 Rockets 11-7 W, 4-0
'94 Knicks 11-7 L, 4-3
'93 Suns 11-7 L, 4-2
Howard's Double-Double Rate Among All-Time Best
Wilt Chamberlain 89.4
Dwight Howard 87.1<<<
Walt Bellamy 87.0
Bill Russell 83.0
Magic Johnson 82.6
<<<27 double-doubles in 31 games
Howard Moving Up Rebounding List
Most Rebounds, Single Postseason
Last 10 Years
Player Team Rebounds
'03 Tim Duncan<<< Spurs 369
'00 Shaquille O'Neal<<< Lakers 355
'04 Ben Wallace<<< Pistons 328
'01 Dikembe Mutombo 76ers 316
'04 Shaquille O'Neal Lakers 291
'05 Tim Duncan<<< Spurs 286
'05 Ben Wallace Pistons 281
'09 Dwight Howard Magic 277
'03 Ben Wallace Pistons 277
Howard Leads in FG Pct Entering Finals
Highest FG Pct in Single Playoffs
Minimum 200 FGA, NBA History
Player FG Pct FG-FGA
'09 Dwight Howard, ORL 62.2 140-225
'85 James Worthy, LAL 62.2 166-267
'06 Shaquille O'Neal, MIA 61.2 178-291
'98 Shaquille O'Neal, LAL 61.2 158-258
'77 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LAL 60.7 147-242
Howard's 17 Double-Doubles Among Best
Most Double-Doubles
Single Postseason, Since 1991
Player Team Double-Doubles
'03 Tim Duncan Spurs 22
'93 Charles Barkley Suns 22
'00 Shaquille O'Neal Lakers 21
'94 Patrick Ewing Knicks 19
'05 Tim Duncan Spurs 18
'95 Shaquille O'Neal Magic 18
<<<'09 Dwight Howard: 17 entering 2009 NBA Finals
Magic Better With Nelson
Orlando Magic
With/Without Jameer Nelson
2008-09 With Without<<
W-L 32-10 39-20
PPG 102.7 99.0
FG pct 45.8 45.8
3-pt FG pct 40.1 36.1
3-pt FGM PG 10.6 9.1
APG 19.4 19.3
>> Reg. Season and Postseason
Nelson at His Best vs Lakers
Jameer Nelson
2008-09 >>vs Lakers vs Others
PPG 27.5 16.2
RPG 5.0 3.4
APG 6.5 5.3
>>Magic won both games
Jackson Among Leaders Across All Sports
Most Titles by Coach
Among 4 Major Team Sports
Coach Titles Sport
Rod Dedeaux 11 College Baseball (USC)
John Wooden 10 Men's College Basketball (UCLA)
Red Auerbach 9 Pro Basketball (Celtics)
Phil Jackson 9 Pro Basketball (Bulls, Lakers)
Scotty Bowman 9 Pro Hockey (Canadiens, Penguins, Red Wings)
Pat Summitt 8 Women's College Basketball (Tennessee)
Toe Blake 8 Pro Hockey (Canadiens)
Jackson Paces Field in Playoff Wins
Most Wins by a Head Coach
NBA Playoffs History
Phil Jackson 205<<
Pat Riley 171
Gregg Popovich 102
Larry Brown 100
Red Auerbach 99
>>Entering 2009 NBA Finals
Phil Jackson Leads Lakers to 6th Finals
Los Angeles Lakers
In NBA Finals, Under Phil Jackson
Year Opponent Result
2009 Magic ?
2008 Celtics L, 4-2
2004 Pistons L, 4-1
2002 Nets W, 4-0
2001 76ers W, 4-1
2000 Pacers W, 4-2
Importance of Home-Court Advantage
Since 1983-84 W-L Win Pct.
First Round 160-48 .769
Conference Semifinals 82-22 .788
Conference Finals 36-16 .692
NBA Finals 19-6 .760
>playoffs went to 16-team format in 1983-84
Ariza Can Shoot the Three
2009 Postseason, Min. 10 Att.
Player 3-pt FG 3-pt FG pct
Mike Bibby, ATL 26-48 54.2
Rasual Butler, NO 10-19 52.6
Lamar Odom, LAL 14-27 51.9
Trevor Ariza, LAL 30-60 50.0
James Jones, MIA 11-22 50.0
>Best ORL 3-pt shooter: Pietrus (39.3)
Road Success Rare in Game 1
Road teams are 16-46 all-time in Game 1 of the NBA Finals (.258 win pct.). Of those 16 winners, only 8 went on to win the title.
Importance of Game 1
In NBA history, the team that wins the first game of a best-of-seven series wins that series 78.8% of the time. In NBA history, the team that wins the first game of the NBA Finals wins that series 72.6% of the time (45-17). The last team to lose Game 1 and go onto to win the NBA Finals was the Heat in 2006, who actually lost the first two games of that series.
Magic Can't Stack Up With Lakers History
The Lakers have a storied history. The franchise began playing in the 1948-49 season as the Minneapolis Lakers, led by superstar George Mikan. The Lakers won the NBA title in their inaugural season. Now, 60 years later they will face the Magic in an attempt to win their 15th NBA title. The Magic began playing in the 1989-90 season.
Magic vs Lakers
Franchise Comparison
First Season 1989-90 1948-49
MVP Awards 0 8
NBA Finals App. 2< 30<
NBA titles 0 14
>includes 2009
Lakers Have Edge in Finals Experience
Of the 15 players currently on the Lakers active roster, only three have not played a game in the NBA Finals. Those players are Andrew Bynum, Adam Morrison and Sun Yue. And, Bynum would have played in the 2008 NBA Finals if not for a knee injury. Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher are the only current Lakers who have won the NBA title. Bryant and Fisher were both on the 2000, 2001 and 2002 Lakers. Conversely, only two players on the Magic have played in the NBA Finals. Those players are Anthony Johnson and Tyronn Lue. And, Lue is the only player on the Magic who has won a title. He played in and subsequently won the 2001 NBA title with the Lakers.
Magic and Lakers have Connections
The Magic and Lakers have employed a few of the same players in past years. Trevor Ariza (LAL) and Tyronn Lue (ORL) are active players on the Lakers and Magic that have played for both teams. A total of 17 players in NBA history have played for both the Lakers and Magic. The most notable of those are: Shaquille O'Neal, Horace Grant, Doug Christie, Danny Schayes and Brian Shaw. Currently, Shaw is an assistant coach for the Lakers under Phil Jackson.
Orlando Wins with Defense
The Magic are 9-0 in this postseason when holding their opponents to 90 points or less. Orlando is 3-7 when allowing more than 90 points in a game this postseason.
Orlando Facing Third 60-Win Opponent
The Magic will be the first team in NBA postseason history to face three teams with 60 or more regular season wins each. That's quite a feat. And, consider that there were only three teams that won 60+ games in the 2008-09 regular season. Orlando faced the 62-win Celtics in the Conference Semifinals, the 66-win Cavaliers in the Conference Finals and now the 65-win Lakers in the NBA Finals. The Magic will be the first team in NBA history to face each of the top three regular season teams in the postseason since the 1995 Rockets.
Magic Shooting in Postseason
In the 2009 postseason the Magic have been able to knock down their three-pointers. That has opened up the inside game. Below is a breakdown of how the Magic have scored in the 2009 playoffs. The vast majority of the team's points come in the paint.
Orlando Magic
2009 Postseason
Distance FGM-FGA Total Points Pct. of Team's Points
In the Paint 370-676 740 39.6
Mid-Range Shots 134-314 268 14.3
Three-Pointers 163-444 489 26.1
Free Throws 374-512 374 20.0
ESPN Stats & Analysis | 6/2/2009
Dwight Howard Touches Analysis
Dwight Howard had 52 touches, 40 touches in the paint, in the series-clinching Game 6 of the Conference Finals against the Cavaliers. That led to a postseason career-high 40 points for Howard. Earlier this postseason, Howard publicly voiced his displeasure at the lack of touches he was getting. It is clear that when Howard has more touches, good things happen for the Magic.
Dwight Howard Touches
Last 9 Games
Category Touches Touches In Paint
Magic Wins 33.3 22.0
Magic Losses 25.0 18.3
>ORL: 6-3 in last 9 games
ESPN Stats & Analysis | 6/2/2009
Turkoglu's Increasing Impact
Hedo Turkoglu has been outstanding in the 2009 postseason, serving at times as the team's primary ballhandler, clutch scorer and matchup problem. Turkoglu has improved his scoring and assists in each round of the postseason thus far.
Hedo Turkoglu
2009 Postseason
First Round 11.8 3.3
Conf. Semis 16.3 5.3
Conf. Finals 17.2 6.7
Nelson's Possible Return
Jameer Nelson tore his labrum in his right shoulder on February 2 against the Magic. He underwent shoulder surgery to repair the injury on February 19, the same day that Rafer Alston was acquired in a three-way trade with the Rockets. Nelson was thought to be out for the season. Game 1 of the NBA Finals is on June 4, 145 days after the surgery was performed. The team lists Nelson as "out" for Game 1 on the injury report. Since 1983-84 season, only three players who played in NBA Finals did not play in a game in previous rounds of playoffs: 2008 Chris Mihm, LAL 2007 Shannon Brown, CLE 2006 Jason Kapono, MIA
Waltons Could Become Latest Father-Son Champions
Luke Walton is trying to win his first NBA title. His father, Bill, won titles with the Blazers (1977) and Celtics (1986). Two father-son tandems have previously each won an NBA title - Brent Barry (2005 and 2007 Spurs) and Rick Barry (1975 Warriors) and Matt Goukas Jr. (1967 Sixers) and Matt Goukas Sr. (1947 Warriors).
Good Odom Equals Lakers Wins
Lamar Odom This Postseason
Category Wins Losses
PPG 13.4 9.2
FG pct 55.1 46.1
APG 2.3 1.7
RPG 9.6 9.3
Odom's Decreasing Production
Lamar Odom
Last 3 Postseasons
2008-09 12.0 9.5
2007-08 14.3 10.0
2006-07 19.4 13.0
Fisher Frequent Postseason Participant
Entering the 2009 Finals, only one active player has more career postseason games than Derek Fisher.
Most Postseason Games Played
Active Players
Shaquille O'Neal 201
Derek Fisher 171<<
Kobe Bryant 170
Tim Duncan 160
>>15th all-time
Active Postseason 3-Pt Leaders
Most 3-pt FG in Postseason
Active Players
Chauncey Billups 248
Kobe Bryant 205
Ray Allen 197
Michael Finley 197
Derek Fisher 190
>>Entering 2009 Finals
Active Postseason Steals Leaders
Most Steals in Postseason
Active Players
Kobe Bryant 240
Jason Kidd 204
Ben Wallace 199
Derek Fisher 187
>>Entering 2009 NBA Finals
Revisiting the Ariza Trade
Let's revisit an outstanding trade for the Lakers that involved their NBA Finals opponent, the Magic.
Nov. 20, 2007
Magic Get: Brian Cook and Maurice Evans
Lakers Get: Trevor Ariza
Since the trade: Ariza has become a key player for the Lakers, he appeared in all 82 games this season averaging nearly nine points per game. Maurice Evans is no longer in Orlando (plays for Hawks). Brian Cook is no longer with the Magic (now plays for Rockets)
Gasol and Howard in Select Company
There are only four active players with career postseason averages of 18 PPG, 9 RPG and 53% shooting. Two of them -- Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard -- will meet in the 2009 NBA Finals. The other two are Elton Brand and Shaquille O'Neal.
Magic Love 3-Pointers
Since the NBA introduced the 3-point line prior to the 1979-80 season, no team entering the NBA Finals has averaged more 3-pt field goals than the Magic this season. They are averaging 8.6 3-pointers per game in this postseason, which bests the 1995 Houston Rockets who went on to sweep the Magic in those finals.
Most Postseason 3-pt FG Per Game
Team Entering NBA Finals
Year Team 3-pt Finals Result
2009 Magic 8.6 ?
1995 Rockets 8.4 Won
1995 Magic 8.1 Lost
1996 Supersonics 7.7 Lost
2007 Spurs 7.6 Won
>>>Through Conference Finals
Magic Sweep in '08-09 Doesn't Mean Much
The Magic won both of its games against the Lakers during this regular season. Last year, the Celtics beat the Lakers twice during the regular season and then beat them in the Finals. But the four previous Finals matchups that involved a sweep during the regular season saw the team that got swept turn the tables and win the title.
The Elias Sports Bureau | 5/29/2009
Lakers in Finals for 6th Time in 2000s
Most NBA Finals Appearances
In a Single Decade, NBA History
Team Decade App
Celtics 1960s 9
Lakers 1980s 8
Lakers 2000s 6
Bulls 1990s 6
Lakers 1960s 6
Phil Jackson is The Closer
Phil Jackson is now 50-21 (.704) in playoff games in which his team had a chance to clinch a series. Only one head coach has a better record in potential series-clinching games than Jackson (minimum: 15 games): Gregg Popovich (24-8, .750).
Best Win Percentage in Potential Series-Clinching Games
NBA History
Coach W-L Win Pct
Gregg Popovich 24-8 .750
Phil Jackson 50-21 .704
Bill Fitch 11-5 .688
Johnny Kundla 20-12 .625
>>Minimum 15 games
The Elias Sports Bureau | 5/29/2009
Kobe Does a Little of Everything, Again
Most 30-Pt, 5-Reb, 5-Ast Postseason Games
NBA History
Michael Jordan 51
Jerry West 35
Larry Bird 32
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 29
Kobe Bryant 26
Most 30-Point Playoff Games, NBA History
Most 30-Point Playoff Games
NBA History
Michael Jordan 109
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 75
Jerry West 74
Kobe Bryant 61 <<
Elgin Baylor 60
>> Most among active players
Most 30-Point Playoff Games, Active Players
Most 30-Point Playoff Games
Active Players
Kobe Bryant 61
Shaquille O'Neal 55
Allen Iverson 36
Tim Duncan 35
Dirk Nowitzki 34
Most 30-pt Games by Lakers, Last 15 Years
Most 30-Point Games in Single Postseason
Lakers, Last 15 Years
Player Year 30-Pt Games
Shaquille O'Neal 2000 13
Kobe Bryant 2009 12
Kobe Bryant 2008 12
Kobe Bryant 2003 9
Most Postseason Games Played in Lkaers History
Most Postseason Games Played, Lakers Franchise History
Magic Johnson 190
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 180
Kobe Bryant 170
Michael Cooper 168
Derek Fisher 154
Jerry West 153
Lakers Back in Finals After Losing in '08
Teams to Reach NBA Finals
After Losing it in Previous Season, Last 25 Years
Team Result
2009 Lakers ?
2003 Nets Lost in 6
1998 Jazz Lost in 6
1989 Pistons Won in 4
1986 Celtics Won in 6
1985 Lakers Won in 6
Lakers Extend Own Appearance Record
Most Finals Appearances
NBA History
Team Finals App.
Lakers 30
Celtics 20
76ers 9
Knicks 8
Pistons 7
Lakers Head to NBA Finals Off Big Road Win
Biggest Road Wins
To Close Out Conference Finals, NBA History
Team Margin Opponent
'48 Warriors 39 Bombers
'87 Lakers<< 31 Sonics
'09 Lakers 27 Nuggets
>>Won NBA title
Howard Comes Up Big in Clincher
In Series-Clinching Win, All-Time
Player Series Pts-Reb-Asst
Dwight Howard 2009 Conf Finals 40-14-4
Charles Barkley 1994 1st Round 56-14-4
Magic Johnson 1980 NBA Finals 42-15-7
Howard Needs Touches To Win
Dwight Howard
Last 9 Games
Category In ORL Win In ORL Loss
Touches 33.3 25.0
In Paint 22.0 18.3
PPG 26.0 15.3
Magic Beat Top 2 Seeds En Route to Finals
Teams to Beat Top 2 Seeds in Conference To Reach NBA Finals
Under Current Playoff Format (1984)
Team Seed Finals Result
'09 Magic 3 ??
'06 Mavericks 4 Lost in 6
'04 Pistons 3 Won in 5
'02 Lakers 3 Won in 4
'99 Knicks 8 Lost in 5
'95 Rockets 6 Won in 4<<
>>Def. Magic in NBA Finals
Magic Back For Second Time After Long Time
Longest Span Between First 2 Appearances
In NBA Finals
Team Span Appearances
Suns 17 1976-93
Magic 14 1995-2009
Trail Blazers 13 1977-90
Lakers vs Magic in 2008-09
Lakers vs Magic, This Season
Team Magic Lakers
Wins 2 0
PPG 107.5 103.0
FG pct 46.5 40.6
RPG 47.0 40.0
>>Jameer Nelson: ORL leading scorer in both games
Superman vs Shaq
Dwight Howard is a young, powerful center for the Magic, who has led the team to its second NBA Finals appearance. Comparisons have and will continue to be drawn to former Magic center Shaquille O'Neal, who led the franchise to its first NBA Finals in 1995.
Dwight Howard vs Shaquille O'Neal
Seasons Leading Magic to Finals
Player Howard O'Neal
Season 2008-09 1994-95
Seasons in NBA 5 3
PPG 20.6 29.3<
FG Pct. 57.2 58.3
RPG 13.8< 11.4
BPG 2.9< 2.4
>led NBA
Lakers Good When Winning Game 1
If the Lakers take Game 1, this series is all but over. Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher are among the best all-time when winning Game 1 of a postseason series.
Best Postseason Series Records
When Winning Game 1
Player W-L
Shaquille O'Neal 26-0
Derek Fisher 23-0
Steve Kerr 23-0
Kobe Bryant 22-0
Bill Russell 22-0
>must have played in Game 1
When Phil Jackson's teams win the first game of a postseason series, his teams are 43-0 in those series.
Jackson Passes Auerbach in Appearances
This is the 12th NBA Finals appearance for coach Phil Jackson. That moves him into sole possession of first place on the all-time Finals appearances list for coaches. Jackson won in his first nine trips to the Finals, but has lost his last two Finals series (2004, 2008). Jackson and Red Auerbach are tied for the most NBA titles as a coach with nine apiece.
Most NBA Finals Appearances
Coaches; NBA History
Coach Finals App. Finals W-L
Phil Jackson 12< 9-2
Red Auerbach 11 9-2
Pat Riley 9 5-4
>includes 2009
Magic Coming Off Win Over Best Team
Beat Team with Best Record in NBA
In Conference Finals, Last 15 Years
Team Defeated NBA Finals Result
'09 Magic Cavaliers ?
'06 Heat Pistons W, 4-2
'05 Spurs Suns W, 4-3
'04 Pistons Pacers W, 4-1
'02 Lakers Kings W, 4-0
'01 Lakers Spurs W, 4-1
'95 Rockets Spurs W, 4-0
Most Points in Finals Game
Most Points in NBA Finals Game
Player Team Opp Pts
'62 Elgin Baylor Lakers Celtics 61
'93 Michael Jordan Bulls Suns 55
'67 Rick Barry Warriors 76ers 55
'69 Jerry West Lakers Celtics 53
'58 Bob Pettit Hawks Celtics 50
Most FG Made in Finals Game
Most FG in NBA Finals Game
Player Team Opp FG
'62 Elgin Baylor Lakers Celtics 22
'67 Rick Barry Warriors 76ers 22
'00 Shaquille O'Neal Lakers Pacers 21
'93 Michael Jordan Bulls Suns 21
'69 Jerry West Lakers Celtics 21
Most Rebounds in Finals Game
Most Rebounds in NBA Finals Game
Player Team Opp Reb
'62 Bill Russell Celtics Lakers 40
'60 Bill Russell Celtics Hawks 40
'67 Wilt Chamberlain 76ers Warriors 38
'64 Wilt Chamberlain Warriors Celtics 38
'61 Bill Russell Celtics Hawks 38
Most Assists in NBA Finals Game
Most Assists in NBA Finals Game
Player Team Opp Ast
'84 Magic Johnson Lakers Celtics 21
'91 Magic Johnson Lakers Bulls 20
'87 Magic Johnson Lakers Celtics 20
Most Steals in Finals Game
Most Steals in NBA Finals Game
Player Team Opp Steals
'95 Robert Horry Rockets Magic 7
'08 Rajon Rondo Celtics Lakers 6
'88 Isiah Thomas Pistons Lakers 6
'80 Maurice Cheeks 76ers Lakers 6
'77 Steve Mix 76ers Blazers 6
'74 John Havlicek Celtics Bucks 6
Most Playoff Wins at Home
The Celtics are 12-1 at home this postseason, with their only hiccup a Game 2 loss to the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals.. The 12 wins ties the NBA record for most home wins in a postseason... Boston would like to close this game out before having to go to a Game 6, but if so they could set the new home wins mark.
Most Home Wins In Single Postseason
NBA History
Team Wins Playoff Result
'08 Celtics 12 ?
'88 Lakers 12 Won Title
'84 Celtics 12 Won Title
Most Blocks in Finals Game
Most Blocked Shots in NBA Finals Game
Player Team Opp Blocks
'03 Tim Duncan Spurs Nets 8
'01 Shaquille O'Neal Lakers 76ers 8
'94 Patrick Ewing Knicks Rockets 8
'86 Hakeem Olajuwon Rockets Celtics 8
'77 Bill Walton Blazers 76ers 8
Most Minutes Played in Finals Game
Most Minutes in NBA Finals Game
Player Team Opp Min
'93 Kevin Johnson Suns Bulls 62
'76 Garfield Heard Suns Celtics 61
'76 Jo Jo White Celtics Suns 60
Most Points by Rookie in Finals Game
Most Points by Rookie in NBA Finals Game
Player Team Opp Pts
'80 Magic Johnson Lakers 76ers 42
'47 Joe Fulks Warriors Stags 37
'57 Tom Heinsohn Celtics Hawks 37
Highest Scoring Average in Single Finals Series
Highest Scoring Average, NBA Finals Series
Player Team Opp PPG
'93 Michael Jordan Bulls Suns 41.0
'67 Rick Barry Warriors 76ers 40.8
'62 Elgin Baylor Lakers Celtics 40.6
Most Consecutive 20-Point Games in NBA Finals
Most Consecutive Games, 20+ Points in NBA Finals
Player Games
Michael Jordan 35
Jerry West 25
Shaquille O'Neal 21
Most Assists in an NBA Finals Game
Rajon Rondo added his name to a VERY impressive list with his 16 assists in Game 2. Only Bob Cousy and Dennis Johnson have had more in a Finals game for Boston.
Most Assists in NBA Finals Game
Celtics Franchise History
'59 Bob Cousy Lakers 19
'57 Bob Cousy Hawks 19
'85 Dennis Johnson Lakers 17
'08 Rajon Rondo Lakers 16
Most Consecutive 30-Point Games in Finals
Most Consecutive Games, 30+ Points in NBA Finals
Player Games
Elgin Baylor 13
Michael Jordan 9
Shaquille O'Neal 7
Highest Career FG Pct in NBA Finals
Shaquille O'Neal 340 565 .602
John Paxson 71 120 .592
Bill Walton 74 130 .569
Wilt Chamberlain 264 472 .559
Luc Longley 59 107 .551
>>50 FGM minimum
Highest Career 3-pt FG Pct in NBA Finals
Player 3-FGM 3-FGA PCT
Glen Rice 12 19 .632
Scott Wedman 10 17 .588
Ray Allen 22 42 .524
Rick Fox 17 35 .486
John Paxson 17 36 .472
>>Minimum 10 3-pt FG
Highest Career FT Pct in NBA Finals
Reggie Miller 45 46 .978
Bill Sharman 126 136 .926
Chauncey Billups 79 86 .919
Dirk Nowitzki 49 55 .891
Joe Dumars 79 89 .888
>>Minimum 40 FTM
Most NBA Finals Series Played
Bill Russell 12
Sam Jones 11
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 10
Tom Heinsohn 9
Magic Johnson 9
Jerry West 9
Most Career Games Played in NBA Finals
Bill Russell 70
Sam Jones 64
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 56
Jerry West 55
Tom Heinsohn 52
Most Career Field Goal Attempts in NBA Finals
Jerry West 1,333
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1,040
Elgin Baylor 1,034
Tom Heinsohn 1,016
Sam Jones 994
John Havlicek 926
Most Career Field Goals Made in NBA Finals
Jerry West 612
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 544
Sam Jones 458
Elgin Baylor 442
Michael Jordan 438
Most Career Free Throw Attempts in NBA Finals
Jerry West 551
Bill Russell 524
Shaquille O'Neal 382
Elgin Baylor 367
Wilt Chamberlain 329
Most Career Free Throws Made in NBA Finals
Jerry West 455
Bill Russell 321
Magic Johnson 284
Elgin Baylor 277
George Mikan 259
Most Career Three-Pointers Made in NBA Finals
Most 3-Pt FG Made
NBA Finals History
Robert Horry 53
Michael Jordan 42
Derek Fisher 40<<
Michael Cooper 35
Kobe Bryant 31<<
Scottie Pippen 30
>>Includes 2 3-pt FG each in Game 4
Most Career Three-Point Attempts in NBA Finals
Robert Horry 143
Scottie Pippen 117
Michael Jordan 114
Michael Cooper 92
Kobe Bryant 81
Most Career Rebounds in NBA Finals
Bill Russell 1,718
Wilt Chamberlain 862
Elgin Baylor 593
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 507
Tom Heinsohn 473
Most Career Steals in NBA Finals
Magic Johnson 102
Scottie Pippen 67
Larry Bird 63
Michael Jordan 62
Michael Cooper 59
Most Career Assists in NBA Finals
Magic Johnson 584
Bob Cousy 400
Bill Russell 315
Jerry West 306
Dennis Johnson 228
Most Career Blocks in NBA Finals
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 116
Tim Duncan 67
Shaquille O'Neal 62
Hakeem Olajuwon 54
Robert Parish 54
Most Career Points in Finals
Jerry West 1,679
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1,317
Michael Jordan 1,176
Elgin Baylor 1,161
Bill Russell 1,151
MVP Forwards, Finals Debut
MVP Power Forwards Since 1984
In First Career Finals Game
Player Year Pts
>>'08 Kevin Garnett, BOS 2004 24
>>'06 Dirk Nowitzki, DAL 2007 16
>>'99 Tim Duncan, SA 2002 33
'97 Karl Malone, UTAH 1997 23
'93 Charles Barkley, PHX 1993 21
>>Won game
Highest Finals Win Pct., Franchise
Highest Win Pct
NBA Finals History
Team W-L Win Pct
Spurs 16-6 .727
Bulls 24-11 .686
Bullets<< 4-2 .667
Heat 4-2 .667
>>defunct franchise
Teams Up 3-0
Teams Up 3-0 in NBA Finals
Since NBA Merger ('76-77)
Year Team Opponent Game 4 Result
2007 Spurs Cavaliers Won
2002 Lakers Nets Won
1996 Bulls SuperSonics Lost
1995 Rockets Magic Won
1989 Pistons Lakers Won
1983 76ers Lakers Won
NBA Finals Sweeps
NBA Finals Sweeps
'07 Spurs
'02 Lakers
'95 Rockets
'89 Pistons
'83 76ers
'75 Warriors
'71 Bucks
'59 Celtics
Fewest Combined Points, NBA Finals Game
Fewest Combined Points in NBA Finals Game
Shot-Clock Era (Since 1955)
'55 Nationals vs Pistons 145
'07 Spurs vs Cavaliers 147
'99 Spurs vs Knicks 147
>>Spurs won both games
Fewest Pts in a Finals Win
Fewest Points in NBA Finals Win
Last 50 Years
'07 Spurs Game 3 75
'03 Nets Game 4 77
'99 Spurs Game 5 78
'97 Jazz Game 4 78
'99 Spurs Game 1 80
'05 Spurs Game 7 81
Tim Duncan's Lowest-Scoring Finals Games
Tim Duncan
Fewest Points, NBA Finals Game
Year Opponent Points
2007 at Cavaliers< 14
2005 at Pistons 14
2005 at Pistons 16
2005 vs Pistons< 18
2003 vs Nets 19
>Won game
16 PPG Off Bench in Postseason Over Last 10 Years
16.0 PPG By Bench Player
Single Postseason, Last 10 Years
2007 Manu Ginobili, SA 16.8
2007 Leandro Barbosa, PHX 16.6
2005 Jerry Stackhouse, DAL 16.1
2003 Nick Van Exel, DAL 19.2
1999 Latrell Sprewell, NY 18.0
>Min. 10 games off bench
Largest Halftime Leads in Finals History
Largest Halftime Leads
NBA Finals History
Year Team Opponent Pts
1985 Celtics Lakers 30
1970 Knicks Lakers 27
2007 Spurs< Cavaliers 25
1960 Celtics Hawks 25
>Only team to win by fewer than 14 points
Teams to Overcome 2-0 Deficit in Finals
Overcoming 2-0 Series Deficit
NBA Finals History
Year Team Opponent
2006 Heat< Mavericks
1977 Trail Blazers< 76ers
1969 Celtics Lakers
>Won in 6 games
Players to Score 30+ Pts in Finals Debut Since 1989
30 or More Points in Finals Debut
Since 1989
Year Player Opp Pts
'06 Jason Terry, DAL MIA 32<
'01 Allen Iverson, PHI LAL 48
'99 Tim Duncan, SA NY 33
'96 Shawn Kemp, SEA CHI 32
'91 Michael Jordan, CHI LAL 36
>20th player all-time
Teams to Win in First NBA Finals Game
Won First NBA Finals Game
Team History, Last 50 Seasons
Team Opp. Series Result
'06 Mavericks MIA L, 4-2
'99 Spurs NY W, 4-1
'78 Sonics WSH L, 4-3
'71 Bucks BAL W, 4-0
Most Years in NBA Before Reaching Finals
Most Years in League Before Making NBA Finals
Active Franchises
Franchise Seasons
Cavaliers 37
Mavericks 26
Nets 26
Bulls 25
Pacers 24
Most Points Scored in First 4 Games of NBA Finals
Most Points Scored
First 4 Games in NBA Finals
Player Points
'67 Rick Barry 165
'01 Allen Iverson 141
'06 Dwyane Wade 129
'70 Willis Reed 127
Teams to Win NBA Finals After Trailing 2-1
Won NBA Finals
After Trailing 2-1 In Series
Team Opp. Games
'84 Celtics LAL 7
'78 Bullets SEA 7
'77 Blazers PHI 6
'69 Celtics LAL 7
'62 Celtics LAL 7
'57 Celtics STL 7
>>Teams trailing 2-1 are 6-42 in a best-of-7 series
Best FT Percentage by NBA Finals MVP
Best FT Pct. By NBA Finals MVP
Since 1969
Player FT Pct.
'87 Magic Johnson 96.0
'86 Larry Bird 93.9
'75 Rick Barry 93.8
'04 Chauncey Billups 92.9
>>Shaquille O'Neal: 38.7 FT Pct. in 2000 Finals (worst by an MVP)
Highest Scoring Average in NBA Finals Career
Highest Career PPG
NBA Finals History, Min. 10 Games
Player PPG
Rick Barry 36.3
Michael Jordan 33.6
Shaquille O'Neal 32.6
Jerry West 30.5
Bob Pettit 28.4
Notable Players with Championships With 3 Different Teams
Notable Players With 3 Championships
With 3 Different Teams
League Player Last Team
NBA Robert Horry SA
NBA John Salley LAL
MLB Jack Morris TOR
NHL Claude Lemieux COL
>>None in professional football
Fewest Points Scored in NBA Finals Game 7
Fewest Points Scored
NBA Finals Game 7
1952 Lakers 65
2005 Pistons 74
1951 Knicks 75
1951 Royals 79<<
>>Won Game
Most NBA Finals MVP Awards
Won 3+ Finals MVP Awards
NBA History
Player MVPs Team
Tim Duncan 3 Spurs
Shaquille O'Neal 3 Lakers
Michael Jordan 6 Bulls
Magic Johnson 3 Lakers
Most Playoff Games Without Winning NBA Title
Most Playoff Games Played
Without Winnning NBA Title
Karl Malone 193
John Stockton 182
Sam Perkins 167
Charles Oakley 144
Derrick McKey 142
Most Teams Coached Before Winning First NBA Title
Most Teams Coached
Before Winning 1st NBA Title
Coach Total Teams
Larry Brown 7 DEN, NJ,SA,LAC, IND, PHI, DET
Jack Ramsay 3 PHI, BUF, POR
Red Auerbach 3 WSH, TRI, BOS
Lowest Scoring Average for NBA Finals MVP
Did You Know: The lowest career scoring average for an NBA Finals MVP is 10.8 PPG by Wes Unseld (1978 Bullets).
Triple Doubles in Series Clinching Game
Triple Doubles
in NBA Finals Clinchers, All-time
Player Opponent Pts-Reb-Ast
'03 Tim Duncan, SA Nets 21-20-10
'88 James Worthy, LAL Pistons 36-16-10
'86 Larry Bird, BOS Rockets 29-11-12
'85 Magic Johnson, LAL Celtics 14-10-14
'82 Magic Johnson, LAL 76ers 13-13-13
Players with 20 pts, 20 reb, 10 ast in NBA Finals Game
20+ Pts, 20+ Rebs, 10+ Assts
NBA Finals Game, All-Time
Player Year Pts Reb Ast
Tim Duncan '03 21 20 10
Dave Cowens '76 25 21 10
Bill Russell '65 23 25 10
Teams to Win 3 Straight NBA Championships
3+ Consecutive NBA Championships
Team Consec. Titles Next Season
'00-02 Lakers 3 ???
'96-98 Bulls 3 DNQ
'91-93 Bulls 3 L East Semis
'59-66 Celtics 8 L East Finals<<
'52-54 Lakers 3 L West Finals
>after 8th straight NBA Title
Coaches with Most Championships
Coaches with Most Titles
4 Major Sports
Phil Jackson NBA 9
Red Auerbach NBA 9
Scott Bowman NHL 8
Toe Blake NHL 8
Highest Scoring Teammates in NBA Finals
Highest Scoring Teammates
NBA Finals History
'62 E. Baylor J. West 71.7
'63 E. Baylor J West 63.3
'02 S. O'Neal K. Bryant 63.0
'66 J. West E. Baylor 58.9
'61 C. Hagan B. Pettit 57.8
>>Min: 25 PPG Each
Regular Season MVPs to Lose in NBA Finals
With a loss to the Lakers, Allen Iverson becomes the 7th player all-time to win the regular season MVP before losing in the NBA Finals. He becomes the first MVP to accomplish this uninspiring feat since Karl Malone won the MVP in '97. Malone just edged out Michael Jordan for MVP that year, but when Malone's Jazz faced Jordan's Bulls in the Finals, Malone struggled while Jordan went on to collect the 5th of his 6 Finals MVPs.
Regular Seasons MVPs to Lose in Finals
'01 Allen Iverson PHI
'97 Karl Malone UTAH
'93 Charles Barkley PHX
'89 Magic Johnson LAL
'85 Larry Bird BOS
'74 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar LAL
'58 Bill Russell BOS
Most Common NBA Finals Matchups
Most Common Finals Matchups
Matchup Series
Celtics-Lakers 10
76ers-Lakers 6<<
Knicks-Lakers 5
Celtics-Hawks 4
<< Lakers: 5-1 vs 76ers
Players to Win Multiple Titles with 2 Teams
Ron Harper and Robert Horry each earned their 2nd NBA crown with the Lakers after previously winning at least two titles with the Bulls and Rockets respectively. The only other player in NBA history to win multiple titles with two teams was "the worm" himself, Dennis Rodman. odman was a part of the Bulls' run in Chicago after winning two titles with Detroit's "Bad Boys" previously.
Won Multiple NBA Titles With Multiple Teams
Player 1st team 2nd team
Ron Harper Bulls Lakers
Robert Horry Rockets Lakers
Dennis Rodman Pistons Bulls
Won Games 3, 4, 5 on Road in Finals
Won NBA Finals Games 3,4,5 on Road
Team Opp. Series Result
'01 Lakers 76ers W, 4-1
'91 Bulls Lakers W, 4-1
'90 Pistons Blazers W, 4-1
'53 Lakers Knicks W, 4-1
Most Points in Finals Debut
Allen Iverson has established a new standard for pts scored by a player making his debut in the Finals...Until Wednesday night, four players were tied atop this list with 37 pts-most recently done by New York's Willis Reed in 1970...Bob Pettitt and Bill Sharman combined for 73 pts in their classic duel in game 1 of the '57 Finals...
Most Points
In NBA Finals Debut
'01 Allen Iverson PHI 48
'70 Willis Reed NY 37
'67 Rick Barry SF 37
'57 Bob Pettit STL 37
'47 Joe Fulks PHI 37
'91 Michael Jordan CHI 36
'57 Bill Sharman BOS 36
Players to Win Finals MVP, All-Star Game MVP and Regular Season MVP in Same Season
Player Team Season(s)
Shaquille O'Neal Lakers '99-00
Michael Jordan Bulls '95-96, '97-98
Willis Reed Knicks '69-70
>>All-Star, Reg. season & NBA Finals
Players to Score 30+ Points in Each NBA Finals Game
30+ Points in Each Game of Series
NBA Finals History
Year Player Team Games
'00 Shaquille O'Neal LAL 6<<
'95 Hakeem Olajuwon HOU 4<<
'93 Michael Jordan CHI 6<<
'67 Rick Barry SF 6
'62 Elgin Baylor LAL 7
Most PPG NBA Finals History
Highest PPG
NBA Finals History
'93 Michael Jordan, CHI 41.0 6
'67 Rick Barry, SF 40.8 6
'62 Elgin Baylor, LAL 40.6 7
'00 Shaquille O'Neal, LAL 38.0<< 6
'69 Jerry West, LAL 37.9 7
>>Reached 30 pts & 10 rebs in each game
Teams to Win in First Finals Appearance Since 1950
'99 SPURS 23RD
'91 BULLS 25TH
Players to Win Consecutive Titles with Different Teams
Won Consecutive Titles
With Different Teams, Last 5 Instances
'98-99 NBA Steve Kerr Bulls-Spurs
'95-96 NHL Claude Lemieux Devils-Avalanche
'94-95 NFL Deion Sanders 49ers-Cowboys
'93-94 NFL Ken Norton Cowboys-49ers
'61-62 NHL Al Arbour Blackhawks-Maple Leafs
Multiple Sports Titles Won by State in Same Year
Multiple Titles, Same State
Since 1980
1999 Stars, Spurs
1995 Rockets, Cowboys
1989 Athletics, 49ers
1988 Lakers, Dodgers, 49ers
1986 Mets, Giants
1981 Dodgers, 49ers
1980 Lakers, Raiders
Most Points By A Knick All-Time
'70 Willis Reed 38
'70 Willis Reed 37
'70 Walt Frazier 36
'99 Latrell Sprewell 35
'99 Allan Houston 34
'73 Dave DeBusschere 33