5 Historic NBA Finals Wins

Every year, the best of the best from the world of basketball meets at the NBA Finals. After
a season of competing to find the best teams, players from both the Western and Eastern
conferences clash in a best-of-seven series to determine who gets the esteemed title of
league champion for the year.

Today we’re looking at 5 historic NBA Finals wins that defied the odds, showed off
impressive talent, or took us by surprise. Speaking of odds, sports bettors should check out
NBA money line odds if they’re getting in on the action next season.

Game 5 – The 1976 NBA Finals

It’s no surprise that our number one candidate for the most historic NBA Finals win is
arguably the most chaotic, too. As the Boston Celtics met the Phoenix Suns on the court in
1976, they were tied at 2-2 and would come to the end of game 5 with just a point between

With both teams tied at 2-2, game 5 was tied and had to extend into overtime. A clock error
led to the overtime being announced as a false victory for the Celtics. At this point, fans
stormed the court to celebrate, and some assaulted the referee until the error was
recognized and the game entered second overtime. With just one second left on the clock,
Garfield Heard shot a basket that pulled the game into a third overtime, securing the win for
the Celtics.

Game 6 – The 1980 NBA Finals

Magic Johnson is an athlete who needs no introduction, even for those who don’t follow
basketball closely. His status is in part due to his play in the Finals, where the LA Lakers
faced the Philadelphia 76ers.

While the 20-year old Johnson was usually the point guard, he had taken Kareem Adbul-
Jabbar’s place at the center. Throughout the game, he’d be moved between all five
positions and rack up 42 points to clinch the Lakers victory as MVP.

Game 5 – The 1997 NBA Finals

Game 5 of the 1997 Finals is often called the Flu Game, named because Michael Jordan was
suffering from stomach flu when he played it. The Chicago Bulls were facing the Utah Jazz
and needed something special to gain a series lead over them.

Fortunately, that something special was Michael Jordan, who racked up 38 points and was
named MVP. At this point in his career, it was his fifth time being recognized as MVP across
five Finals games. Many players can brag about being the MVP, not many can brag about
being the MVP even when they’re sick.

Game 7 – The 1970 NBA Finals

Probably the most sentimental win on this list, this older game saw the New York Knicks and
the Los Angeles Lakers face off in Madison Square Garden. Willis Reed of the Knicks had torn
a thigh muscle, causing him to sit out of game 6, which then ended in a Lakers win. Now at
3-3, game 7 would decide who wins the entire series.

This was where Willis Reed surprised fans by stepping out to play this last game. He only
sank two shots but his return was the morale boost the Knicks desperately needed. They
forged ahead and won the series while Reed was celebrated on national TV as “the very best
that the human spirit can offer.”

Game 6 – The 2013 NBA Finals

Let’s finish off with a modern win that’s sure to stay in the history books. When the Miami
Heat were up against the San Antonio Spurs, many thought that the Spurs had it in the bag
before the game had even ended.

They even brought out the tape to prepare for the trophy presentation ceremony, but Heat
players Ray Allen and LeBron James had other ideas. Allen sent it into overtime while James
secured the MVP spot by leading the Heat to victory.

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