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2001 NBA Finals

2001 NBA Finals
TeamCoachWins
Los Angeles Lakers Phil Jackson 4
Philadelphia 76ers Larry Brown 1
Dates June 6–15
MVP Shaquille O'Neal
(Los Angeles Lakers)
Television NBC (U.S.)
Announcers Marv Albert and Doug Collins
Radio network ESPN
Announcers Brent Musburger and Jack Ramsay
Referees
Game 1: Dick Bavetta, Ron Garretson, Joe Crawford
Game 2: Steve Javie, Bernie Fryer, Ronnie Nunn
Game 3: Bennett Salvatore, Bob Delaney, Dan Crawford
Game 4: Hugh Evans, Jack Nies, Eddie F. Rush
Game 5: Dick Bavetta, Bernie Fryer, Joe Crawford
Hall of Famers 76ers:
Dikembe Mutombo (2015)
Coaches:
Larry Brown (2002)
Phil Jackson (2007)
Tex Winter (2011)
Officials:
Dick Bavetta (2015)
Eastern Finals 76ers defeat Bucks, 4-3
Western Finals Lakers defeat Spurs, 4-0
NBA Finals

The 2001 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 2000-01 National Basketball Association season. The Los Angeles Lakers of the Western Conference took on the Philadelphia 76ers of the Eastern Conference for the title, with the Lakers holding home court advantage in a best-of-seven format.

The Lakers won the series 4 games to 1. Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal was named the Most Valuable Player of the series.

Allen Iverson scored 48 points in his only NBA finals victory, as the Sixers took Game 1 in a stunning upset 107-101 in OT, handing the Lakers their first loss of the postseason. However, the Lakers went on to win the next four games, despite being outshot and outrebounded in the series. L.A. punished the Sixers with their excellent 3-point shooting which was the key to this series. In Game 3 Robert Horry hit a clutch 3-pointer in the last minute, and in the next two games the Lakers used hot 3-point shooting to build big leads and hold off late Sixer comebacks in Games 4 and 5, pulling away for double digit wins to capture the title.

Background

Main article: 2001 NBA Playoffs

The Los Angeles Lakers entered the 2000–01 NBA season as the defending NBA Champions. The club lost a few key stars to free agency, but they managed to sign up key veteran players like Isaiah Rider and Horace Grant. The Lakers began the season struggling on and off the court, as they were losing key games at the beginning with the Shaq–Kobe feud. Injuries also riddled the team as they struggled through the season. But by April 1, 2001, the Lakers last loss was to the New York Knicks and they never looked back as the team closed out the season on an eight-game winning streak, thus finishing the season 56-26 and closing out as the #2 seed in the West behind the San Antonio Spurs.

The Lakers began the 2001 NBA Playoffs versus the team against whom they played the previous year in the Conference Finals, the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers were a team that struggled throughout the season but battled back to claim the 7th seed. The series wasn't close as the Lakers swept the Blazers by double digits in all three games. In the semifinals the Lakers took on the Sacramento Kings, a team who had also given the Lakers a tough series the previous season, but the Lakers took two close games at home and went to Sacramento to finish the Kings off with a 4-0 sweep as well. In the Conference Finals the Lakers went up against the #1 seed San Antonio Spurs, who were expected to be more competitive than the Laker's previous opponents. But it was still all too easy for the Lakers as they took games 1 and 2 in San Antonio then blew them out in games 3 and 4 in Los Angeles in another complete sweep as they became the second team in NBA history to sweep the conference playoffs at 11-0, the 1988-1989 Los Angeles Lakers being the first.

But the Los Angeles Lakers met a snag on their quest to the first NBA sweep in playoff history as they went up against Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia Sixers. The Sixers, seeded #1 in the East, had just come out of two straight seven-game series. During the first game, the trio of Iverson, Dikembe Mutumbo and Eric Snow, coming hot off a long Eastern Conference championship road, beat the Lakers in overtime, showcasing their endurance.

The Lakers then took Game 2. Afterwards, Kobe Bryant was quoted as saying he was coming to Philadelphia to cut their hearts out.[1] The Sixers dropped all three games in Philadelphia, giving the Lakers their second straight championship.

Road to the Finals

Main article: 2001 NBA Playoffs
Los Angeles Lakers (Western Conference Champion) Philadelphia 76ers (Eastern Conference Champion)
Western Conference
# Team W L PCT GB
1 z-San Antonio Spurs 58 24 .707
2 y-Los Angeles Lakers 56 26 .683 2
3 x-Sacramento Kings 55 27 .671 3
4 x-Utah Jazz 53 29 .646 5
5 x-Dallas Mavericks 53 29 .646 5
6 x-Phoenix Suns 51 31 .622 7
7 x-Portland Trail Blazers 50 32 .610 8
8 x-Minnesota Timberwolves 47 35 .573 11
9 Houston Rockets 45 37 .549 13
10 Seattle SuperSonics 44 38 .537 14
11 Denver Nuggets 40 42 .488 18
12 Los Angeles Clippers 31 51 .378 27
13 Vancouver Grizzlies 23 59 .280 35
14 Golden State Warriors 17 65 .207 41

2nd seed in the West, 2nd best league record

Regular season
Eastern Conference
# Team W L PCT GB
1 c-Philadelphia 76ers 56 26 .683
2 y-Milwaukee Bucks 52 30 .634 4
3 x-Miami Heat 50 32 .610 6
4 x-New York Knicks 48 34 .585 8
5 x-Toronto Raptors 47 35 .573 9
6 x-Charlotte Hornets 46 36 .561 10
7 x-Orlando Magic 43 39 .524 13
8 x-Indiana Pacers 41 41 .500 15
9 Boston Celtics 36 46 .439 20
10 Detroit Pistons 32 50 .390 24
11 Cleveland Cavaliers 30 52 .366 26
12 New Jersey Nets 26 56 .317 30
13 Atlanta Hawks 25 57 .305 31
14 Washington Wizards 19 63 .232 37
15 Chicago Bulls 15 67 .183 42

1st seed in the East, 3rd best league record

Defeated the (7) Portland Trail Blazers, 3-0 First Round Defeated the (8) Indiana Pacers, 3–1
Defeated the (3) Sacramento Kings, 4–0 Conference Semifinals Defeated the (5) Toronto Raptors, 4–3
Defeated the (1) San Antonio Spurs, 4–0 Conference Finals Defeated the (2) Milwaukee Bucks, 4–3

Regular season series

Both teams split the two meetings, each won by the home team:

Series scoring summary

The following scoring summary is written in a line score format, except that the quarter numbers are replaced by game numbers.

Team Game 1* Game 2 Game 3 Game 4 Game 5 Wins
Los Angeles (West) 101 98 96 100 108 4
Philadelphia (East) 107 89 91 86 96 1
  • *denotes a game that required overtime.

2001 NBA Finals rosters

2001 Los Angeles Lakers

2001 Philadelphia 76ers