2001 NBA Finals

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Template:NBA Finals summary 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 76ers took Game 1 107–101 in overtime, handing the Lakers their first (and only) loss of the playoffs. However, the Lakers went on to win the next four games, despite being outshot and outrebounded in the series. Los Angeles punished Philadelphia with their three-point shooting, which was the key to this series. In Game 3 Robert Horry hit a three-point shot 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 76ers comeback attempts in games 4 and 5, pulling away for double-digit wins to capture the title.

Background[edit | edit source]

The Los Angeles Lakers entered the 2000–01 NBA season as the defending NBA champions. The club lost a few players to free agency, but they signed veteran players like Isaiah Rider and Horace Grant. The Lakers began the season struggling on and off the court, as they were losing 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 number 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 Western Conference finals, the Portland Trail Blazers. The Trail 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 Trail 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 number 1 seed San Antonio Spurs, who were expected[by whom?] to be more competitive than the Lakers' previous opponents. But the Lakers took games 1 and 2 in San Antonio, and 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 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 76ers. The 76ers, seeded number 1 in the Eastern Conference, had just come out of two straight seven-game series against the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks. During the first game, the trio of Iverson, Dikembe Mutombo 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[edit | edit source]

Los Angeles Lakers (Western Conference Champion) Philadelphia 76ers (Eastern Conference Champion)

Template:2000–01 NBA West standings2nd seed in the West, 2nd-best league record

Regular season

Template:2000–01 NBA East standings1st 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[edit | edit source]

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

December 5, 2000
Philadelphia 76ers 85, Los Angeles Lakers 96
February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Lakers 97, Philadelphia 76ers 112

Starting lineups[edit | edit source]

Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame‡
Los Angeles Position width="125px" style="text-align:center; Template:NBA color cell2;" | Philadelphia
Derek Fisher PG Eric Snow
Kobe Bryant SG Allen Iverson
Rick Fox SF George Lynch
Horace Grant PF Tyrone Hill
Shaquille O'Neal C Dikembe Mutombo

2001 NBA Finals rosters[edit | edit source]

Los Angeles Lakers[edit | edit source]

2001 Los Angeles Lakers Finals roster
Players Coaches
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Philadelphia 76ers[edit | edit source]

Pos. # Nat. Name Ht. Wt. From
colspan="2" style="text-align:center; Template:NBA color cell2;" | 2001 Philadelphia 76ers Finals roster
Players Coaches
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Series summary[edit | edit source]

Pos. # Nat. Name Ht. Wt. From
Game Date Home Team Result Road Team
Game 1 Wednesday, June 6 Los Angeles Lakers 101–107 OT (0–1) Philadelphia 76ers
Game 2 Friday, June 8 Los Angeles Lakers 98–89 (1–1) Philadelphia 76ers
Game 3 Sunday, June 10 Philadelphia 76ers 91–96 (1–2) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 4 Wednesday, June 13 Philadelphia 76ers 86–100 (1–3) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 5 Friday, June 15 Philadelphia 76ers 96–108 (1–4) Los Angeles Lakers

The Finals were played using a 2-3-2 site format, where the first two and last two games are held at the team with home court advantage. The NBA, after experimenting in the early years, restored this original format for the Finals in 1985.

Game 1[edit | edit source]

June 6
Recap at the Wayback Machine (archived May 9, 2009)
Philadelphia 76ers 107, Los Angeles Lakers 101 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 22–23, 34–27, 23–27, 15–17, Overtime: 13–7
Pts: Allen Iverson 48
Rebs: Dikembe Mutombo 16
Asts: Aaron McKie 9
Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 44
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 20
Asts: Bryant, Fox, O'Neal 5 each
Philadelphia leads the series, 1–0
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees:
  • No. 27 Dick Bavetta
  • No. 10 Ron Garretson
  • No. 17 Joe Crawford

The Lakers dominated early, in what looked like to be their fourth series sweep. Scoring 16 straight points, the Lakers took a 21-9 lead over the Allen Iverson-led 76ers. Despite this major lead, Allen Iverson began dominating at the half of the 2nd quarter scoring 30 first half points. The 76ers turned the game around and even went up by 15 points during the third quarter before the Lakers started a comeback. Shaquille O'Neal was a major factor in the comeback, scoring 18 points in the quarter.

The Lakers played fantastically during the 4th quarter, and Tyronn Lue came off the bench and limited Allen Iverson to merely 3 points and had 3 assists and 2 steals of his own. The game was eventually tied at 94, and when Dikembe Mutombo missed two free throws and Eric Snow's desperation three-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the rim, the game went to overtime.

The Lakers dominated for the first half of the overtime, scoring 5 points, but Allen Iverson scored 7 points, and Raja Bell came off the bench to score a crucial lay-up and Iverson hit a step back 2-pointer over Tyronn Lue which gave the 76ers a permanent lead.

Game 2[edit | edit source]

June 8
Recap at the Wayback Machine (archived April 1, 2009)
Philadelphia 76ers 89, Los Angeles Lakers 98
Scoring by quarter: 24–25, 23–24, 20–28, 22–21
Pts: Allen Iverson 23
Rebs: Dikembe Mutombo 13
Asts: Aaron McKie 6
Pts: Kobe Bryant 31
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 20
Asts: Shaquille O'Neal 9
Series tied, 1–1
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees:
  • No. 29 Steve Javie
  • No. 7 Bernie Fryer
  • No. 34 Ronnie Nunn

Kobe Bryant started off the game with 12 points in the first quarter, while Shaq scored 12 points in the second quarter. Despite their points, the 76ers kept a close lead as Larry Brown ran over 10 plays searching for the right quartet, and the fact that all the Lakers besides Bryant and O'Neal were shooting only at 27%. The Sixers were down by 13 in the fourth quarter, and were making a comeback due to Shaq sitting out with 5 fouls, which helped the 76ers to score 7 straight. Even though the 76ers were within 3 points of the Lakers, the 6 of 16 foul shooting in the fourth quarter put them behind permanently. O'Neal finished with 28 points, 20 rebounds, nine assists, and eight blocks, coming close to a quadruple double. Before the game, Lakers coach Phil Jackson had growled at O'Neal, "Don't be afraid to block a shot!" after O'Neal failed to block a shot in Game 1.[2]

Game 3[edit | edit source]

June 10
"Recap". Archived from the original on 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2011-07-02. 
Los Angeles Lakers 96, Philadelphia 76ers 91
Scoring by quarter: 25–25, 30–20, 18–21, 23–25
Pts: Kobe Bryant 32
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 12
Asts: Bryant, Horry,
O'Neal, Shaw 3 each
Pts: Allen Iverson 35
Rebs: Iverson, Mutombo 12 each
Asts: Aaron McKie 8
Los Angeles leads the series, 2–1
First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 20,900
Referees:
  • No. 15 Bennett Salvatore
  • No. 26 Bob Delaney
  • No. 43 Dan Crawford

Game 4[edit | edit source]

June 13
"Recap". Archived from the original on 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2011-07-02. 
Los Angeles Lakers 100, Philadelphia 76ers 86
Scoring by quarter: 22–14, 29–23, 26–22, 23–27
Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 34
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 14
Asts: Kobe Bryant 9
Pts: Allen Iverson 35
Rebs: Dikembe Mutombo 9
Asts: Iverson, Snow 4 each
Los Angeles leads the series, 3–1
First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 20,900
Referees:
  • No. 25 Hugh Evans
  • No. 35 Jack Nies
  • No. 32 Eddie F. Rush

Game 5[edit | edit source]

June 15
"Recap". Archived from the original on 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2011-07-02. 
Los Angeles Lakers 108, Philadelphia 76ers 96
Scoring by quarter: 24–27, 28–21, 31–20, 25–28
Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 29
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 13
Asts: Bryant, Fox 6 each
Pts: Allen Iverson 37
Rebs: Tyrone Hill 13
Asts: Eric Snow 12
Los Angeles wins the series, 4–1
First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 20,900
Referees:
  • No. 27 Dick Bavetta
  • No. 7 Bernie Fryer
  • No. 17 Joe Crawford

Player statistics[edit | edit source]

Template:NBA roster statistics legend

Los Angeles Lakers

Template:NBA roster statistics start

Bryant, KobeKobe Bryant 5 5 46.8 .415 .333 .842 7.8 5.8 1.4 1.4 24.6
Fisher, DerekDerek Fisher 5 5 31.6 .436 .526 .833 1.2 2.0 1.6 0.2 9.8
Fox, RickRick Fox 5 5 32.8 .441 .467 .923 4.6 3.8 1.2 0.4 9.8
Grant, HoraceHorace Grant 5 5 24.6 .294 .000 .750 5.6 0.6 0.4 1.4 5.2
Harper, RonRon Harper 3 0 8.3 .625 .333 .667 1.7 1.0 0.3 0.3 4.3
Horry, RobertRobert Horry 5 0 25.4 .560 .615 1.000 5.0 1.2 0.8 1.4 8.4
Lue, TyronnTyronn Lue 5 0 14.6 .583 .667 .000 0.8 1.4 1.4 0.2 3.6
Madsen, MarkMark Madsen 2 0 1.5 .000 .000 .000 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.0
O'Neal, ShaquilleShaquille O'Neal 5 5 45.0 .573 .000 .513 15.8 4.8 0.4 3.4 33.0
Shaw, BrianBrian Shaw 5 0 18.6 .300 .300 .600 3.2 2.8 0.8 0.0 3.6
Philadelphia 76ers

Template:NBA roster statistics start

Bell, RajaRaja Bell 5 0 15.8 .308 .000 .500 1.8 0.8 2.0 0.0 2.6
Buford, RodneyRodney Buford 3 0 4.3 .167 .000 .000 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.7
Geiger, MattMatt Geiger 5 0 10.8 .667 .000 1.000 1.0 0.4 0.2 0.0 5.2
Hill, TyroneTyrone Hill 5 5 28.2 .394 .000 .778 6.6 0.4 0.0 1.2 6.6
Iverson, AllenAllen Iverson 5 5 47.4 .407 .282 .729 5.6 3.8 1.8 0.2 35.6
Jones, JumaineJumaine Jones 5 4 12.4 .400 .500 .000 2.0 0.2 0.2 0.4 2.0
Lynch, GeorgeGeorge Lynch 2 0 7.0 .333 .000 .000 2.5 0.5 1.0 0.0 1.0
MacCulloch, ToddTodd MacCulloch 5 0 6.2 .417 .000 .750 1.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.6
McKie, AaronAaron McKie 5 5 41.4 .313 .444 .667 5.4 6.0 1.2 0.6 8.0
Mutombo, DikembeDikembe Mutombo 5 5 41.6 .600 .000 .692 12.2 0.4 0.4 2.2 16.8
Ollie, KevinKevin Ollie 5 0 3.0 .333 .000 1.000 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.0 1.0
Snow, EricEric Snow 5 1 32.8 .407 .000 .731 4.4 6.0 1.6 0.2 12.6

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

The Lakers won their third straight championship in a four-game sweep of the New Jersey Nets the following year. The Lakers won 58 games in the season, then defeated the Portland Trail Blazers in three games, the San Antonio Spurs in five games, and the Sacramento Kings in seven games before sweeping the Nets in the Finals.

The Sixers would win only 43 games in the 2001-02 NBA season, as injuries were the story of their season. Nevertheless, they made the playoffs as the sixth seed, but were defeated by the Boston Celtics in five games. The Celtics themselves came within two games of returning to the NBA Finals for the first time since Template:Nbafy, but were ousted by the upstart Nets, who made the NBA Finals for the first time, denying a possible Celtics-Lakers final. As for the Sixers, they would never challenge for the title again in the Allen Iverson era, with the team reaching the playoffs only twice for the next four years, winning only one series.

Larry Brown later coached the Detroit Pistons to their third championship in the 2004 NBA Finals, defeating the Lakers 4–1.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

  • "Official website". Archived from the original on 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2007-05-27. 
  • ""Take Two for Tinseltown"". Archived from the original on 2010-12-03. Retrieved 2008-05-17.  entry about Finals at NBA Encyclopedia
  • 2001 NBA Finals at basketball-reference.com

Template:NBA Finals Template:Los Angeles Lakers 2000–01 NBA champions Template:Los Angeles Lakers Template:Philadelphia 76ers Template:2000–01 NBA season by team