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1975–76 Boston Celtics season


1975–76 Boston Celtics season

season Boston Celtics
NBA Champions
Head coach Tom Heinsohn
General manager Red Auerbach
Arena Boston Garden
Hartford Civic Center
Record 54–28 (.659)
Place Division: 1st (Atlantic)
Conference: 1st (Eastern)
Playoff finish NBA Finals

Local media
Television WBZ-TV, WATR
Radio WBZ Radio, WTIC

The 1975–76 Boston Celtics season was their 30th in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and concluded with their 13th championship.


  • Offseason 1
    • Draft picks 1.1
  • Roster 2
    • Depth chart 2.1
  • Regular season and postseason recap 3
    • Season standings 3.1
    • Game log 3.2
  • Playoffs 4
    • East First Round 4.1
    • East Conference Semifinals 4.2
    • East Conference Finals 4.3
    • NBA Finals 4.4
  • Player statistics 5
    • Season 5.1
    • Playoffs 5.2
  • Awards, records and milestones 6
    • Awards 6.1
    • Records 6.2
    • Milestones 6.3
  • Transactions 7
    • Trades 7.1
  • References 8


Draft picks

Round Pick Player Position Nationality College


Depth chart

Pos. Starter Bench Reserve Inactive
C Dave Cowens Jim Ard
PF Paul Silas Steve Kuberski Tom Boswell
SF John Havlicek Don Nelson Sam Quinn
SG Charlie Scott Glenn McDonald Jerome Anderson
PG Jo Jo White Kevin Stacom

Regular season and postseason recap

The Celtics lost Don Chaney to the American Basketball Association before the 1975–76 season. To fill the gap in the backcourt they traded Paul Westphal to the Phoenix Suns for Charlie Scott, who had averaged more than 20 points in each of the previous three seasons. Despite an uncharacteristically weak bench, the Celtics finished in first place in their division and the second best record in the NBA this season. Boston earned a shot at another NBA title by defeating the Buffalo Braves and then the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs.

Boston's opponents in the 1976 NBA Finals were the Phoenix Suns, who had posted a 42–40 regular-season record. The Team in Green was the oddsmakers' choice in the contest. The Celtics took the first two games at Boston Garden, but the Suns came back to win games 3 and 4 on their home court. Game 5 ranks among the all-time thrillers in NBA history. The Suns trailed by 5 points with less than a minute left on the clock, but Westphal made up the deficit almost single-handedly, sending the game into a first overtime period, which ended in a tie.

John Havlicek's basket with 2 seconds remaining in double overtime gave the Celtics a one-point lead, which Boston stretched to two points after sinking a technical foul. Then the Suns' Garfield Heard hit a last-second basket to send the contest into a third overtime. The longest game in NBA history finally ended, after three extra periods, with the Celtics winning 128–126. Two days later Boston captured yet another NBA championship, the 13th in franchise history.

Season standings

Atlantic Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Boston Celtics C 54 28 .659 -
Buffalo Braves 46 36 .561 8
Philadelphia 76ers 46 36 .561 8
New York Knicks 38 44 .463 16

Game log


East First Round

The Celtics had a first round bye.

East Conference Semifinals

(1) Boston Celtics vs. (5) Buffalo Braves: Celtics win series 4-2

  • Game 1 @ Boston: Boston 107, Buffalo 98
  • Game 2 @ Boston: Boston 101, Buffalo 96
  • Game 3 @ Buffalo: Buffalo 98, Boston 93
  • Game 4 @ Buffalo: Buffalo 124, Boston 122
  • Game 5 @ Boston: Boston 99, Buffalo 88
  • Game 6 @ Buffalo: Boston 104, Buffalo 100

East Conference Finals

(1) Boston Celtics vs. (2) Cleveland Cavaliers: Celtics win series 4-2

  • Game 1 @ Boston: Boston 111, Cleveland 99
  • Game 2 @ Boston: Boston 94, Cleveland 89
  • Game 3 @ Cleveland: Cleveland 83, Boston 78
  • Game 4 @ Cleveland: Cleveland 106, Boston 87
  • Game 5 @ Boston: Boston 99, Cleveland 94
  • Game 6 @ Cleveland: Boston 94, Cleveland 87

NBA Finals

(E1) Boston Celtics vs. (W3) Phoenix Suns: Celtics win series 4-2

  • Game 1 @ Boston: Boston 98, Phoenix 87
  • Game 2 @ Boston: Boston 105, Phoenix 90
  • Game 3 @ Phoenix: Phoenix 105, Boston 98
  • Game 4 @ Phoenix: Phoenix 109, Boston 107
  • Game 5 @ Boston: Boston 128, Phoenix 126 (3OT)
  • Game 6 @ Phoenix: Boston 87, Phoenix 80

Player statistics





Awards, records and milestones







  1. ^ 1975-76 NBA Season Summary -
  • Celtics on Database Basketball
  • Celtics on Basketball Reference
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