World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

1975 NBA Finals

1975 NBA Finals
Team Coach Wins
Golden State Warriors Al Attles 4
Washington Bullets K.C. Jones 0
Dates May 18–25
MVP Rick Barry
(Golden State Warriors)
Television CBS (U.S.)
Announcers Brent Musburger and Oscar Robertson
Game 1: Earl Strom and Joe Gushue
Game 2: Darell Garrettson and Richie Powers
Game 3: Jake O'Donnell and Don Murphy
Game 4: Richie Powers and Manny Sokol
Hall of Famers Warriors:
Rick Barry (1987)
Jamaal Wilkes (2012)
Elvin Hayes (1990)
Wes Unseld (1988)
K.C. Jones (1989, player)
Earl Strom (1995)
Eastern Finals Bullets defeat Celtics, 4-2
Western Finals Warriors defeat Bulls, 4-3

The 1975 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the 1974-75 NBA season of the National Basketball Association. The Golden State Warriors (48-34) of the Western Conference played against the Washington Bullets (60-22) of the Eastern Conference. The series was played under a best-of-seven format.

The Warriors' home games were played at the Cow Palace in Daly City (near San Francisco) due to scheduling conflicts at their normal home court of Oakland Arena during the week of May 19–26. In addition, an odd scheduling format had to be used because Golden State could not secure the Cow Palace for Memorial Day Weekend (May 24–26). A Sports Illustrated article about the series reported that Washington, which held home court advantage, was given the option of a 1-2-2-1-1 scheduling format due to Golden State's problems or, if they wished, opening on the road and then having Games 2, 3, and 4 at home. Washington opted for the 1-2-2-1-1 format not out of a sense of fairness, but because they wanted to open the series at home.[1]

The series is notable as it was the first championship game or series in any of the four North American major professional sports leagues to feature two African American head coaches or managers, as Al Attles coached the Warriors and K.C. Jones coached the Bullets.[2] On a lesser note, it was the first time that the NBA ever scheduled a game to be played in the month of June (Game 7 was scheduled for Monday Night, June 2). The first June game ever, however, would have to wait until the following year.

The underdog Warriors won four games to earn a sweep over the Bullets.


  • Background 1
    • Road to the Finals 1.1
    • Regular season series 1.2
  • Series Summary 2
  • Game 1 3
  • Game 2 4
  • Game 3 5
  • Game 4 6
  • Aftermath 7
  • Team rosters 8
  • See also 9
  • External links 10
  • References 11


The Golden State Warriors last made the NBA Finals in 1967, when they were still in San Francisco. In the years since, they moved to Oakland, briefly lost Rick Barry to the American Basketball Association, and named Warriors great Al Attles as head coach. Before the start of the 1974–75 season they traded future Hall of Famer Nate Thurmond to the Chicago Bulls for young center Clifford Ray. They also drafted Jamaal Wilkes, then known as Keith Wilkes, out of UCLA. With Barry as the offensive leader, and with Attles using a team approach to coaching, the Warriors managed to finish the season atop the Western Conference with 48 wins. In the playoffs, they defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in six games, then eliminated Thurmond and the Bulls in seven games to advance to the Finals.

The Washington Bullets were in their second season in the Washington Metropolitan Area, having moved from Baltimore, Maryland prior to the 1973–74 season. The Bullets, led by Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes, and coached by K. C. Jones, won 60 games that season, then overcame the Buffalo Braves and the defending champion Boston Celtics in seven and six games, respectively. The Bullets franchise headed to their second NBA Finals appearance, the last of which was a sweep by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971.

Road to the Finals

Golden State Warriors (Western Conference Champion) Washington Bullets (Eastern Conference Champion)
# Western Conference
1 z-Golden State Warriors 48 34 .585
2 y-Chicago Bulls 47 35 .573 1
3 x-Kansas City–Omaha Kings 44 38 .537 4
4 x-Seattle SuperSonics 43 39 .524 5
5 x-Detroit Pistons 40 42 .488 8
6 Portland Trail Blazers 38 44 .463 10
6 Milwaukee Bucks 38 44 .463 10
8 Phoenix Suns 32 50 .390 16
9 Los Angeles Lakers 30 52 .366 18
1st seed in the West, 4th best league record
Regular season
# Eastern Conference
1 z-Boston Celtics 60 22 .732
2 y-Washington Bullets 60 22 .732
3 x-Buffalo Braves 49 33 .598 11
4 x-Houston Rockets 41 41 .500 19
5 x-New York Knicks 40 42 .488 20
6 Cleveland Cavaliers 40 42 .488 20
7 Philadelphia 76ers 34 48 .415 26
8 Atlanta Hawks 31 51 .378 29
9 New Orleans Jazz 23 59 .280 37
2nd seed in the East, 2nd best league record
Earned first-round bye First Round Earned first-round bye
Defeated the (4) Seattle SuperSonics, 4–2 Conference Semifinals Defeated the (3) Buffalo Braves, 4–3
Defeated the (2) Chicago Bulls, 4–3 Conference Finals Defeated the (1) Boston Celtics, 4–2

Regular season series

Washington won the regular season series 3–1.

Series Summary

Game Date Result Site
Game 1 May 18 (Sun.) Golden State Warriors 101, Washington Bullets 95 @ Landover, Maryland
Game 2 May 20 (Tue.) Golden State Warriors 92, Washington Bullets 91 @ Daly City, California
Game 3 May 22 (Fri.) Golden State Warriors 109, Washington Bullets 101 @ Daly City, California
Game 4 May 25 (Sun.) Golden State Warriors 96, Washington Bullets 95 @ Landover, Maryland

Golden State Warriors defeated Washington Bullets, 4 games to 0.[3]

Game 1

Game 1 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Warriors 17 23 31 30 101
Bullets 27 27 18 23 95

Opting to open the series at home, the Bullets built a 14-point lead at the half over the Warriors at the Capital Centre. The Warriors began to storm back, with Phil Smith coming off the bench to score 20 points in 31 minutes of playing time, as Golden State took the first game, 101-95. [1]

Game 2

Game 2 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Bullets 28 24 21 18 91
Warriors 19 27 27 19 92

Instead of their familiar Oakland Coliseum Arena, the Warriors were forced to play their first two scheduled home games of the series at the nearby Cow Palace (the Oakland facility being unavailable). The Bullets jumped to an early 13-point lead, but Golden State battled back, led by 36 points from Rick Barry, to take a 92-91 lead in the closing seconds. Washington got the ball back with six seconds left but missed two shots and now were down 2-0. [2]

Game 3

Game 3 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Bullets 21 27 23 30 101
Warriors 26 24 27 32 109

Rick Barry poured in 38 points and backup center George Johnson had 10 points and nine rebounds off the bench to help the Warriors to a key Game 3 109-101 win.

Two major factors enabling the Warriors to take an insurmountable lead were the defensive play of the seemingly undersized Jamaal Wilkes on Bullets' power forward Elvin Hayes and the play of the Warrior bench. In three games, Hayes had only 29 points and the Warriors' bench players had outscored the Bullets' reserves 115-53. [3]

Game 4

Game 4 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Warriors 20 28 22 26 96
Bullets 30 22 21 22 95

Back at home, the Bullets seemed to be on their way to staving off an unexpected sweep by the underdog Warriors, leading by 14 points early on. Bullets forward Mike Riordan was assigned to guard Barry, who had killed the Bullets in the series up to that point by averaging 35 points a game. Riordan played Barry very physically, arousing the ire of Warriors' coach Al Attles. Midway through the first quarter, Barry went on a drive to the basket and was fouled hard from behind by Riordan. Barry reacted with a shove, but Attles bolted onto the court and initiated a fight of his own with Riordan, thereby protecting his star player from an ejection and getting ejected himself. The remainder of the game was directed by assistant coach Joe Roberts.

After the brawl, Barry immediately went on a scoring tear, but had to endure boos and taunts from the Capital Centre crowd. His performance, along with the Warriors' pressure defense, brought them back and guard Butch Beard scored the last seven points of the game, including two free throws to make the final score 96-95. [4]


The Washington Bullets would appear in the NBA Finals in 1978 and 1979 against the Seattle Supersonics, with a series win in seven games and a series loss in five games respectively.

The Golden State Warriors would win their next championship 40 years later in 2015 against the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games, ending the longest drought between championships in NBA history.

Team rosters

See also

External links

  • Game 2 from


  1. ^ Legends of Basketball - Where Are They Now?
  2. ^ "Dungy to evaluate future in coming days". 2007-02-05. Archived from the original on 6 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.