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1977–78 NBA season

1977–78 NBA season
League National Basketball Association
Sport Basketball
Number of games 82
Number of teams 22
TV partner(s) CBS
Regular season
Top seed Portland Trail Blazers
Season MVP Bill Walton (Portland)
Top scorer San Antonio)
Eastern champions Washington Bullets
  Eastern runners-up Philadelphia 76ers
Western champions Seattle SuperSonics
  Western runners-up Denver Nuggets
Champions Washington Bullets
  Runners-up Seattle SuperSonics
Finals MVP Wes Unseld (Washington)

The 1977–78 NBA season was the 32nd season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Washington Bullets winning the NBA Championship, beating the Seattle SuperSonics 4 games to 3 in the NBA Finals.

Notable occurrences

  • The New York Nets move from Uniondale, New York to Piscataway, New Jersey, and are renamed the New Jersey Nets. The New York Knicks, who forced the Nets to pay $4.8 million for invading the New York area prior to the previous season, remained the only NBA team in New York for 35 years, until the Nets moved to Brooklyn in the 2012–13 season.
  • The Randy Smith of the Buffalo Braves wins the game's MVP award.
  • The defending champion Portland Trail Blazers went off to a 50-10 start and looked poised to repeat, but Bill Walton broke his foot (the first of the numerous major injuries that radically shortened his career) and was out for the remainder of the season. The Blazers, hurt by Walton's absence and by other key injuries, faded to an 8-14 finish and lost to the Sonics in the Western Conference semifinals.
  • On December 9, 1977, Kermit Washington punched Houston Rockets player Rudy Tomjanovich in the face during an NBA game. Tomjanovich was seriously injured and missed the rest of the season. Washington was subsequently fined $10,000 and suspended 26 games by the NBA.
  • Throughout the 1977–78 season, 2009 All-Star Weekend).
  • This was the first season since the 1949-50 season that no Boston Celtics player was named to either the First or Second All-NBA Team.

Final standings

By division

By conference


  • z, y – division champions
  • x – clinched playoff spot

Statistics leaders

Category Player Team Stat
Points per game George Gervin San Antonio Spurs 27.2
Rebounds per game Truck Robinson New Orleans Jazz 15.7
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