• I simply don't believe there's a version of this series the Sixers could have won with Aaron McKie playing this poorly. The Spurs won the series 4-1 and the franchise's first NBA Championship in Game 5 at the Knicks' home arena, Madison Square Garden. The NBA Finals 2001 became a homecoming for Kobe Bryant as the Philadelphia native helped L.A. defeat the Philadelphia 76ers in five games to win back-to-back championships. [1] The Sixers dropped all three games in Philadelphia, giving the Lakers their second straight championship. 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. What’s even more impressive: He didn’t do it … The defending NBA champion 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.. This Sixers team had absolutely nothing going on offense except for this little guy, and he found ways to score anyway, hoisting jumper after jumper and taking punishment in the paint as many times as it took to get the job done. With the Nets appearing in the Finals, the Denver Nuggets remain, as of 2018–19, the only former ABA team to have never reached the NBA Finals. 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. The Sixers were resilient as any team in the league that year. If the Sixers had stuck with Theo Ratliff (in a universe where he didn't get hurt that year) over Mutombo, O'Neal likely has an even more ridiculous series than he had. The defending NBA champion and Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers took on the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers for the championship, with the Lakers holding home-court advantage in a best-of-seven format. Closed out on their home floor, the Sixers lost 108-96 and watched their dream season come to an end. The defending NBA champion and Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers took on the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers for the championship, with the Lakers holding home-court advantage in a best-of-seven format. Even with Shaquille O'Neal watching from the bench and Kobe Bryant often misfiring, the Los Angeles Lakers had enough to overcome the Philadelphia 76ers in a rematch of June's NBA Finals. And then O'Neal earned another and-one opportunity in the third quarter of Game 5, smacking Mutombo in the grill pretty good. Despite this major lead, Allen Iverson began dominating at the half of the 2nd quarter scoring 30 first half points. Looking back, this may have been the biggest difference between Game 1 and the rest of the series. © 2021 WWB Holdings, LLC. Sixers' Michael Rubin converts Fanatics jersey factory to produce masks and gowns to fight COVID-19, Sixers all-time one-on-one bracket: Iverson Region, Podcast: Sixers ownership should be embarrassed by salary reduction fiasco, Sixers' Joel Embiid supports Karl-Anthony Towns, whose mom is in coma with COVID-19, Philly's official COVID-19 vaccine website goes online; residents can sign-up to be notified about getting their shots. 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%. League leaders for the 2001-02 NBA season. After a collision with Kobe Bryant that earned him his third foul in the first quarter, Iverson favored his right side the rest of the night, with the broadcast reporting he had mouthed the word "ribs" to the training staff between plays at one point. This is not surprising when you consider the best shooter they had that year was Toni Kukoc, who was sent packing as part of the deal that brought Dikembe Mutombo to Philadelphia. 1. 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. Scoring 16 straight points, the Lakers took a 21–9 lead over the Allen Iverson-led 76ers. Injuries also riddled the team as they struggled through the season. Collins departed NBC following the series to serve as head coach of the Washington Wizards. The 2001 NBA Finals was aired in the United States on NBC, with Marv Albert and Doug Collins on play-by-play and color commentary respectively. 1h 39min. The 76ers finished up with a 6 point win to take the first game of the series. Carter hit back with 50 points in a 102-78 blowout win in Game 3, before Iverson dropped another 50-piece in Game 5, recording 52 points in the win. The 2001 NBA Finals was the championship round of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 2000–01 season. In the conference finals the Lakers went up against the number 1 seed San Antonio Spurs, who were expected to be more competitive than the Lakers' previous opponents. Shaq had 29 points, 13 boards, 5 blocks and about 10 elbows to the face of Dikembe Mutombo in the fifth and final game of the 2001 NBA Finals. On a recent episode of The Big Podcast with Shaq , the 2001 Finals MVP complained this team never gets brought up in GOAT team arguments and he has a valid point. 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