2002 NBA playoffs

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The 2002 NBA playoffs were the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2001–02 season. This was the final postseason that held a best-of-5 first-round series; the 2003 NBA Playoffs saw those series expand to a best-of-7 format. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Nets 4 games to 0. Shaquille O'Neal was named NBA Finals MVP for the third straight year.

2002 NBA playoffs
2002NBAPlayoffs.png
DatesApril 20–June 12, 2002
Season2001–02
Teams16
ChampionsLos Angeles Lakers (14th title)
Runners-upNew Jersey Nets (1st finals appearance)
Semifinalists

The 2002 playoffs are best remembered for that year's Western Conference Finals between the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings, which served as the de facto NBA championship, as the Eastern Conference champ, the Nets, were clearly inferior to both teams, and were eventually swept by the Lakers. The matchup between the Lakers and Kings is widely regarded as the most controversial playoff series in NBA history, as well as one of the most exciting. At the time, there was widespread criticism of the officiating as favoring the Lakers, especially in Game 6. Several years later, disgraced ref Tim Donaghy accused the Game 6 officiating crew of fixing the game, at the behest of the NBA's front office.[1]

This year marked the return of playoff success for the Boston Celtics, who had last made the playoffs in 1995, won their last playoff series in 1992 and made their last Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 1988. Though they eventually lost to the Nets 4–2 (preventing a Celtics–Lakers NBA Finals), they did create the biggest 4th quarter playoff comeback in Game 3, winning 94–90 after trailing by as much as 21 prior to the fourth quarter. (This record was later broken by the Los Angeles Clippers, who came back from 24 in the fourth quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies in 2012).

The Detroit Pistons won their first playoff series since 1991. They would lose in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Celtics in five games.

The playoffs also marked the last appearance of the Charlotte Hornets in the playoffs until 2010. The Hornets moved the next year to New Orleans, while an expansion team, formerly the Bobcats, was formed in 2004. The Hornets were renamed the Pelicans in 2013, after which the Bobcats reclaimed the Hornets name in 2014. The Hornets also reclaimed the history and records of the 1988–2002 Charlotte teams. The Charlotte Coliseum played host to its final playoff game on May 12.

The playoffs marked the last time NBC and TBS aired NBA games as regular TV partners of the league. The last TBS-aired game under its various contracts was Game 5 of the Lakers-Spurs series, while Game 4 of the NBA Finals marked the last telecast on NBC. TBS and NBC were replaced with ESPN and ABC the following season, since both channels are owned by the Walt Disney Company. TBS has aired some NBA basketball in the ensuing years due to conflicts on sister network TNT.

Pat Riley missed the playoffs for the first time in his coaching career.

The total number of playoff games was 70, including the NBA Finals.

BracketEdit

  First Round Conference Semifinals Conference Finals NBA Finals
                                     
E1 New Jersey* 3  
E8 Indiana 2  
  E1 New Jersey* 4  
  E4 Charlotte 1  
E4 Charlotte 3
E5 Orlando 1  
  E1 New Jersey* 4  
Eastern Conference
  E3 Boston 2  
E3 Boston 3  
E6 Philadelphia 2  
  E3 Boston 4
  E2 Detroit* 1  
E2 Detroit* 3
E7 Toronto 2  
  E1 New Jersey* 0
  W3 LA Lakers 4
W1 Sacramento* 3  
W8 Utah 1  
  W1 Sacramento* 4
  W4 Dallas 1  
W4 Dallas 3
W5 Minnesota 0  
  W1 Sacramento* 3
Western Conference
  W3 LA Lakers 4  
W3 LA Lakers 3  
W6 Portland 0  
  W3 LA Lakers 4
  W2 San Antonio* 1  
W2 San Antonio* 3
W7 Seattle 2  


* Division winner
Bold Series winner
Italic Team with home-court advantage


Playoff qualifyingEdit

Western ConferenceEdit

Best record in NBAEdit

The Sacramento Kings clinched the best record in the NBA, and earned home court advantage throughout the entire playoffs.

Clinched a playoff berthEdit

The following teams clinched a playoff berth in the West:

  1. Sacramento Kings (61-21, clinched Pacific division)
  2. San Antonio Spurs (58-24, clinched Midwest division)
  3. Los Angeles Lakers (58-24)
  4. Dallas Mavericks (57-25)
  5. Minnesota Timberwolves (50-32)
  6. Portland Trail Blazers (49-33)
  7. Seattle SuperSonics (45-37)
  8. Utah Jazz (44-38)

Eastern ConferenceEdit

Best record in conferenceEdit

New Jersey Nets

Clinched a playoff berthEdit

The following teams clinched a playoff berth in the East:

  1. New Jersey Nets (52-30, clinched Atlantic division)
  2. Detroit Pistons (50-32, clinched Central division)
  3. Boston Celtics (49-33)
  4. Charlotte Hornets (44-38)
  5. Orlando Magic (44-38)
  6. Philadelphia 76ers (43-39)
  7. Toronto Raptors (42-40)
  8. Indiana Pacers (42-40)

Western ConferenceEdit

Champion: Los Angeles Lakers

First RoundEdit

(1) Sacramento Kings vs. (8) Utah JazzEdit

April 20
3:00 PM
Utah Jazz 86, Sacramento Kings 89
Scoring by quarter: 20–25, 27–21, 17–25, 22–18
Pts: Karl Malone 25
Rebs: Donyell Marshall 10
Asts: John Stockton 12
Pts: Chris Webber 24
Rebs: Chris Webber 12
Asts: Chris Webber 7
Sacramento leads series, 1–0
ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 17,317
Referees: Bernie Fryer, Ron Garretson, Blane Reichelt
April 23
10:30 PM
Utah Jazz 93, Sacramento Kings 86
Scoring by quarter: 15–14, 29–15, 20–23, 29–34
Pts: Donyell Marshall 19
Rebs: Karl Malone 12
Asts: John Stockton 12
Pts: Vlade Divac 21
Rebs: Chris Webber 9
Asts: Doug Christie 5
Series tied, 1–1
ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 17,317
Referees: Dick Bavetta, Mike Callahan, Monty McCutchen
April 27
3:00 PM
Sacramento Kings 90, Utah Jazz 87
Scoring by quarter: 32–21, 14–24, 23–21, 21–21
Pts: Mike Bibby 26
Rebs: Chris Webber 13
Asts: Mike Bibby 5
Pts: Karl Malone 23
Rebs: Malone, Russell 6 each
Asts: Malone, Stockton 7 each
Sacramento leads series, 2–1
Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
Attendance: 19,911
Referees: David Jones, Eddie F. Rush, Greg Willard
April 29
10:00 PM
Sacramento Kings 91, Utah Jazz 86
Scoring by quarter: 28–20, 18–20, 21–22, 24–24
Pts: Peja Stojaković 30
Rebs: Chris Webber 9
Asts: Doug Christie 9
Pts: Karl Malone 14
Rebs: Greg Ostertag 15
Asts: John Stockton 9
Sacramento wins series, 3–1
Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
Attendance: 19,911
Referees: Ted Bernhardt, Dan Crawford, Don Vaden

This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Jazz winning the first meeting.

(2) San Antonio Spurs vs. (7) Seattle SuperSonicsEdit

April 20
5:30 PM
Seattle SuperSonics 89, San Antonio Spurs 110
Scoring by quarter: 29–24, 23–28, 13–38, 24–20
Pts: Vin Baker 22
Rebs: Vin Baker 7
Asts: four players 2 each
Pts: Duncan, Parker 21 each
Rebs: Tim Duncan 10
Asts: Tim Duncan 11
San Antonio leads series, 1–0
Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
Attendance: 23,634
Referees: Jim Clark, Bob Delaney, Jack Nies
April 22
9:30 PM
Seattle SuperSonics 98, San Antonio Spurs 90
Scoring by quarter: 22–36, 30–18, 21–17, 25–19
Pts: Gary Payton 21
Rebs: Gary Payton 11
Asts: Gary Payton 5
Pts: Tim Duncan 32
Rebs: Tim Duncan 12
Asts: Tim Duncan 3
Series tied, 1–1
Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
Attendance: 23,059
Referees: Bernie Fryer, Ron Garretson, Luis Grillo
April 27
5:30 PM
San Antonio Spurs 102, Seattle SuperSonics 75
Scoring by quarter: 23–21, 34–18, 22–15, 23–21
Pts: Tim Duncan 27
Rebs: Tim Duncan 13
Asts: Tim Duncan 5
Pts: Gary Payton 20
Rebs: Brent Barry 8
Asts: Gary Payton 6
San Antonio leads series, 2–1
KeyArena, Seattle, Washington
Attendance: 17,072
Referees: Ted Bernhardt, James Capers, Dan Crawford
May 1
10:30 PM
San Antonio Spurs 79, Seattle SuperSonics 91
Scoring by quarter: 13–24, 18–33, 28–19, 20–15
Pts: Malik Rose 28
Rebs: Malik Rose 13
Asts: Porter, Rose 3 each
Pts: Gary Payton 28
Rebs: Gary Payton 12
Asts: Gary Payton 11
Series tied, 2–2
KeyArena, Seattle, Washington
Attendance: 17,072
Referees: Bennett Salvatore, Bill Spooner, Don Vaden
May 3
9:30 PM
Seattle SuperSonics 78, San Antonio Spurs 101
Scoring by quarter: 10–27, 16–28, 32–26, 20–20
Pts: Gary Payton 23
Rebs: Gary Payton 9
Asts: Gary Payton 5
Pts: Tim Duncan 23
Rebs: Malik Rose 13
Asts: Steve Smith 6
San Antonio wins series, 3–2
Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
Attendance: 23,369
Referees: Dick Bavetta, Mike Callahan, Tom Washington

This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Spurs winning the first meeting.

(3) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (6) Portland Trail BlazersEdit

April 21
5:30 PM
Portland Trail Blazers 87, Los Angeles Lakers 95
Scoring by quarter: 23–19, 21–27, 18–22, 25–27
Pts: Rasheed Wallace 25
Rebs: Rasheed Wallace 14
Asts: Bonzi Wells 6
Pts: Kobe Bryant 34
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 9
Asts: Rick Fox 6
Los Angeles leads Series, 1–0
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: Dick Bavetta, Mike Callahan, Monty McCutchen
April 25
10:30 PM
Portland Trail Blazers 96, Los Angeles Lakers 103
Scoring by quarter: 18–27, 19–24, 26–26, 33–26
Pts: Rasheed Wallace 31
Rebs: Rasheed Wallace 11
Asts: Damon Stoudamire 5
Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 31
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 14
Asts: Kobe Bryant 5
Los Angeles leads series, 2–0
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: James Capers, Dan Crawford, Greg Willard
April 28
5:30 PM
Los Angeles Lakers 92, Portland Trail Blazers 91
Scoring by quarter: 19–19, 31–22, 17–26, 25–24
Pts: Kobe Bryant 25
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 11
Asts: Bryant, O'Neal 7 each
Pts: Rasheed Wallace 20
Rebs: Rasheed Wallace 12
Asts: Scottie Pippen 8
Los Angeles wins series, 3–0
Rose Garden Arena, Portland, Oregon
Attendance: 20,580
Referees: Tim Donaghy, Steve Javie, Tom Washington

The Lakers sweep the Blazers thanks to a series-winning 3 by Robert Horry with 2.1 seconds left in Game 3.

This was the 11th playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Lakers winning eight of the first ten meetings.

(4) Dallas Mavericks vs. (5) Minnesota TimberwolvesEdit

Dirk Nowitzki was virtually unstoppable in this series, averaging 33 points and 16 rebounds per game.[5]

April 21
3:00 PM
Minnesota Timberwolves 94, Dallas Mavericks 101
Scoring by quarter: 31–22, 16–28, 26–23, 21–28
Pts: Chauncey Billups 25
Rebs: Kevin Garnett 21
Asts: Chauncey Billups 9
Pts: Dirk Nowitzki 30
Rebs: Dirk Nowitzki 15
Asts: Nick Van Exel 7
Dallas leads series, 1–0
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 20,010
Referees: Ted Bernhardt, Joe Crawford, Hue Hollins
April 24
9:30 PM
Minnesota Timberwolves 110, Dallas Mavericks 122
Scoring by quarter: 28–33, 31–30, 28–34, 23–25
Pts: Kevin Garnett 31
Rebs: Kevin Garnett 18
Asts: Billups, Garnett 4 each
Pts: Dirk Nowitzki 31
Rebs: Dirk Nowitzki 15
Asts: Steve Nash 10
Dallas leads series, 2–0
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 20,084
Referees: Scott Foster, Bennett Salvatore, Don Vaden
April 28
3:00 PM
Dallas Mavericks 115, Minnesota Timberwolves 102
Scoring by quarter: 40–28, 27–29, 30–22, 18–23
Pts: Dirk Nowitzki 39
Rebs: Dirk Nowitzki 17
Asts: Steve Nash 11
Pts: Kevin Garnett 22
Rebs: Kevin Garnett 17
Asts: Kevin Garnett 5
Dallas wins series, 3–0
Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Attendance: 18,795
Referees: Dick Bavetta, Jess Kersey, Bill Spooner

This was the first playoff meeting between the Mavericks and the Timberwolves.[6]

Conference SemifinalsEdit

(1) Sacramento Kings vs. (4) Dallas MavericksEdit

May 4
6:30 PM
Dallas Mavericks 91, Sacramento Kings 108
Scoring by quarter: 24–27, 26–28, 24–27, 17–26
Pts: Dirk Nowitzki 23
Rebs: Dirk Nowitzki 14
Asts: Steve Nash 5
Pts: Peja Stojaković 26
Rebs: Vlade Divac 16
Asts: Bibby, Christie 8 each
Sacramento leads series, 1–0
ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 17,317
Referees: Scott Foster, Ken Mauer, Bennett Salvatore
May 6
9:00 PM
Dallas Mavericks 110, Sacramento Kings 102
Scoring by quarter: 23–36, 36–24, 22–20, 29–22
Pts: Steve Nash 30
Rebs: Dirk Nowitzki 15
Asts: Steve Nash 8
Pts: Bibby, Webber 22 each
Rebs: Stojaković, Webber 12 each
Asts: Mike Bibby 7
Series tied, 1–1
ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 17,317
Referees: Ron Garretson, Hue Hollins, Steve Javie
May 9
9:30 PM
Sacramento Kings 125, Dallas Mavericks 119
Scoring by quarter: 38–25, 28–41, 25–25, 34–28
Pts: Chris Webber 31
Rebs: Chris Webber 15
Asts: Mike Bibby 9
Pts: Michael Finley 37
Rebs: Raef LaFrentz 13
Asts: Steve Nash 15
Sacramento leads series, 2–1
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 20,265
Referees: Joe Crawford, Bob Delaney, Derrick Stafford
May 11
3:30 PM
Sacramento Kings 115, Dallas Mavericks 113 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 25–27, 26–27, 31–35, 27–20, Overtime: 6–4
Pts: Chris Webber 30
Rebs: Vlade Divac 14
Asts: Bobby Jackson 5
Pts: Dirk Nowitzki 31
Rebs: Dirk Nowitzki 12
Asts: Dirk Nowitzki 7
Sacramento leads series, 3–1
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 20,274
Referees: Jim Clark, Bernie Fryer, Greg Willard
May 13
9:00 PM
Dallas Mavericks 101, Sacramento Kings 114
Scoring by quarter: 26–32, 27–27, 20–27, 28–28
Pts: Dirk Nowitzki 32
Rebs: Dirk Nowitzki 12
Asts: Steve Nash 9
Pts: Bibby, Webber 23 each
Rebs: Hedo Türkoğlu 13
Asts: Doug Christie 7
Sacramento wins series, 4–1
ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 17,317
Referees: Ted Bernhardt, Dan Crawford, Joe Forte

This was the first playoff meeting between the Mavericks and the Kings.[7]

(2) San Antonio Spurs vs. (3) Los Angeles LakersEdit

The Spurs led going into the fourth quarter of four out of the five games, yet were able to win only one. Bryant would pace Los Angeles to 2 crucial victories in the Alamodome with 31 points in Game 3 and a game-winning bucket in Game 4,[8] and would offset the steady production of Tim Duncan (who had a double double in every game including 34 points and 25 rebounds in Game 5) with his fourth quarter heroics. It would be San Antonio's final 2 home games in the Alamodome, as they would move into the SBC Center (now the AT&T Center) the following year.

May 5
5:30 PM
San Antonio Spurs 80, Los Angeles Lakers 86
Scoring by quarter: 17–13, 21–19, 23–25, 19–29
Pts: Tim Duncan 26
Rebs: Tim Duncan 21
Asts: Tim Duncan 5
Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 23
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 17
Asts: three players 4 each
Los Angeles leads series 1–0
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: Bernie Fryer, Luis Grillo, Jack Nies
May 7
10:30 PM
San Antonio Spurs 88, Los Angeles Lakers 85
Scoring by quarter: 31–26, 25–14, 17–25, 15–20
Pts: Tim Duncan 27
Rebs: Tim Duncan 17
Asts: Tony Parker 9
Pts: Kobe Bryant 26
Rebs: Robert Horry 11
Asts: Kobe Bryant 6
Series tied, 1–1
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: Ted Bernhardt, Dan Crawford, Bill Spooner
May 10
9:30 PM
Los Angeles Lakers 99, San Antonio Spurs 89
Scoring by quarter: 24–28, 29–24, 21–19, 25–18
Pts: Kobe Bryant 31
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 15
Asts: Kobe Bryant 6
Pts: Tim Duncan 28
Rebs: Tim Duncan 12
Asts: Tony Parker 5
Los Angeles leads series, 2–1
Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
Attendance: 35,520
Referees: Ken Mauer, Eddie F. Rush, Bennett Salvatore
May 12
5:30 PM
Los Angeles Lakers 87, San Antonio Spurs 85
Scoring by quarter: 25–25, 17–21, 25–29, 20–10
Pts: Kobe Bryant 28
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 11
Asts: Shaquille O'Neal 5
Pts: Tim Duncan 30
Rebs: Duncan, Robinson 11 each
Asts: Tim Duncan 6
Los Angeles leads series, 3–1
Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
Attendance: 32,342
Referees: Dick Bavetta, Mike Callahan, Monty McCutchen
May 14
10:30 PM
San Antonio Spurs 87, Los Angeles Lakers 93
Scoring by quarter: 22–15, 23–24, 16–23, 26–31
Pts: Tim Duncan 34
Rebs: Tim Duncan 25
Asts: Tony Parker 6
Pts: Kobe Bryant 26
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 11
Asts: Rick Fox 7
Los Angeles wins series, 4–1
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: Ron Garretson, Steve Javie, Derrick Stafford

This was the eighth playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Lakers winning five of the first seven meetings.

Conference FinalsEdit

(1) Sacramento Kings vs. (3) Los Angeles LakersEdit

The 2002 Western Conference finals is widely regarded as one of the best series in NBA playoff history, with the last four games coming down to the final seconds. Two games were decided on game winning shots and Game 7 was decided in overtime. However, the series was marred by controversy and allegations of corruption. On June 10, 2008, convicted NBA referee Tim Donaghy's attorney filed a court document alleging that Game 6 was fixed by two referees. The letter states that Donaghy "learned from Referee A that Referees A and F wanted to extend the series to seven games. Tim knew Referees A and F to be 'company men', always acting in the interest of the NBA, and that night, it was in the NBA's interest to add another game to the series." The Lakers won Game 6 106-102, attempting 18 more free throws than the Kings in the fourth quarter, and went on to win the series, and eventually the NBA championship. The document claimed that Donaghy told federal agents that in order to increase television ratings and ticket sales, "top executives of the NBA sought to manipulate games using referees". It also said that NBA officials would tell referees to not call technical fouls on certain players, and states that a referee was privately reprimanded by the league for ejecting a star player in the first quarter of a January 2000 game. Stern denied the accusations, calling Donaghy a "singing, cooperating witness".

The Lakers and Kings split the first two games in Sacramento. Los Angeles raced out to a 36-point first quarter in Game 1 behind 67% shooting and never trailed, paced by Kobe Bryant's 30 point effort and 26 points from Shaquille O'Neal. Chris Webber had 28 points and 14 rebounds, but the other Kings combined shot under 40 percent.[10] Sacramento rebounded to win Game 2, paced behind Webber (21 points, 13 rebounds) and Mike Bibby (20 points). O'Neal had 35 points and 13 rebounds, but struggled with foul trouble; Bryant shot 9-for-21 from the field and was suffering from food poisoning which he contracted from a meal at the team hotel, and some felt it was done deliberately by the hotel staff.[11] The loss snapped the NBA record 12-game playoff road winning streak for the Lakers.[12]

The Kings went to Staples Center and dominated Game 3 to regain home-court advantage, leading by as many as 27 and never trailing. They were again paced by Webber and Bibby, who combined for 50 points, and got solid contributions from Doug Christie (17 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals) and Vlade Divac (11 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks). Other than a brief 3-point barrage in the 4th quarter by the Lakers to cut the lead to 12, there was not much help provided for O'Neal, who had 20 points and 19 rebounds.[13]

In Game 4, Sacramento again got out to a fast start with a 40-point first quarter and built a 24-point first half lead. However, the Lakers cut the lead to 14 at halftime with a Samaki Walker 3-pointer at the buzzer that should not have counted (replay was not used at the time), and to 7 after three quarters. They whittled it down to 2 on the final possession with a chance to tie or win it, but Bryant missed a running layup and Shaq missed a put-back attempt. Divac knocked the ball away from the hoop in an attempt to run out the clock, but instead it wound up going to a wide open Robert Horry behind the 3 point line, who hit the 3 over Webber at the buzzer to give the Lakers an improbable victory, which tied the series going back to Sacramento. Horry scored 11 of his 18 points in the 4th quarter, including two more crucial 3-pointers. O'Neal finished with 27 points and 18 rebounds, Bryant had 25. Divac, Webber and Bibby all finished with 20+ points for the Kings.[14]

As the series shifted back to Sacramento for Game 5, the Kings trailed almost the entire fourth quarter, but a jump shot by Bibby off a screen with 8.2 seconds left gave them the lead and was the game-winner in a 92–91 win. Bibby scored 23 in all, and Webber had 29 points and 13 rebounds in support. Bryant led Los Angeles with 30 points, but missed a potential game winner at the buzzer.[15] O'Neal had 28 points, but did not take a shot in the 4th quarter and fouled out.[16]

Game 6 is considered to be one of the most controversial games in NBA history, as numerous questionable calls went against the Kings in the fourth quarter. The Lakers, led by O'Neal's 41 points and 17 rebounds, won 106-102, setting the stage for Game 7 in Sacramento. There are allegations that the game was affected by the referees in relationship to the Tim Donaghy scandal.[17] The Lakers shot 40 free throws overall, 27 in the fourth quarter alone, and the Kings' big men were plagued with foul trouble (Divac, Webber, Scot Pollard, and Lawrence Funderburke were called for 20 fouls, with Divac and Pollard both fouling out). Webber nearly had a triple double (26 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists), Bibby scored 23, and Divac had 12 points and 12 rebounds.[18] The Washington Post sports columnist Michael Wilbon responded to the calls in Game 6: "I wrote down in my notebook six calls that were stunningly incorrect, all against Sacramento, all in the fourth quarter when the Lakers made five baskets and 21 foul shots to hold on to their championship." For example, Wilbon pointed out that Kobe Bryant did not get a foul called on him after elbowing Mike Bibby in front of an official.[19]

Game 7 was tense, featuring 16 ties and 19 lead changes. In the final ten seconds with Los Angeles up 99–98, Peja Stojaković air-balled a wide open 3, and O'Neal was fouled on the rebound. After O'Neal hit 1 of 2 free throws, Bibby was fouled by Bryant and made both free throws to force overtime. The Kings' offense stalled in the extra period, and the Lakers prevailed 112–106. Sacramento was undone by poor free throw shooting (16–30 from the line), a horrid 2–20 from behind the arc, and a seeming unwillingness for anyone other than Bibby to take crucial shots down the stretch. O'Neal scored 35 and Bryant added 30 in the victory, as all five Lakers starters finished in double figures. Bibby finished with 29 points, and Webber finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists. Divac added 15 points and 10 rebounds.[20]

This would be the last Western Conference finals to be decided in seven games until 2016.

Announcers: for NBC, Mike Breen announced Game 1, Marv Albert Games 3-7; Bill Walton & Steve Jones joined them as the analysts. TNT had Kevin Harlan, Danny Ainge, & John Thompson on hand for Game 2.

May 18
6:30 PM
Los Angeles Lakers 106, Sacramento Kings 99
Scoring by quarter: 36–22, 22–23, 24–24, 24–30
Pts: Kobe Bryant 30
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 9
Asts: three players 5 each
Pts: Chris Webber 28
Rebs: Chris Webber 14
Asts: Chris Webber 6
Los Angeles leads series, 1–0
ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 17,317
Referees: Dick Bavetta, Mike Callahan, Tom Washington
May 20
9:30 PM
Los Angeles Lakers 90, Sacramento Kings 96
Scoring by quarter: 26–25, 24–27, 17–24, 23–20
Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 35
Rebs: Robert Horry 20
Asts: Fisher, Horry 4 each
Pts: Chris Webber 21
Rebs: Vlade Divac 14
Asts: Mike Bibby 8
Series tied, 1–1
ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 17,317
Referees: Joe DeRosa, Bernie Fryer, Eddie F. Rush
May 24
9:00 PM
Sacramento Kings 103, Los Angeles Lakers 90
Scoring by quarter: 32–15, 20–25, 23–12, 28–38
Pts: Chris Webber 26
Rebs: Chris Webber 12
Asts: Christie, Webber 6 each
Pts: Kobe Bryant 22
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 19
Asts: Brian Shaw 7
Sacramento leads series, 2–1
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: Steve Javie, Bennett Salvatore, Don Vaden
May 26
5:30 PM
Sacramento Kings 99, Los Angeles Lakers 100
Scoring by quarter: 40–20, 25–31, 15–22, 19–27
Pts: Vlade Divac 23
Rebs: Hedo Türkoğlu 12
Asts: Christie, Webber 5 each
Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 27
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 18
Asts: Robert Horry 5
Series tied, 2–2
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: Dan Crawford, Ron Garretson, Ken Mauer
May 28
9:00 PM
Los Angeles Lakers 91, Sacramento Kings 92
Scoring by quarter: 33–27, 13–24, 28–22, 17–19
Pts: Kobe Bryant 30
Rebs: Robert Horry 11
Asts: three players 3 each
Pts: Chris Webber 29
Rebs: Chris Webber 13
Asts: three players 3 each
Sacramento leads series, 3–2
ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 17,317
Referees: Joe Crawford, Jack Nies, Bill Spooner
May 31
9:30 PM
Sacramento Kings 102, Los Angeles Lakers 106
Scoring by quarter: 26–28, 30–23, 19–24, 27–31
Pts: Chris Webber 26
Rebs: Chris Webber 13
Asts: Chris Webber 8
Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 41
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 17
Asts: Bryant, Horry 5 each
Series tied, 3–3
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: Dick Bavetta, Ted Bernhardt, Bob Delaney
June 2
7:30 PM
Los Angeles Lakers 112, Sacramento Kings 106 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 22–21, 30–33, 21–20, 27–26, Overtime: 12–6
Pts: Shaquille O'Neal 35
Rebs: Rick Fox 14
Asts: Bryant, Fox 7 each
Pts: Mike Bibby 29
Rebs: Vlade Divac 10
Asts: Chris Webber 11
Los Angeles wins series, 4–3
ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 17,317
Referees: Dan Crawford, Bernie Fryer, Eddie F. Rush

This was the tenth playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Lakers winning eight of the first nine meetings.

Eastern ConferenceEdit

Champion: New Jersey Nets

First RoundEdit

(1) New Jersey Nets vs. (8) Indiana PacersEdit

Although the Nets won the series in 5, it would be most remarkable for more playoff heroics by Reggie Miller; Miller banked in a 40-footer at the buzzer to force OT, and then fly in for a dunk over 3 Net defenders with 3.1 seconds left in the extra session to force the 2nd overtime.[22]

April 20
12:30 PM
Indiana Pacers 89, New Jersey Nets 83
Scoring by quarter: 28–22, 24–20, 11–19, 26–22
Pts: Jermaine O'Neal 30
Rebs: Brad Miller 12
Asts: Jamaal Tinsley 7
Pts: Jason Kidd 26
Rebs: Kenyon Martin 13
Asts: Jason Kidd 9
Indiana leads series, 1–0
Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Attendance: 18,555
Referees: Dan Crawford, Joe Forte, Leroy Richardson
April 22
7:00 PM
Indiana Pacers 79, New Jersey Nets 95
Scoring by quarter: 19–18, 19–31, 22–23, 19–23
Pts: Reggie Miller 26
Rebs: Artest, O'Neal 6 each
Asts: Jamaal Tinsley 5
Pts: Jason Kidd 20
Rebs: Jason Kidd 10
Asts: Jason Kidd 9
Series tied, 1–1
Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Attendance: 20,049
Referees: Joe DeRosa, Eddie F. Rush, Mark Wunderlich
April 26
8:30 PM
New Jersey Nets 85, Indiana Pacers 84
Scoring by quarter: 23–21, 21–16, 20–29, 21–18
Pts: Jason Kidd 24
Rebs: Keith Van Horn 12
Asts: Jason Kidd 11
Pts: Reggie Miller 30
Rebs: Jeff Foster 12
Asts: Jamaal Tinsley 9
New Jersey leads series, 2–1
Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 18,345
Referees: Sean Corbin, Bennett Salvatore, Bill Spooner
April 30
9:30 PM
New Jersey Nets 74, Indiana Pacers 97
Scoring by quarter: 19–22, 14–16, 20–30, 21–29
Pts: Kenyon Martin 13
Rebs: Kenyon Martin 6
Asts: Jason Kidd 6
Pts: Artest, Croshere 18 each
Rebs: Artest, B. Miller 8 each
Asts: Kevin Ollie 9
Series tied, 2–2
Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 18,345
Referees: Tim Donaghy, Steve Javie, Tom Washington
May 2
7:00 PM
Indiana Pacers 109, New Jersey Nets 120 (2OT)
Scoring by quarter: 24–27, 27–24, 28–28, 17–17, Overtime: 11–11, 2–13
Pts: Reggie Miller 31
Rebs: Brad Miller 17
Asts: Kevin Ollie 8
Pts: Jason Kidd 31
Rebs: Kidd, Martin 8 each
Asts: Jason Kidd 7
New Jersey wins series, 3–2
Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Attendance: 20,049
Referees: Joe Crawford, Bob Delaney, Derrick Stafford


This was the first NBA playoff meeting between the Pacers and the Nets. As members of the ABA, both teams met in the 1972 ABA Finals, where the Pacers won 4–2.[23]

(4) Charlotte Hornets vs. (5) Orlando MagicEdit

April 20
8:30 PM
Orlando Magic 79, Charlotte Hornets 80
Scoring by quarter: 28–20, 16–19, 24–18, 11–23
Pts: Tracy McGrady 20
Rebs: Horace Grant 10
Asts: Tracy McGrady 6
Pts: Baron Davis 28
Rebs: P. J. Brown 15
Asts: Baron Davis 7
Charlotte leads series, 1–0
Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, North Carolina
Attendance: 9,505
Referees: Joe DeRosa, Eddie F. Rush, Mark Wunderlich
April 23
8:00 PM
Orlando Magic 111, Charlotte Hornets 103 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 27–26, 35–21, 15–28, 22–24Overtime: 12–4
Pts: Tracy McGrady 31
Rebs: Tracy McGrady 11
Asts: Tracy McGrady 7
Pts: Elden Campbell 27
Rebs: Elden Campbell 13
Asts: Baron Davis 10
Series tied, 1–1
Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, North Carolina
Attendance: 10,323
Referees: Nolan Fine, Joe Forte, Steve Javie
April 27
12:30 PM
Charlotte Hornets 110, Orlando Magic 100 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 27–27, 23–18, 16–24, 26–23, Overtime: 18–8
Pts: Baron Davis 33
Rebs: Baron Davis 14
Asts: Baron Davis 10
Pts: Tracy McGrady 37
Rebs: Garrity, Grant 10 each
Asts: Darrell Armstrong 8
Charlotte leads series, 2–1
TD Waterhouse Centre, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: 16,754
Referees: Bernie Fryer, Luis Grillo, Derrick Stafford
April 30
7:00 PM
Charlotte Hornets 102, Orlando Magic 85
Scoring by quarter: 25–24, 26–17, 24–28, 27–16
Pts: Baron Davis 28
Rebs: Baron Davis 11
Asts: Baron Davis 10
Pts: Tracy McGrady 35
Rebs: Patrick Ewing 10
Asts: Tracy McGrady 6
Charlotte wins series, 3–1
TD Waterhouse Centre, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: 16,254
Referees: Joe Crawford, Bob Delaney, Hue Hollins


Game 4 is Patrick Ewing's final NBA game.

This was the first playoff meeting between the Magic and the Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats franchise.[24]

(2) Detroit Pistons vs. (7) Toronto RaptorsEdit

This series involved two teams that had exceeded expectations during the season. It was also the first time that professional sports teams from Detroit and Toronto met in a postseason series since the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs met in the 1993 Norris Division Semifinals, but no two teams from the two cities have met in a postseason series since. The Detroit Pistons were coming off a year where they had lost 50 games. The Raptors had lost their star forward, Vince Carter, for the remainder of the season. As a result, the Raptors lost 13 straight games without him. Although they looked down and out of playoff contention, the Raptors went on a surge, winning 12 of their last 14 games, locking up the 7th seed. The home team won each game of the series, with the Pistons winning the decisive Game 5 by 3 points. Raptors' Guard, Chris Childs, attempted to draw a foul on a three-point shot, instead of passing it to an open Dell Curry. In the post game interview, Childs stated that he thought the team was down by four points, not three. Detroit advanced to face the Boston Celtics in the second round.

April 21
8:30 PM
Toronto Raptors 63, Detroit Pistons 85
Scoring by quarter: 9–16, 25–26, 11–23, 18–20
Pts: Antonio Davis 15
Rebs: Antonio Davis 14
Asts: Alvin Williams 6
Pts: Jerry Stackhouse 20
Rebs: Ben Wallace 20
Asts: Jerry Stackhouse 4
Detroit leads series, 1–0
The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan
Attendance: 22,076
Referees: Scott Foster, Bennett Salvatore, Don Vaden
April 24
7:00 PM
Toronto Raptors 91, Detroit Pistons 96
Scoring by quarter: 30–27, 19–19, 18–26, 24–24
Pts: Chris Childs 22
Rebs: Antonio Davis 14
Asts: Chris Childs 14
Pts: Jerry Stackhouse 31
Rebs: Ben Wallace 15
Asts: three players 4 each
Detroit leads series, 2–0
The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan
Attendance: 22,076
Referees: Joe Crawford, Ken Mauer, Derrick Stafford
April 27
8:30 PM
Detroit Pistons 84, Toronto Raptors 94
Scoring by quarter: 17–26, 23–25, 27–28, 17–15
Pts: Chucky Atkins 21
Rebs: Ben Wallace 11
Asts: Jerry Stackhouse 4
Pts: Antonio Davis 30
Rebs: Antonio Davis 8
Asts: Chris Childs 10
Detroit leads series, 2–1
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Attendance: 20,138
Referees: Tony Brothers, Jim Clark, Jack Nies
April 29
7:30 PM
Detroit Pistons 83, Toronto Raptors 89
Scoring by quarter: 21–21, 15–25, 25–20, 22–23
Pts: Chucky Atkins 20
Rebs: Ben Wallace 12
Asts: Clifford Robinson 6
Pts: Morris Peterson 20
Rebs: Keon Clark 16
Asts: Alvin Williams 9
Series tied, 2–2
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Attendance: 20,112
Referees: Bernie Fryer, Ron Garretson, Mark Wunderlich
May 2
8:30 PM
Toronto Raptors 82, Detroit Pistons 85
Scoring by quarter: 26–21, 22–25, 11–17, 23–22
Pts: Dell Curry 17
Rebs: Antonio Davis 12
Asts: Childs, Williams 6 each
Pts: Corliss Williamson 23
Rebs: Ben Wallace 17
Asts: Jerry Stackhouse 7
Detroit wins series, 3–2
The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan
Attendance: 22,076
Referees: Joe DeRosa, Steve Javie, Eddie F. Rush


Game 5 is Hakeem Olajuwon's final NBA game.

This was the first playoff meeting between the Pistons and the Raptors.[25]

(3) Boston Celtics vs. (6) Philadelphia 76ersEdit

This series marked the return of the Celtics to the playoffs for the first time in seven years, and they faced the reigning Eastern Conference champion in the first round. The first two games were played in Boston, where the Celtics won both games resoundingly. The 76ers fought back, however, and with Allen Iverson scoring 42 points the 76ers won Game 3 and stayed alive. In Game 4, Iverson was slowed down, scoring 26 points on just 9-of-26 shooting, and Antoine Walker stepped up for the Celtics, scoring 25. But Iverson's play at the end making a layup, scoring off an Eric Snow steal, and hitting some free throws after Walker drilled a three sealed the victory for the 76ers. This set the stage for a Game 5 in Boston to decide the series. The Celtics had control on this game throughout, but the 76ers kept within striking distance into the 4th quarter. But Boston went on an amazing streak of three-pointers, hitting an NBA playoff record nine of them in the 4th quarter and 19 in the game. Paul Pierce led the way with 46, on 8-10 shooting from downtown, and Boston won in a huge blowout, sending them to the conference semifinals to face second-seed Detroit.

April 21
12:30 PM
Philadelphia 76ers 82, Boston Celtics 92
Scoring by quarter: 28–31, 20–23, 11–19, 23–19
Pts: Allen Iverson 20
Rebs: Dikembe Mutombo 11
Asts: Eric Snow 5
Pts: Paul Pierce 31
Rebs: Paul Pierce 11
Asts: Kenny Anderson 5
Boston leads series, 1–0
FleetCenter, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 18,624
Referees: Sean Corbin, Steve Javie, Tom Washington
April 25
8:00 PM
Philadelphia 76ers 85, Boston Celtics 93
Scoring by quarter: 21–26, 19–22, 21–21, 24–24
Pts: Allen Iverson 29
Rebs: Derrick Coleman 13
Asts: Allen Iverson 7
Pts: Paul Pierce 25
Rebs: Pierce, Walker 10 each
Asts: three players 4 each
Boston leads series, 2–0
FleetCenter, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 18,624
Referees: Bob Delaney, Jack Nies, Ron Olesiak
April 28
12:30 PM
Boston Celtics 103, Philadelphia 76ers 108
Scoring by quarter: 21–30, 31–28, 29–25, 22–25
Pts: Paul Pierce 29
Rebs: Rodney Rogers 11
Asts: Paul Pierce 7
Pts: Allen Iverson 42
Rebs: Dikembe Mutombo 11
Asts: Eric Snow 5
Boston leads series, 2–1
First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 20,689
Referees: Joe Crawford, Hue Hollins, Ken Mauer
May 1
8:00 PM
Boston Celtics 81, Philadelphia 76ers 83
Scoring by quarter: 20–16, 16–22, 25–18, 20–27
Pts: Antoine Walker 25
Rebs: Paul Pierce 8
Asts: Kenny Anderson 8
Pts: Allen Iverson 28
Rebs: Dikembe Mutombo 14
Asts: Eric Snow 11
Series tied, 2–2
First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 20,904
Referees: Dick Bavetta, Mike Callahan, Ron Garretson
May 3
7:00 PM
Philadelphia 76ers 87, Boston Celtics 120
Scoring by quarter: 22–27, 25–32, 20–18, 20–43
Pts: Allen Iverson 31
Rebs: Matt Harpring 8
Asts: Iverson, McKie 4 each
Pts: Paul Pierce 46
Rebs: Antoine Walker 9
Asts: Pierce, Walker 6 each
Boston wins series, 3–2
FleetCenter, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 18,624
Referees: Ted Bernhardt, Dan Crawford, Greg Willard

This was the 19th playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Celtics winning 10 of the first 18 meetings.

Conference SemifinalsEdit

(1) New Jersey Nets vs. (4) Charlotte HornetsEdit

May 5
12:30 PM
Charlotte Hornets 93, New Jersey Nets 99
Scoring by quarter: 22–26, 29–19, 22–32, 20–22
Pts: Baron Davis 23
Rebs: P. J. Brown 9
Asts: David Wesley 8
Pts: Jason Kidd 21
Rebs: Jason Kidd 7
Asts: Jason Kidd 7
New Jersey leads series, 1–0
Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Attendance: 19,071
Referees: Joe DeRosa, Eddie F. Rush, Greg Willard
May 7
8:00 PM
Charlotte Hornets 88, New Jersey Nets 102
Scoring by quarter: 19–24, 31–29, 22–27, 16–22
Pts: Baron Davis 21
Rebs: George Lynch 11
Asts: Baron Davis 7
Pts: Lucious Harris 24
Rebs: Keith Van Horn 11
Asts: Jason Kidd 6
New Jersey leads series, 2–0
Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Attendance: 20,049
Referees: Monty McCutchen, Bennett Salvatore, Don Vaden
May 9
7:00 PM
New Jersey Nets 97, Charlotte Hornets 115
Scoring by quarter: 18–28, 27–23, 24–33, 28–31
Pts: Richard Jefferson 16
Rebs: Collins, Kidd 7 each
Asts: Jason Kidd 6
Pts: Baron Davis 26
Rebs: George Lynch 12
Asts: Baron Davis 8
New Jersey leads series, 2–1
Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, North Carolina
Attendance: 11,363
Referees: Dick Bavetta, Mike Callahan, Tom Washington
May 12
12:30 PM
New Jersey Nets 89, Charlotte Hornets 79
Scoring by quarter: 25–24, 14–20, 25–20, 25–15
Pts: Jason Kidd 24
Rebs: Kidd, Van Horn 11 each
Asts: Jason Kidd 8
Pts: Baron Davis 20
Rebs: P. J. Brown 16
Asts: Baron Davis 6
New Jersey leads series, 3–1
Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, North Carolina
Attendance: 13,864
Referees: Joe Crawford, Bob Delaney, Bill Spooner
May 15
8:00 PM
Charlotte Hornets 95, New Jersey Nets 103
Scoring by quarter: 24–25, 26–23, 22–27, 23–28
Pts: Magloire, Nailon 14 each
Rebs: George Lynch 13
Asts: Baron Davis 8
Pts: Jason Kidd 23
Rebs: Kenyon Martin 8
Asts: Jason Kidd 13
New Jersey wins series, 4–1
Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Attendance: 20,049
Referees: Bernie Fryer, Hue Hollins, Mark Wunderlich
  • Game 4 would not only be the last game played at Charlotte Coliseum until 2004 when the Charlotte Bobcats were an expansion team (the Bobcats would make the first of their two only playoff appearances in 2010), but the last playoff game ever played at the arena. Game 5 would also be the Hornets' last playoff game before moving to New Orleans and then being renewed in 2014. They would make the playoffs again in 2016.

This was the first playoff meeting between the Nets and the Hornets.[27]

(2) Detroit Pistons vs. (3) Boston CelticsEdit

May 5
3:00 PM
Boston Celtics 84, Detroit Pistons 96
Scoring by quarter: 22–22, 21–28, 19–28, 22–18
Pts: Antoine Walker 20
Rebs: Paul Pierce 10
Asts: Paul Pierce 5
Pts: Clifford Robinson 30
Rebs: Ben Wallace 12
Asts: Atkins, Stackhouse 8 each
Detroit leads series, 1–0
The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan
Attendance: 20,252
Referees: Jim Clark, Joe Crawford, Joe Forte
May 8
8:00 PM
Boston Celtics 85, Detroit Pistons 77
Scoring by quarter: 28–20, 22–16, 17–23, 18–18
Pts: Paul Pierce 22
Rebs: Tony Battie 11
Asts: Kenny Anderson 5
Pts: Jerry Stackhouse 25
Rebs: Ben Wallace 16
Asts: Chucky Atkins 4
Series tied, 1–1
The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan
Attendance: 22,076
Referees: Bernie Fryer, Jack Nies, Mark Wunderlich
May 10
7:00 PM
Detroit Pistons 64, Boston Celtics 66
Scoring by quarter: 17–17, 16–20, 15–11, 16–18
Pts: Jerry Stackhouse 19
Rebs: Ben Wallace 21
Asts: Clifford Robinson 5
Pts: Paul Pierce 19
Rebs: Tony Battie 10
Asts: Paul Pierce 5
Boston leads series, 2–1
FleetCenter, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 18,624
Referees: Dan Crawford, Joe DeRosa, Scott Foster
May 12
3:00 PM
Detroit Pistons 79, Boston Celtics 90
Scoring by quarter: 17–21, 22–20, 19–25, 21–24
Pts: Clifford Robinson 24
Rebs: Ben Wallace 21
Asts: Damon Jones 9
Pts: Antoine Walker 30
Rebs: Paul Pierce 17
Asts: Paul Pierce 6
Boston leads series, 3–1
FleetCenter, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 18,624
Referees: Luis Grillo, Steve Javie, Tom Washington
May 14
8:00 PM
Boston Celtics 90, Detroit Pistons 81
Scoring by quarter: 24–21, 20–24, 20–10, 26–26
Pts: Paul Pierce 18
Rebs: Antoine Walker 13
Asts: Kenny Anderson 6
Pts: Chucky Atkins 22
Rebs: Ben Wallace 16
Asts: Robinson, Stackhouse 5 each
Boston wins series, 4–1
The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan
Attendance: 22,076
Referees: Bennett Salvatore, Bill Spooner, Don Vaden


This was the seventh playoff meeting between these two teams, with each team winning three series apiece.

Conference FinalsEdit

(1) New Jersey Nets vs. (3) Boston CelticsEdit

The Nets won game one, but Boston came back to steal game two in New Jersey to send the series back to Boston tied 1-1. In Game 3, the Celtics were down by as much as 26 points (21 coming into the 4th quarter), but they accomplished the biggest comeback in NBA Playoff history as the Celtics outscored the Nets 41-16 in the fourth quarter. The Celtics almost completed another comeback in game four, but the Nets held on for the victory to tie the series at two games apiece. The Nets won games five and six to advance to the team's first of two consecutive NBA Finals.

May 19
5:30 PM
Boston Celtics 97, New Jersey Nets 104
Scoring by quarter: 27–31, 22–26, 19–24, 29–23
Pts: Pierce, Walker 27 each
Rebs: Tony Battie 11
Asts: Kenny Anderson 6
Pts: Jason Kidd 18
Rebs: Jason Kidd 13
Asts: Jason Kidd 11
New Jersey leads series, 1–0
Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Attendance: 20,049
Referees: Ron Garretson, Steve Javie, Jack Nies
May 21
8:30 PM
Boston Celtics 93, New Jersey Nets 86
Scoring by quarter: 27–17, 21–25, 27–19, 18–25
Pts: Antoine Walker 26
Rebs: Paul Pierce 14
Asts: Kenny Anderson 7
Pts: Jason Kidd 23
Rebs: Jason Kidd 16
Asts: Jason Kidd 10
Series tied, 1–1
Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Attendance: 19,850
Referees: Ted Bernhardt, Dan Crawford, Derrick Stafford
May 25
5:30 PM
New Jersey Nets 90, Boston Celtics 94
Scoring by quarter: 28–13, 26–21, 20–19, 16–41
Pts: Kerry Kittles 19
Rebs: Todd MacCulloch 11
Asts: Jason Kidd 11
Pts: Paul Pierce 28
Rebs: Antoine Walker 12
Asts: Pierce, Walker 4 each
Boston leads series, 2–1
FleetCenter, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 18,624
Referees: Joe Crawford, Bob Delaney, Bill Spooner
May 27
5:30 PM
New Jersey Nets 94, Boston Celtics 92
Scoring by quarter: 31–18, 17–24, 25–27, 21–23
Pts: Kerry Kittles 22
Rebs: Keith Van Horn 10
Asts: Jason Kidd 9
Pts: Paul Pierce 31
Rebs: three players 9 each
Asts: four players 4 each
Series tied, 2–2
FleetCenter, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 18,624
Referees: Dick Bavetta, Mike Callahan, Tom Washington
May 29
9:00 PM
Boston Celtics 92, New Jersey Nets 103
Scoring by quarter: 16–31, 22–24, 31–17, 23–31
Pts: Paul Pierce 24
Rebs: Antoine Walker 13
Asts: Kenny Anderson 6
Pts: Kerry Kittles 21
Rebs: Jason Kidd 12
Asts: Jason Kidd 7
New Jersey leads series, 3–2
Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Attendance: 19,850
Referees: Joe DeRosa, Bernie Fryer, Eddie F. Rush
May 31
7:00 PM
New Jersey Nets 96, Boston Celtics 88
Scoring by quarter: 21–28, 23–26, 26–15, 26–19
Pts: Kenyon Martin 16
Rebs: Jason Kidd 13
Asts: Jason Kidd 13
Pts: Kenny Anderson 18
Rebs: Antoine Walker 9
Asts: Kenny Anderson 7
New Jersey wins series, 4–2
FleetCenter, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 18,624
Referees: Steve Javie, Bennett Salvatore, Don Vaden


This was the first playoff meeting between the Celtics and the Nets.[29]

NBA FinalsEdit

(W3) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (E1) New Jersey NetsEdit

Last Playoff Meeting: This is the first meeting between the Lakers and Nets.

In Game 1, the Nets stayed within striking distance, but Shaquille O'Neal's 36 points and 16 rebounds led the Lakers to victory. In Game 2, the Nets were blown out by 23, with O'Neal leading the way again, putting up 40 points and 12 rebounds and coming within 2 assists of a triple double. This brought the series to New Jersey with the Lakers up 2-0. Game 3 was a close matchup with Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin, O'Neal, and Kobe Bryant all scoring 26 or more points. Bryant and O'Neal's combined 71 points was too much for the Nets to handle though, and the Lakers took a 3-0 series lead. In Game 4, O'Neal put up 34 points and the Lakers won the game and the championship, accomplishing the NBA's second three-peat in seven years.

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(LAL-NJ)

Venue TV Time Recap
1 June 5 New Jersey 94 Los Angeles 99 1-0 Staples Center, Los Angeles, California NBC 9:00et/6:00pt Recap
2 June 7 New Jersey 83 Los Angeles 106 2-0 Staples Center, Los Angeles, California NBC 9:00et/6:00pt Recap
3 June 9 Los Angeles 106 New Jersey 103 3-0 Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey NBC 8:30et/5:30pt Recap
4 June 12 Los Angeles 113 New Jersey 107 4-0 Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey NBC 9:00et/6:00pt Recap
Los Angeles wins NBA Championship series 4–0

This was the first playoff meeting between the Nets and the Lakers.[30]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Sheridan, Chris (June 10, 2008). "2002 Lakers-Kings Game 6 at heart of Donaghy allegations". ESPN.com.
  2. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Sacramento Kings versus Utah Jazz (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  3. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Oklahoma City Thunder versus San Antonio Spurs (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  4. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Los Angeles Lakers versus Portland Trail Blazers (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  5. ^ "Sacramento 125, Dallas 119". cnn.com.
  6. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Dallas Mavericks versus Minnesota Timberwolves (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  7. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Dallas Mavericks versus Sacramento Kings (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  8. ^ "Kobe Continues to be Thorn in Spurs' Side". www.nba.com. Archived from the original on 2010-08-09. Retrieved 2008-12-23.
  9. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Los Angeles Lakers versus San Antonio Spurs (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  10. ^ "Lakers vs. Kings - Game Recap - May 18, 2002 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  11. ^ Abrams, Jonathan (7 May 2014). "All the Kings' Men". grantland.com.
  12. ^ "Lakers vs. Kings - Game Recap - May 20, 2002 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  13. ^ "Kings vs. Lakers - Game Recap - May 24, 2002 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  14. ^ "Kings vs. Lakers - Game Recap - May 26, 2002 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  15. ^ "NBA.com: Kings One Away from a Crowning Achievement". www.nba.com.
  16. ^ "Lakers vs. Kings - Game Recap - May 28, 2002 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  17. ^ Sheridan, Chris (2008-06-11). "2002 Lakers-Kings Game 6 at heart of Donaghy allegations". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on 11 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  18. ^ "Kings vs. Lakers - Game Recap - May 31, 2002 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  19. ^ Wilbon, Michael (June 2, 2002). "Talk About Foul! Game 6 Was A Real Stinker". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  20. ^ "NBA.com: Lakers March On as Kings Can't Dethrone Dynasty". www.nba.com. Archived from the original on 2008-10-09. Retrieved 2008-12-22.
  21. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Los Angeles Lakers versus Sacramento Kings (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  22. ^ "New Jersey 120, Indiana 109". cnn.com.
  23. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Brooklyn Nets versus Indiana Pacers (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  24. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Charlotte Hornets versus Orlando Magic (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  25. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Detroit Pistons versus Toronto Raptors (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  26. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Boston Celtics versus Philadelphia 76ers (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  27. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Brooklyn Nets versus Charlotte Hornets (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  28. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Boston Celtics versus Detroit Pistons (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  29. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Boston Celtics versus Brooklyn Nets (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  30. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Brooklyn Nets versus Los Angeles Lakers (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2015.

External linksEdit