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1995 NBA Playoffs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1995 NBA playoffs
DatesApril 27–June 14, 1995
Season1994–95
Teams16
ChampionsHouston Rockets (2nd title)
Runners-upOrlando Magic (1st finals appearance)
Semifinalists

The 1995 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1994–95 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Houston Rockets defeating the Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic 4 games to 0 in the NBA Finals. Hakeem Olajuwon was named NBA Finals MVP for the second straight time.

As of 2018, the 1995 Rockets are the lowest-seeded team to ever win the NBA Championship.[1]

Houston became the eighth team to win back-to-back titles (after the Minneapolis Lakers of 1949 and 1950, and again 1952–54, and the Celtics dynasty of 1959–66 and again in 1968–69, as the LA Lakers of 1987 and 1988, Pistons of 1989 and 1990 and Bulls of 1991, 1992 and 1993). It would go on to happen twelve more times, with the Bulls winning 3 more from 1996 to 1998, the Lakers from 2000–2002 and 2009–2010, the Miami Heat from 2012–13, and the Golden State Warriors from 2017–18. The Rockets championships were also part of a run that saw 4 teams win consecutive titles (The Lakers 1987–88, Pistons 1989–90, Bulls 1991–93 and 1996–98, Rockets 1994–95). That streak was stopped by a Spurs franchise, who like the Celtics of the 1980s, didn't win back-to-back titles, but did win numerous championships and is considered a dynasty.

The sixth-seeded Rockets (47–35) took out 4 impressive opponents on their way to the title, defeating the 3rd-seeded Utah Jazz (60–22), 2nd-seeded Phoenix Suns (59–23), top-seeded San Antonio Spurs (62–20) and Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic (57–25) in the NBA Finals. In the Conference Semifinals against the Suns, the Rockets came back from a 2–0 and 3–1 series deficit without home-court advantage, winning Games 5 and 7 in Phoenix. Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon dominated league MVP David Robinson and Shaquille O'Neal in consecutive series to win the title. The Rockets 47 wins were the fewest by an NBA champion since the Washington Bullets tallied 44 in 1978.

The 1995 Playoffs featured the first 3 playoff series victories in Magic history, as they beat the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, and Indiana Pacers to win their first Eastern Conference title.

It also featured the return of Michael Jordan to the playoffs after a year and a half absence, returning in March, and the only time the Bulls didn't win a title with him on the roster since they started their string of titles in 1991.

Game 4 of the Celtics-Magic series was the last game played at Boston Garden. Boston returned to the playoffs in 2002, this time in the new FleetCenter (now TD Garden).

Game 3 of the Blazers-Suns series was the last game played at the then-Memorial Coliseum (renamed the Veterans Memorial Coliseum as of 2012). The Blazers continued their playoff streak at Rose Garden (now Moda Center) for the next 7 years.

Game 3 of the Spurs-Nuggets series was the final playoff game at McNichols Sports Arena; the Nuggets missed the playoffs in each of the arena's final four years. Denver returned to the playoffs in 2004, this time in the new Pepsi Center.

The Pacers made the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight year (and finally defeated the New York Knicks on their way to doing so), but found the Magic too powerful to overcome. Coincidentally, they met all 3 playoff opponents (Orlando, Atlanta, and New York) they had in 1994, just in a different order.

Since the NBA playoffs expanded to 16 teams in 1984, the Jazz became the second team (along with the 1994 Sonics) to win at least 60 regular season games and lose in the first round, when they lost to the eventual NBA champion Rockets.

Bracket

  First Round Conference Semifinals Conference Finals NBA Finals
                                     
1 Orlando 3  
8 Boston 1  
  1 Orlando 4  
  5 Chicago 2  
4 Charlotte 1
5 Chicago 3  
  1 Orlando 4  
Eastern Conference
  2 Indiana 3  
3 New York 3  
6 Cleveland 1  
  3 New York 3
  2 Indiana 4  
2 Indiana 3
7 Atlanta 0  
  E1 Orlando 0
  W6 Houston 4
1 San Antonio 3  
8 Denver 0  
  1 San Antonio 4
  5 L.A. Lakers 2  
4 Seattle 1
5 L.A. Lakers 3  
  1 San Antonio 2
Western Conference
  6 Houston 4  
3 Utah 2  
6 Houston 3  
  6 Houston 4
  2 Phoenix 3  
2 Phoenix 3
7 Portland 0  


Western Conference

Champion: Houston Rockets

First Round

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (8) Denver Nuggets: Spurs win series 3-0

  • Game 1 @ Alamodome, San Antonio (April 28): San Antonio 104, Denver 88
  • Game 2 @ Alamodome, San Antonio (April 30): San Antonio 122, Denver 96
  • Game 3 @ McNichols Sports Arena, Denver (May 2): San Antonio 99, Denver 95 (Nuggets final playoff game at McNichols Sports Area)
Regular-season series
San Antonio won 4–1 in the regular-season series

This was the fourth playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Spurs winning two of the first three meetings.

Previous playoff series[2]
San Antonio leads 2–1 in all-time playoff series

(2) Phoenix Suns vs. (7) Portland Trail Blazers: Suns win series 3-0

Regular-season series
Phoenix won 5–0 in the regular-season series

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

Previous playoff series[3]
Tied 2–2 in all-time playoff series

(3) Utah Jazz vs. (6) Houston Rockets: Rockets win series 3-2

  • Game 1 @ Delta Center, Salt Lake City (April 27): Utah 102, Houston 100 (John Stockton hits the game-winning lay-up with 2.4 seconds left)
  • Game 2 @ Delta Center, Salt Lake City (April 29): Houston 140, Utah 126
  • Game 3 @ The Summit, Houston (May 3): Utah 95, Houston 82
  • Game 4 @ The Summit, Houston (May 5): Houston 123, Utah 106
  • Game 5 @ Delta Center, Salt Lake City (May 7): Houston 95, Utah 91
Regular-season series
Utah won 3–2 in the regular-season series

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

Previous playoff series[4]
Tied 1–1 in all-time playoff series

(4) Seattle SuperSonics vs. (5) Los Angeles Lakers: Lakers win series 3-1

Regular-season series
Los Angeles won 4–1 in the regular-season series

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

Previous playoff series[5]
Los Angeles leads 3–2 in all-time playoff series

Conference Semifinals

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (5) Los Angeles Lakers: Spurs win series 4-2

  • Game 1 @ Alamodome, San Antonio (May 6): San Antonio 110, Los Angeles 94
  • Game 2 @ Alamodome, San Antonio (May 8): San Antonio 97, Los Angeles 90 (OT)
  • Game 3 @ Great Western Forum, Los Angeles (May 12): Los Angeles 92, San Antonio 85
  • Game 4 @ Great Western Forum, Los Angeles (May 14): San Antonio 80, Los Angeles 71
  • Game 5 @ Alamodome, San Antonio (May 16): Los Angeles 98, San Antonio 96 (OT) (Nick Van Exel hits the game-tying 3 with 10.2 seconds left in regulation, then the game-winning 3 with 5 tenths left in OT)
  • Game 6 @ Great Western Forum, Los Angeles (May 18): San Antonio 100, Los Angeles 88
Regular-season series
San Antonio won 3–1 in the regular-season series

This was the fifth playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Lakers winning the first four meetings.

Previous playoff series[6]
Los Angeles leads 4–0 in all-time playoff series

(2) Phoenix Suns vs. (6) Houston Rockets: Rockets win series 4-3

Regular-season series
Houston won 3–1 in the regular-season series

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

Previous playoff series[7]
Houston leads 1–0 in all-time playoff series

Conference Finals

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (6) Houston Rockets: Rockets win series 4-2

  • Game 1 @ Alamodome, San Antonio (May 22): Houston 94, San Antonio 93 (Robert Horry hits the game-winner with 6.5 seconds left)
  • Game 2 @ Alamodome, San Antonio (May 24): Houston 106, San Antonio 96
  • Game 3 @ The Summit, Houston (May 26): San Antonio 107, Houston 102
  • Game 4 @ The Summit, Houston (May 28): San Antonio 103, Houston 81
  • Game 5 @ Alamodome, San Antonio (May 30): Houston 111, San Antonio 90
  • Game 6 @ The Summit, Houston (June 1): Houston 100, San Antonio 95
Regular-season series
San Antonio won 5–1 in the regular-season series

This was the third playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Rockets winning the first two meetings.

Previous playoff series[8]
Houston leads 2–0 in all-time playoff series

Eastern Conference

Champion: Orlando Magic

First Round

(1) Orlando Magic vs. (8) Boston Celtics: Magic win series 3-1

  • Game 1 @ Orlando Arena, Orlando (April 28): Orlando 124, Boston 77
  • Game 2 @ Orlando Arena, Orlando (April 30): Boston 99, Orlando 92
  • Game 3 @ Boston Garden, Boston (May 3): Orlando 82, Boston 77
  • Game 4 @ Boston Garden, Boston (May 5): Orlando 95, Boston 92 (Final Celtics game at Boston Garden)
Regular-season series
Orlando won 3–2 in the regular-season series

This was the first playoff meeting between the Celtics and the Magic.[9]

(2) Indiana Pacers vs. (7) Atlanta Hawks: Pacers win series 3-0

Regular-season series
Indiana won 4–1 in the regular-season series

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

Previous playoff series[10]
Tied 1–1 in all-time playoff series

(3) New York Knicks vs. (6) Cleveland Cavaliers: Knicks win series 3-1

Regular-season series
Tied 2–2 in the regular-season series

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

Previous playoff series[11]
New York leads 1–0 in all-time playoff series

(4) Charlotte Hornets vs. (5) Chicago Bulls: Bulls win series 3-1

Regular-season series
Tied 2–2 in the regular-season series

This was the first playoff meeting between the Hornets and the Bulls.[12]

Conference Semifinals

(1) Orlando Magic vs. (5) Chicago Bulls: Magic win series 4-2

  • Game 1 @ Orlando Arena, Orlando (May 7): Orlando 94, Chicago 91 (Nick Anderson's clutch steal off Michael Jordan, leading to his comments on Jordan's jersey number 45, saying he thought Jordan was playing like a 45-year-old. Meanwhile, Horace Grant goes up for the game-winning dunk with 6.2 seconds remaining.)
  • Game 2 @ Orlando Arena, Orlando (May 10): Chicago 104, Orlando 94 (Jordan returns to his more familiar jersey number 23)
  • Game 3 @ United Center, Chicago (May 12): Orlando 110, Chicago 101
  • Game 4 @ United Center, Chicago (May 14): Chicago 106, Orlando 95
  • Game 5 @ Orlando Arena, Orlando (May 16): Orlando 103, Chicago 95
  • Game 6 @ United Center, Chicago (May 18): Orlando 108, Chicago 102
Regular-season series
Orlando won 3–1 in the regular-season series

This was the first playoff meeting between the Bulls and the Magic.[13] It was also the last Playoff Series defeat for Michael Jordan.

(2) Indiana Pacers vs. (3) New York Knicks: Pacers win series 4-3

Regular-season series
New York won 3–1 in the regular-season series
January 10, 1995
Indiana Pacers 105, New York Knicks 117

This was the third playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Knicks winning the first two meetings.

Previous playoff series[14]
New York leads 2–0 in all-time playoff series

Conference Finals

(1) Orlando Magic vs. (2) Indiana Pacers: Magic win series 4-3

Regular-season series
Tied 2–2 in the regular-season series

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

Previous playoff series[15]
Indiana leads 1–0 in all-time playoff series

NBA Finals

(1) Orlando Magic vs. (6) Houston Rockets: Rockets win series 4-0

  • Game 1 @ Orlando Arena, Orlando (June 7): Houston 120, Orlando 118 (OT) (Nick Anderson misses 4 straight free throws to set up Kenny Smith's game-tying 3 with 1.6 seconds left; Robert Horry blocks Dennis Scott's game-winning 3-point attempt at the buzzer in regulation; Hakeem Olajuwon tips in Clyde Drexler's missed layup with 3 tenths left in OT)
  • Game 2 @ Orlando Arena, Orlando (June 9): Houston 117, Orlando 106 (Orlando becomes the 2nd team in NBA Finals history to lose the first two games at home while having home-court advantage)
  • Game 3 @ The Summit, Houston (June 11): Houston 106, Orlando 103 (Robert Horry's clutch 3 with 14.1 seconds left to put Houston up 104–100)
  • Game 4 @ The Summit, Houston (June 14): Houston 113, Orlando 101 (Hakeem Olajuwon brings the Finals to a close by hitting a three-pointer over Shaquille O'Neal with 11.5 seconds left)
Regular-season series
Orlando won 2–0 in the regular-season series

This was the first playoff meeting between the Rockets and the Magic.[16]

Notes

  • Both #5 seeds beat their #4 seeded opponent in the first round for the third straight year.
  • The Rockets are the lowest seeded team to ever win a title (#6).
  • In the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Pacers had earned the #2 seed via the Central Division title, but the Knicks had homecourt advantage because of a better regular season record.
  • Jordan changed his number back to 23 after the game 1 loss to the Orlando Magic, which led to him being fined.

References

  1. ^ Getz, Vin. "NBA Finals: Winners by Seed". Sports List of the Day. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Denver Nuggets versus San Antonio Spurs (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  3. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Phoenix Suns versus Portland Trail Blazers (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  4. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Houston Rockets versus Utah Jazz (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  5. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Los Angeles Lakers versus Oklahoma City Thunder (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  6. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Los Angeles Lakers versus San Antonio Spurs (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  7. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Houston Rockets versus Phoenix Suns (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  8. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Houston Rockets versus San Antonio Spurs (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  9. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Boston Celtics versus Orlando Magic (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  10. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Atlanta Hawks versus Indiana Pacers (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  11. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Cleveland Cavaliers versus New York Knicks (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  12. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Charlotte Hornets versus Chicago Bulls (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  13. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Chicago Bulls versus Orlando Magic (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  14. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Indiana Pacers versus New York Knicks (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  15. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Indiana Pacers versus Orlando Magic (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  16. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Houston Rockets versus Orlando Magic (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 2, 2015.

External links

This page was last edited on 28 February 2019, at 01:53
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