Click here to Skip to main content
Willis Reed surprised many, including his own teammates, by appearing in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals.
Photo via NBAE/Getty Images

Knicks center Reed provides stimulus to Finals win

Posted Mar 5 2013 3:53PM

Prior to Game 7, on May 8, 1970, at 7:30 p.m., Reed, the captain and main force of a multitalented New York Knicks team, was apparently sidelined with an injury that threatened his team's chances to win the NBA championship. Fifteen minutes later he had become a legend, and the Knicks were on the way to their first NBA title.

In the first four games of the Finals against the formidable Los Angeles Lakers, Reed had scored 37, 29, 38 and 23 points, respectively, while averaging 15 rebounds. In the fourth quarter of Game 5 he sustained a deep thigh injury. The Knicks managed to survive that encounter but were demolished by the Lakers in Game 6.

The series was tied at three games apiece entering the decisive contest at Madison Square Garden. New York's Bill Bradley recalled Game 7 in an article in The New York Times: "We left the locker room for the warm-ups not knowing if Willis was going to come out or not."

At 7:34 p.m. Reed limped onto the court. The crowd went wild, and his teammates' confidence returned with a vengeance. Reed somehow managed to outjump Wilt Chamberlain. on the opening tip, then scored the game's first basket on a shot from the top of the key. He then scored the second New York basket from 20 feet out.

He did not score again, but he didn't have to; he had already inspired the Knicks to seize the day. New York led by as many as 29 points in the first half and eventually won the contest, 113-99.

photoChristmas Day Preview: Lakers vs. Bulls
Check out what to watch for when Kobe and the Lakers face Derrick Rose and the Bulls on Christmas Day.
photoGameTime: Rondo Talk
Stu Jackson and Grant Hill give their thoughts on the Rajon Rondo trade to Dallas.
photoSteal and Slam
Dante Exum steals the ball, Alec Burks floats one to Derrick Favors for the alley-oop.
photo"Jingle Bells" Excerpted from One on One with Ahmad Rashad
Ahmad Rashad covers Jingle Bells for the holiday season.
photo"NBA Revealed: Klay Thompson" Promo
The holidays are a time to spend time with family, and for Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors, his family has played a special role in his success. As Klay and the Warriors get ready to face the rival Los Angeles Clippers on Christmas Day on TNT, here's a sneak peak at "NBA Revealed: Klay Thompson". The full feature will air on December 23rd on NBATV, the first in a series of special content that will take an in-depth look into NBA personalities and their lives. In this excerpt, Klay narrates his own story of going back to learn more about his roots.

Copyright © NBA Media Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved. No portion of may be duplicated, redistributed or manipulated in any form. By accessing any information beyond this page, you agree to abide by the Privacy Policy / Your California Privacy Rights and Terms of Use. | Ad Choices Ad Choices is part of Turner Sports Digital, part of the Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network.