Click here to Skip to main content
NBA HISTORY
reed-finals.jpg
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.

SEARCH NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS
photoMedia Day: Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant speaks from the Lakers media day as he enters his 19th NBA season.
photoGameTime: Are the Cavs a Title Contender?
The crew discusses if the Cleveland Cavaliers are title contenders.
photoGameTime: Larry Bird Interview
Pacers president Larry Bird talks with Reggie Miller about Indiana's tumultuous off-season.
photoNBA Rooks: Marcus Smart
The youth movement is on in Boston as Marcus Smart shows off his Celtics pride.
photoShabazz Muhammad Interview
Shabazz Muhammad talks with the crew during the Timberwolves midnight run.

Copyright © NBA Media Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved. No portion of NBA.com 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

NBA.com is part of Turner Sports Digital, part of the Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network.