This Week in Nets History: April 27
Two huge championship openers by Dr. J, and an epic win over the Pacers
Every Monday, we’ll take a look back and recognize significant dates in Nets history that occurred in the upcoming calendar week.
April 27, 2015
Deron Williams scores 35 points with seven assists, five rebounds, and three steals as the Nets beat the Hawks 120-115 in overtime in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series, tying the series at two wins apiece. Brook Lopez scores 26 points with 10 rebounds in the win. A six-game winning streak in late March and early April pushed the Nets into the playoffs, where they ran into the top-seeded Hawks, who would win the series in six games. It was the franchise’s third straight playoff berth in its first three seasons in Brooklyn.
April 30, 1974
Julius Erving scores 47 points in Game 1 of the ABA championship series as the Nets open up with an 89-85 win over the Utah Stars. Larry Kenon scores 18 points and grabs 20 rebounds in the win. After winning the ABA’s Eastern Division with a 55-29 record, the Nets won eight of their first nine playoff games to advance to the championship series, where they took a 3-0 lead before taking home the title in five games.
May 1, 1976
Julius Erving scores 45 points and hits a game-winning jumper for a 120-118 win against the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of the ABA championship series. Erving launched his baseline 18-footer over the reach of Denver’s Bobby Jones in the game’s final second. “I wanted to drive,” Erving told Sports Illustrated at the time. “I wanted to try for a dunk or at least get some contact, draw a foul. But Bobby cut me off, and I didn’t feel I had time to spin back. Also, you don’t have power right away after a spin. So I shot it.” Erving followed up with 48 points in a Game 2 Denver win and averaged 37.7 points in the six-game series.
May 2, 2002
The Nets beat the Indiana Pacers 120-109 in double overtime in decisive Game 5 of first-round playoff series. Jason Kidd scores 31 points with eight rebounds, seven assists, and four steals. Kenyon Martin scores 29 points and Keith Van Horn scores 27. The Nets had stunned the NBA in going from 26 wins to 52 wins and the Eastern Conference’s top seed after the offseason Kidd acquisition, but they were tested by Reggie Miller and a Pacers team just two seasons removed from an NBA Finals appearance. After the Nets took a 2-1 series lead with an 85-84 Game 3 win, the Pacers evened the series to force Game 5. Miller’s 3-point heave forced overtime at the regulation buzzer before the Nets finally took control in the second overtime. They went on to beat the Charlotte Hornets and Boston Celtics to reach their first NBA Finals.
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