This Week in Nets History: May 4
Big ABA playoff wins for the Nets this week in the 70s
Every Monday, we’ll take a look back and recognize significant dates in Nets history that occurred in the upcoming calendar week.
May 4, 1972
The Nets clinch their first trip to the ABA championship series, defeating the Virginia Squires 94-88 to win their playoff series in six games. After finishing 44-40 during the regular season, the Nets had shocked Kentucky by winning their first-round series in six games. The Colonels had the ABA’s best record with a 68-16 mark. Then the Nets took on a Virginia team led by an impressive rookie named Julius Erving, who averaged 30.7 points per game in the series and would go on to lead the ABA in scoring the following year. With the Squires leading the series 3-2, the Nets won a Game 6 shootout 146-136 behind Rick Barry’s 43 points, plus 37 from John Roche and 33 from Billy Paultz. In the clincher, Barry scored 27 points and averaged 29.0 for the series. In the second of his two seasons with the Nets before returning to the NBA, Barry set a franchise record in averaging 31.5 points per game for the 1971-72 season, which also featured the Nets’ move into Nassau Coliseum and the adoption of their iconic red, white & blue, stars and stripes jerseys. In the final, they lost to the Indiana Pacers in six games. With the series tied at two games apiece, Indiana won Game 5 100-99 and Game 6 108-105.
May 4, 1976
In Game 2 of the 1976 ABA championship series, Julius Erving scores 48 points against the Nuggets, a playoff single-game high during his three seasons with the Nets. Despite the Game 2 loss, the Nets went on to win the ABA’s final championship in six games, their second title in three years. Erving, who had scored 45 points in a Game 1 win, scored at least 30 points in all six games while averaging 37.7 points in the series.
May 4, 2014
The Nets defeat the Toronto Raptors 104-103 in Game 7 to clinch their first-round playoff series. Paul Pierce’s block of Kyle Lowry’s shot on the game’s final play seals the win. Joe Johnson scores 26 points while playing 45 minutes and Kevin Garnett posts a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Marcus Thornton makes 4-of-6 3-pointers while scoring 17 points. Trailing three games to two, the Nets won the final two games for their first playoff series win in the Brooklyn era, and first overall since the 2006-07 season. While the Nets were eliminated by the Miami Heat in the conference semifinals, Johnson averaged 21.2 points while shooting 41.5 percent from 3-point range in 12 playoff games.
May 10, 1974
The Nets defeat the Utah Stars 111-100 to clinch their first ABA championship. Larry Kenon, Billy Paultz and Julius Erving all post 20-point double-doubles in the win. Kenon scores 23 points with 11 rebounds, Paultz scores 21 points with 12 rebounds, and Erving has 20 points and 16 rebounds. After taking a 3-0 series lead, the Nets dropped Game 4 in Utah before clinching at Nassau Coliseum in Game 5. The Nets went 12-2 in the playoffs on their road to the championship.
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