1977 NBA All-Star recap

Julius Erving wins MVP honors, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Paul Westphal help lift the West to victory.

WEST 125, EAST 124, Milwaukee Arena (Milwaukee)


MVP: Julius Erving, Philadelphia 76ers

Box score

The East’s high-scoring combo of Julius Erving and Bob McAdoo provided the fireworks throughout the 1977 All-Star Game, but it was Paul Westphal who made the last splash. Westphal, who finished with 20 points, had two baskets and a key steal in the closing minutes to seal the West’s 125-124 victory at Milwaukee Arena. Erving, who finished with 30 points, 12 rebounds and four steals, was named MVP — perhaps in a vote taken a little too early. He and McAdoo, who had 30 points, 10 rebounds and three steals, had their way with the West all night long. The West got back in the game, though, thanks to Westphal and the steady play of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bob Lanier. Abdul-Jabbar, a reserve, had 21 points on 8-for-14 shooting while Lanier, also a reserve, went 7-for-8 from the field with 17 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

The 1977 All-Star Game was the first played after the ABA-NBA merger and several former ABA stars made their NBA All-Star debuts.

In the West, David Thompson, Dan Issel and Bobby Jones of the Nuggets became Denver’s first NBA All-Stars. Billy Knight and Don Buse of the Pacers were Indiana’s inaugural NBA All-Stars as Buse replaced Portland’s Bill Walton, who missed the game with an injury. Maurice Lucas, a former standout for the ABA’s Kentucky Colonels, was an All-Star for his NBA team, the Portland Trail Blazers.

In the East, the Spurs’ George Gervin made the first of his nine consecutive All-Star Game apperances as San Antonio’s first All-Star. Ex-ABAer George McInnis, who left the ABA’s Pacers a season earlier for the Sixers, started for the East in his second straight All-Star appearance.

Pete Maravich made the East team as a representative for the New Orleans Jazz, marking the first All-Star appearance in Jazz history. The NBA club was founded in 1974.

All-Star Game rosters

Eastern Conference

Pete Maravich (New Orleans Jazz)

Doug Collins (Philadelphia 76ers)

Bob McAdoo (Buffalo Braves)

George McInnis (Philadelphia 76ers)

Julius Erving (Philadelphia 76ers)

Jo Jo White (Boston Celtics)

John Havlicek (Boston Celtics)

Elvin Hayes (Washington Bullets)

Phil Chenier (Washington Bullets)

Rudy Tomjanovich (Houston Rockets)

Earl Monroe (New York Knicks)

George Gervin (San Antonio Spurs)

Dave Cowens (Boston Celtics) *

Coach: Gene Shue (76ers)

Western Conference

Paul Westphal (Phoenix Suns)

Norm Van Lier (Chicago Bulls)

Dan Issel (Denver Nuggets)

Bobby Jones (Denver Nuggets)

David Thompson (Denver Nuggets)

Maurice Lucas (Portland Trail Blazers)

Rick Barry (Golden State Warriors)

Phil Smith (Golden State Warriors)

Don Buse (Indiana Pacers)

Billy Knight (Indiana Pacers)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (L.A. Lakers)

Bob Lanier (Detroit Pistons)

Bill Walton (Portland Trail Blazers) *

Coach: Larry Brown (Nuggets)

NOTE: * = missed game due to injury