1973 ABA Championship Team
NBAE/Getty Images

On This Day In Pacers History: Indiana Wins Its Third ABA Championship

by Greg Rappaport
Pacers.com Writer

On May 12, 1973, the Pacers beat the Kentucky Colonels 88-81 in Game 7 of the ABA Championship. The win gave Indiana its third and final ABA title, the most in league in history.

In the win, George McGinnis led the way, hanging 27 points on Kentucky while grabbing seven rebounds. Darnell Hillman crashed the glass as well, adding 13 rebounds and seven points.

At halftime, the Pacers led by just one, but came out firing in the third quarter, outscoring the Colonels 24-11 in the offensive blitz. But the fourth quarter became fraught, as Kentucky chipped away at the lead.

Although getting outscored by seven in the fourth quarter, Indiana managed to hang on, topping the Colonels 88-81, and celebrating the rare Game 7 win on the road to capture "I-65 Series."

This year, the Pacers lost a critical member of their ABA dynasty when Mel Daniels, a two-time ABA MVP passed away. Learn more about Daniels' life on and off the court at Pacers.com/mel.

Little did the Pacers know at the time that in three years, they would be part of the merger to join the NBA, where it would take until the year 2000 to reach the Finals again (the Pacers were in the ABA Finals in 1975, however).

Indiana is still searching for its first elusive NBA Championship, but today we pay homage to the group that helped instill the winning tradition of Indiana basketball.

Below is the final box score from the game courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com:

1973 ABA Championship Box Score


  • Facebook
  • Twitter