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1955 NBA Finals
Team Coach Wins
Syracuse Nationals Al Cervi 4
Fort Wayne Pistons Charles Eckman 3
Dates: March 31 - April 10
Game 1:
Game 2:
Game 3:
Game 4:
Eastern Finals: Nationals defeated Celtics, 3-1
Western Finals: Pistons defeated Lakers, 3-1
 < 1954 NBA Finals 1956 > 

The 1955 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1954-55 NBA season. The best-of-seven series was won by the Syracuse Nationals, who defeated the Fort Wayne Pistons in the final game when Syracuse's George King made a free throw with 12 seconds left to put the Nationals up by one point. King then stole the ball from Fort Wayne's Andy Phillip with three seconds remaining to clinch the victory for Syracuse.[1]

It has been alleged that some Fort Wayne players conspired with gamblers to throw the series to Syracuse.[2] The suspicious nature of the seventh game in particular has raised concerns about the legitimacy of the series. Fort Wayne led Syracuse 41-24 early in the second quarter, then allowed the Nationals to rally to win the game.[3] Andy Phillip, who turned the ball over with three seconds left in the game, was believed by at least one of his teammates, George Yardley, to have thrown the game. "There were always unwholesome implications about that ball game," Yardley told the author Charley Rosen.[4] However, Phillip may not have acted alone. Other Pistons players were strongly believed to have thrown games during the 1953-54 and 1954-55 NBA seasons.[5] In fact, Yardley himself turned the ball over to Syracuse with a palming violation with 18 seconds remaining in Game 7.[6 ] The foul that gave Syracuse its winning free throw, meanwhile, was committed by Frankie Brian.[6 ]


Series summary

Game Date Home Team Result Road Team
Game 1 March 31 Syracuse 86-82 Fort Wayne
Game 2 April 2 Syracuse 87-84 Fort Wayne
Game 3 April 3 Fort Wayne 96-89 Syracuse
Game 4 April 5 Fort Wayne 109-82 Syracuse
Game 5 April 7 Fort Wayne 74-71 Syracuse
Game 6 April 9 Syracuse 109-104 Fort Wayne
Game 7 April 10 Syracuse 92-91 Fort Wayne

Nationals win series 4-3

Team rosters

Notes and sources

  1. ^ "City Hails Nats' World Title Triumph," Syracuse Herald Journal, April 11, 1955, pp. 1, 45.
  2. ^ The Wizard of Odds: How Jack Molinas Almost Destroyed the Game of Basketball. By Charley Rosen. p. 154. 2001 Seven Stories Press. ISBN 1583222685
  3. ^ "Syracuse Five Defeats Pistons in N.B.A. Play-Off Final, 92-91," The New York Times, April 11, 1955, p. 31.
  4. ^ Rosen, p. 154.
  5. ^ Rosen, pp. 108-154.
  6. ^ a b Syracuse Herald Journal, April 11, 1955, p. 45.

See also

External links



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