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The 1988 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1987-1988 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons four games to three in the Finals. The Lakers became the first team since the Boston Celtics in 1969 to repeat as champions, a feat that Lakers coach Pat Riley had guaranteed through the previous offseason. James Worthy of the Lakers was named NBA Finals MVP.

This was the sixth and last championship of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's career; the following year the Lakers would be swept by the Pistons in the Finals and Abdul-Jabbar retired at the end of the season.

This marked the first time since 1983 that the Boston Celtics did not represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. Although the Celtics did win the most memorable game of the 1988 playoffs, beating the Atlanta Hawks, 118-116, in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semis at Boston Garden. Larry Bird scored 20 points in the fourth quarter to help the Celtics overcome the 47 points scored by Dominique Wilkins.

The Dallas Mavericks made their first trip to the Western Conference finals, falling in seven to the Lakers.

This was the first time in NBA history that a game other than a Championship Series game was played during the month of June.

Highlights of the 1988 NBA Playoffs were provided by the Los Angeles Lakers championship documentary "Back To Back", narrated by Chick Hearn.

Contents

Bracket

  First Round Conference Semifinals Conference Finals NBA Finals
                                     
1  L.A. Lakers 3  
8  San Antonio 0  
  1  L.A. Lakers 4  
 
  5  Utah 3  
4  Portland 1
5  Utah 3  
  1  L.A. Lakers 4  
Western Conference
  3  Dallas 3  
3  Dallas 3  
6  Houston 1  
  2  Denver 2
 
  3  Dallas 4  
2  Denver 3
7  Seattle 2  
  W1  L.A. Lakers 4
  E2  Detroit 3
1  Boston 3  
8  New York 1  
  1  Boston 4
 
  4  Atlanta 3  
4  Atlanta 3
5  Milwaukee 2  
  1  Boston 2
Eastern Conference
  2  Detroit 4  
3  Chicago 3  
6  Cleveland 2  
  3  Chicago 1
 
  2  Detroit 4  
2  Detroit 3
7  Washington 2  

Western Conference

Champion: Los Angeles Lakers

1st Round

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (8) San Antonio Spurs: Lakers win series 3-0

  • Game 1 @ Los Angeles: Los Angeles 122, San Antonio 110
  • Game 2 @ Los Angeles: Los Angeles 130, San Antonio 112
  • Game 3 @ San Antonio: Los Angeles 109, San Antonio 107

(2) Denver Nuggets vs. (7) Seattle SuperSonics: Nuggets win series 3-2

  • Game 1 @ Denver: Denver 126, Seattle 123
  • Game 2 @ Denver: Seattle 111, Denver 91
  • Game 3 @ Seattle: Denver 124, Seattle 115
  • Game 4 @ Seattle: Seattle 127, Denver 117
  • Game 5 @ Denver: Denver 115, Seattle 96

(3) Dallas Mavericks vs. (6) Houston Rockets: Mavericks win series 3-1

  • Game 1 @ Dallas: Dallas 120, Houston 110
  • Game 2 @ Dallas: Houston 119, Dallas 108
  • Game 3 @ Houston: Dallas 93, Houston 92
  • Game 4 @ Houston: Dallas 107, Houston 97

(4) Portland Trail Blazers vs. (5) Utah Jazz: Jazz win series 3-1

  • Game 1 @ Portland: Portland 108, Utah 96
  • Game 2 @ Portland: Utah 114, Portland 105
  • Game 3 @ Utah: Utah 113, Portland 108
  • Game 4 @ Utah: Utah 111, Portland 96

Conference Semifinals

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (5) Utah Jazz: Lakers win series 4-3

  • Game 1 @ Los Angeles: Los Angeles 110, Utah 91
  • Game 2 @ Los Angeles: Utah 101, Los Angeles 97
  • Game 3 @ Utah: Utah 96, Los Angeles 89
  • Game 4 @ Utah: Los Angeles 113, Utah 100
  • Game 5 @ Los Angeles: Los Angeles 111, Utah 109
  • Game 6 @ Utah: Utah 108, Los Angeles 80
  • Game 7 @ Los Angeles: Los Angeles 109, Utah 98

(2) Denver Nuggets vs. (3) Dallas Mavericks: Mavericks win series 4-2

  • Game 1 @ Denver: Denver 126, Dallas 115
  • Game 2 @ Denver: Dallas 112, Denver 108
  • Game 3 @ Dallas: Denver 107, Dallas 105
  • Game 4 @ Dallas: Dallas 124, Denver 103
  • Game 5 @ Denver: Dallas 110, Denver 106
  • Game 6 @ Dallas: Dallas 108, Denver 95

Conference Finals

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (3) Dallas Mavericks: Lakers win series 4-3

  • Game 1 @ Los Angeles: Los Angeles 113, Dallas 98
  • Game 2 @ Los Angeles: Los Angeles 123, Dallas 101
  • Game 3 @ Dallas: Dallas 106, Los Angeles 94
  • Game 4 @ Dallas: Dallas 118, Los Angeles 104
  • Game 5 @ Los Angeles: Los Angeles 119, Dallas 102
  • Game 6 @ Dallas: Dallas 105, Los Angeles 103
  • Game 7 @ Los Angeles: Los Angeles 117, Dallas 102

Eastern Conference

Champion: Detroit Pistons

1st Round

(1) Boston Celtics vs. (8) New York Knicks: Celtics win series 3-1

  • Game 1 @ Boston: Boston 112, New York 92
  • Game 2 @ Boston: Boston 128, New York 102
  • Game 3 @ New York: New York 109, Boston 100
  • Game 4 @ New York: Boston 102, New York 94

(2) Detroit Pistons vs. (7) Washington Bullets: Pistons win series 3-2

  • Game 1 @ Detroit: Detroit 96, Washington 87
  • Game 2 @ Detroit: Detroit 102, Washington 101
  • Game 3 @ Washington: Washington 114, Detroit 106
  • Game 4 @ Washington: Washington 106, Detroit 103
  • Game 5 @ Detroit: Detroit 99, Washington 78

(3) Chicago Bulls vs. (6) Cleveland Cavaliers: Bulls win series 3-2

  • Game 1 @ Chicago: Chicago 104, Cleveland 93
  • Game 2 @ Chicago: Chicago 106, Cleveland 101
  • Game 3 @ Cleveland: Cleveland 110, Chicago 102
  • Game 4 @ Cleveland: Cleveland 97, Chicago 91
  • Game 5 @ Chicago: Chicago 107, Cleveland 101

(4) Atlanta Hawks vs. (5) Milwaukee Bucks: Hawks win series 3-2

  • Game 1 @ Atlanta: Atlanta 110, Milwaukee 107
  • Game 2 @ Atlanta: Atlanta 104, Milwaukee 97
  • Game 3 @ Milwaukee: Milwaukee 123, Atlanta 115
  • Game 4 @ Milwaukee: Milwaukee 105, Atlanta 99
  • Game 5 @ Atlanta: Atlanta 121, Milwaukee 111

Conference Semifinals (1) Boston Celtics vs. (4) Atlanta Hawks: Celtics win series 4-3

  • Game 1 @ Boston: Boston 110, Atlanta 101
  • Game 2 @ Boston: Boston 108, Atlanta 97
  • Game 3 @ Atlanta: Atlanta 110, Boston 92
  • Game 4 @ Atlanta: Atlanta 118, Boston 109
  • Game 5 @ Boston: Atlanta 112, Boston 104
  • Game 6 @ Atlanta: Boston 102, Atlanta 100
  • Game 7 @ Boston: Boston 118, Atlanta 116 (Wilkins vs. Bird Duel)

(2) Detroit Pistons vs. (3) Chicago Bulls: Pistons win series 4-1

  • Game 1 @ Detroit: Detroit 93, Chicago 82
  • Game 2 @ Detroit: Chicago 105, Detroit 95
  • Game 3 @ Chicago: Detroit 101, Chicago 79
  • Game 4 @ Chicago: Detroit 96, Chicago 77
  • Game 5 @ Detroit: Detroit 102, Chicago 95

Conference Finals (1) Boston Celtics vs. (2) Detroit Pistons: Pistons win series 4-2

  • Game 1 @ Boston: Detroit 104, Boston 96
  • Game 2 @ Boston: Boston 119, Detroit 115
  • Game 3 @ Detroit: Detroit 98, Boston 94
  • Game 4 @ Detroit: Boston 79, Detroit 78
  • Game 5 @ Boston: Detroit 102, Boston 96
  • Game 6 @ Detroit: Detroit 95, Boston 90

NBA finals

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (2) Detroit Pistons: Lakers win series 4-3

  • Game 1 @ Los Angeles: Detroit 105, Los Angeles 93
  • Game 2 @ Los Angeles: Los Angeles 108, Detroit 96
  • Game 3 @ Detroit: Los Angeles 99, Detroit 86
  • Game 4 @ Detroit: Detroit 111, Los Angeles 86
  • Game 5 @ Detroit: Detroit 104, Los Angeles 94
  • Game 6 @ Los Angeles: Los Angeles 103, Detroit 102
  • Game 7 @ Los Angeles: Los Angeles 108, Detroit 105

External links

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