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1997 NBA Playoffs: Wikis

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The 1997 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1996-1997 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Chicago Bulls winning the NBA championship by defeating the Western Conference champion Utah Jazz four games to two. This was the Bulls second championship in a row, and fifth overall (They would complete a three-peat by defeating the Utah Jazz in the 1998 NBA Finals).

This was the first Western Conference championship for the Jazz in their 22-year history.

The Miami Heat's run to the Eastern Conference Finals marked the farthest the franchise had reached in the playoffs up to that point; they would not return to the East Finals until 2005, but would win the NBA Championship in 2006.

The Minnesota Timberwolves made their playoff debut after failing to win more than 30 games in any of their first seven seasons. For them, it was also the first of seven consecutive seasons in which they would make the playoffs only to lose in the opening round.

This was the first (and as of 2009, only) instance since the ABA-NBA merger prior to the 1976-77 season that none of the four former ABA teams (San Antonio, Denver, Indiana, New Jersey) managed to make the playoffs, even more remarkable considering the rarity with which the Spurs have missed the playoffs at all (as of 2009, only four times since the merger).

It was also the first season in which all four of the 1988 and 1989 expansion teams (Minnesota, Miami, Orlando and Charlotte) made the playoffs. This would happen again in 2001.

The two #8 seeds in this tournament (the Washington Bullets and Los Angeles Clippers) broke long playoff droughts with their appearances in the 1997 playoffs. (The Bullets' last playoff appearance had been in 1988; the Clippers', in 1993). Unfortunately for both teams, it would be a long time before either would appear in the playoffs again; the renamed Wizards made their return in 2005; the Clippers in 2006.

Contents

Bracket

  First Round Conference Semifinals Conference Finals NBA Finals
                                     
1  Utah 3  
8  L.A. Clippers 0  
  1  Utah 4  
 
  4  L.A. Lakers 1  
4  L.A. Lakers 3
5  Portland 1  
  1  Utah 4  
Western Conference
  3  Houston 2  
3  Houston 3  
6  Minnesota 0  
  3  Houston 4
 
  2  Seattle 3  
2  Seattle 3
7  Phoenix 2  
  W1  Utah 2
  E1  Chicago 4
1  Chicago 3  
8  Washington 0  
  1  Chicago 4
 
  4  Atlanta 1  
4  Atlanta 3
5  Detroit 2  
  1  Chicago 4
Eastern Conference
  2  Miami 1  
3  New York 3  
6  Charlotte 0  
  3  New York 3
 
  2  Miami 4  
2  Miami 3
7  Orlando 2  

Playoff qualifying

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Western Conference

Best record in conference

The Utah Jazz clinched the best record in the Western Conference, and had home court advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs.

Clinched a playoff berth

The following teams clinched a playoff berth in the West:

  1. Utah Jazz (clinched Midwest division)
  2. Seattle SuperSonics (clinched Pacific division)
  3. Houston Rockets
  4. Los Angeles Lakers
  5. Portland Trail Blazers
  6. Minnesota Timberwolves
  7. Phoenix Suns
  8. Los Angeles Clippers

Eastern Conference

Best record in NBA

The Chicago Bulls clinched the best record in the NBA, and earned home court advantage throughout the entire playoffs.

Clinched a playoff berth

The following teams clinched a playoff berth in the East:

  1. Chicago Bulls (clinched Central division)
  2. Miami Heat (clinched Atlantic division)
  3. New York Knicks
  4. Atlanta Hawks
  5. Detroit Pistons
  6. Charlotte Hornets
  7. Orlando Magic
  8. Washington Bullets

Notes

  • For the first time since the 1992 postseason, a #5 seed did not beat their #4 seeded opponent in the first round.

Western Conference

Champion: Utah Jazz

First round

(1) Utah Jazz vs. (8) Los Angeles Clippers

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(UTAH-LAC)

Venue Recap
1 April 24 L.A. Clippers 86 Utah 106 1-0 Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 1
2 April 25 L.A. Clippers 99 Utah 105 2-0 Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 2
3 April 28 Utah 104 L.A. Clippers 92 3-0 Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California 3
Utah wins series 3–0

(4) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (5) Portland Trail Blazers

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(LAL-POR)

Venue Recap
1 April 25 Portland 77 L.A. Lakers 95 1-0 Great Western Forum, Los Angeles, California 1
2 April 27 Portland 93 L.A. Lakers 107 2-0 Great Western Forum, Los Angeles, California 2
3 April 30 L.A. Lakers 90 Portland 98 2-1 Rose Garden Arena, Portland, Oregon 3
4 May 2 L.A. Lakers 95 Portland 91 3-1 Rose Garden Arena, Portland, Oregon 4
L.A. Lakers win series 3–1

(2) Seattle SuperSonics vs. (7) Phoenix Suns

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(SEA-PHO)

Venue Recap Television
1 April 25 Phoenix 106 Seattle 101 0-1 KeyArena, Seattle, Washington 1
2 April 27 Phoenix 78 Seattle 122 1-1 KeyArena, Seattle, Washington 2
3 April 29 Seattle 103 Phoenix 110 1-2 America West Arena, Phoenix, Arizona 3
4 May 1 Seattle 122 Phoenix 115 2-2 America West Arena, Phoenix, Arizona 4
5 May 3 Phoenix 92 Seattle 116 3-2 KeyArena, Seattle, Washington 5 NBC
Seattle wins series 3–2

(3) Houston Rockets vs. (6) Minnesota Timberwolves

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(HOU-MIN)

Venue Recap
1 April 24 Minnesota 95 Houston 112 1-0 The Summit, Houston, Texas 1
2 April 26 Minnesota 84 Houston 96 2-0 The Summit, Houston, Texas 2
3 April 29 Houston 125 Minnesota 120 3-0 Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota 3
Houston wins series 3–0

Conference Semifinals

(1) Utah Jazz vs. (4) Los Angeles Lakers

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(UTAH-LAL)

Venue Recap Television
1 May 4 Los Angeles 77 Utah 93 1-0 Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 1 NBC
2 May 6 Los Angeles 101 Utah 103 2-0 Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 2
3 May 8 Utah 84 Los Angeles 104 2-1 Great Western Forum, Los Angeles, California 3
4 May 10 Utah 110 Los Angeles 95 3-1 Great Western Forum, Los Angeles, California 4 NBC
5 May 12 Los Angeles 93 Utah 98 4-1 Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 5
Utah wins series 4–1

(2) Seattle SuperSonics vs. (3) Houston Rockets

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(HOU-SEA)

Venue Recap Television
1 May 5 Seattle 102 Houston 112 1-0 The Summit, Houston, Texas 1
2 May 7 Seattle 106 Houston 101 1-1 The Summit, Houston, Texas 2
3 May 9 Houston 97 Seattle 93 2-1 KeyArena, Seattle, Washington 3
4 May 11 Houston 110 Seattle 106 3-1 KeyArena, Seattle, Washington 4 NBC
5 May 13 Seattle 100 Houston 94 3-2 The Summit, Houston, Texas 5
6 May 15 Houston 96 Seattle 99 3-3 KeyArena, Seattle, Washington 6
7 May 17 Seattle 91 Houston 96 4-3 The Summit, Houston, Texas 7 NBC
Houston wins series 4–3

Conference finals

(1) Utah Jazz vs. (3) Houston Rockets

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(UTAH-HOU)

Venue Recap Television
1 May 19 Houston 86 Utah 101 1-0 Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 1 NBC
2 May 21 Houston 92 Utah 104 2-0 Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 2 NBC
3 May 23 Utah 100 Houston 118 2-1 The Summit, Houston, Texas 3 NBC
4 May 25 Utah 92 Houston 95 2-2 The Summit, Houston, Texas 4 NBC
5 May 27 Houston 91 Utah 96 3-2 Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 5 NBC
6 May 29 Utah 103 Houston 100 4-2 The Summit, Houston, Texas 6 NBC
Utah wins series 4–2

Eastern Conference

Champion: Chicago Bulls

First round

(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (8) Washington Bullets

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(CHI-WAS)

Venue Recap Television
1 April 25 Washington 86 Chicago 98 1-0 United Center, Chicago, Illinois 1
2 April 27 Washington 104 Chicago 109 2-0 United Center, Chicago, Illinois 2 NBC
3 April 30 Chicago 96 Washington 95 3-0 US Airways Arena, Landover, Maryland 3
Chicago wins series 3–0

(4) Atlanta Hawks vs. (5) Detroit Pistons

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(ATL-DET)

Venue Recap Television
1 April 25 Detroit 75 Atlanta 89 1-0 Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia 1
2 April 27 Detroit 93 Atlanta 80 1-1 Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia 2
3 April 29 Atlanta 91 Detroit 99 1-2 Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan 3
4 May 2 Atlanta 94 Detroit 82 2-2 Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan 4
5 May 4 Detroit 79 Atlanta 84 3-2 Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia 5 NBC
Atlanta wins series 3–2

(2) Miami Heat vs. (7) Orlando Magic

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(MIA-ORL)

Venue Recap Television
1 April 24 Orlando 64 Miami 99 1-0 Miami Arena, Miami, Florida 1
2 April 27 Orlando 87 Miami 104 2-0 Miami Arena, Miami, Florida 2 NBC
3 April 29 Miami 75 Orlando 88 2-1 Orlando Arena, Orlando, Florida 3
4 May 1 Miami 91 Orlando 99 2-2 Orlando Arena, Orlando, Florida 4
5 May 4 Orlando 83 Miami 91 3-2 Miami Arena, Miami, Florida 5 NBC
Miami wins series 3–2

(3) New York Knicks vs. (6) Charlotte Hornets

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(NYK-CHA)

Venue Recap Television
1 April 24 Charlotte 99 New York 109 1-0 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York 1
2 April 26 Charlotte 93 New York 100 2-0 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York 2 NBC
3 April 28 New York 104 Charlotte 95 3-0 Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, North Carolina 3 TNT
New York wins series 3–0

Conference Semifinals

(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (4) Atlanta Hawks

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(CHI-ATL)

Venue Recap Television
1 May 6 Atlanta 97 Chicago 100 1-0 United Center, Chicago, Illinois 1
2 May 8 Atlanta 103 Chicago 95 1-1 United Center, Chicago, Illinois 2
3 May 10 Chicago 100 Atlanta 80 2-1 Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia 3 NBC
4 May 11 Chicago 89 Atlanta 80 3-1 Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia 4 NBC
5 May 13 Atlanta 92 Chicago 107 4-1 United Center, Chicago, Illinois 5
Chicago wins series 4–1

(2) Miami Heat vs. (3) New York Knicks

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(MIA-NYK)

Venue Recap Television
1 May 7 New York 88 Miami 79 0-1 Miami Arena, Miami, Florida 1
2 May 9 New York 84 Miami 88 1-1 Miami Arena, Miami, Florida 2
3 May 11 Miami 73 New York 77 1-2 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York 3 NBC
4 May 12 Miami 76 New York 89 1-3 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York 4
5 May 14 New York 81 Miami 96 2-3 Miami Arena, Miami, Florida 5
6 May 16 Miami 95 New York 90 3-3 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York 6
7 May 18 New York 90 Miami 101 4-3 Miami Arena, Miami, Florida 7 NBC
Miami wins series 4–3

Conference finals

(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (2) Miami Heat

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(CHI-MIA)

Venue Recap Television
1 May 20 Miami 77 Chicago 84 1-0 United Center, Chicago, Illinois 1 NBC
2 May 22 Miami 68 Chicago 75 2-0 United Center, Chicago, Illinois 2 TNT
3 May 24 Chicago 98 Miami 74 3-0 Miami Arena, Miami, Florida 3 NBC
4 May 26 Chicago 80 Miami 87 3-1 Miami Arena, Miami, Florida 4 NBC
5 May 28 Miami 87 Chicago 100 4-1 United Center, Chicago, Illinois 5 NBC
Chicago wins series 4–1

NBA finals

Chicago Bulls vs. Utah Jazz

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(CHI-UTAH)

Venue Recap Television
1 June 1 Utah 82 Chicago 84 1-0 United Center, Chicago, Illinois 1 NBC
2 June 4 Utah 85 Chicago 97 2-0 United Center, Chicago, Illinois 2 NBC
3 June 6 Chicago 93 Utah 104 2-1 Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 3 NBC
4 June 8 Chicago 73 Utah 78 2-2 Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 4 NBC
5 June 11 Chicago 90 Utah 88 3-2 Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 5 NBC
6 June 13 Utah 86 Chicago 90 4-2 United Center, Chicago, Illinois 6 NBC
Chicago wins NBA Championship series 4–2

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