In one of the greatest moments in the history of The Garden, the Knicks defeated the Boston Celtics in double overtime of a wild Game 4, en route to winning the 1973 Eastern Conference Finals in seven games.
Here’s a look at 9 fun tidbits about the 1973 championship team and the Knicks’ rivalry with the Celtics.
The Knicks and Celtics were both established in 1946 as charter franchises of the Basketball Association of America.
New York had taken the first three playoff series with Boston (1951, 52, 53). The Celtics went on to win four straight series (1954, 1955, 1967, 1969) before New York won the next two (1972, 73).
The series pitted strength against strength. The Knicks ranked #1 in fewest points allowed (98.2), while the Celtics ranked #2 in points scored (112.7).
The 1972-73 Knicks had the most balanced distribution of shot attempts among their starting five of any championship team ever. Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier led the way by taking 20.8% of the team’s shots while on the floor and Bill Bradley took the least of any starter at 18.7%.
In Game 3, John Havlicek injured his right shoulder by running into a Dave DeBusschere pick. Havlicek missed Game 4, but returned and shot left-handed for the rest of the series.
In Game 4, the Knicks came back from a 17-point second-half deficit to defeat the Celtics in double overtime and take a 3-1 series lead. Walt Frazier put on a show, scoring 37 points while adding nine rebounds and four assists.
The Knicks’ Game 7 victory was the first time the Knicks, or any team, had defeated the Celtics in a Game 7.
By beating the Celtics and then the Lakers, the 1972-73 Knicks became the first team to defeat two 60-win teams en route to a championship.