|Hall of Famers||Bucks:|
Lew Alcindor (as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; 1995)
Bob Dandridge (2021)
Oscar Robertson (1980)
Earl Monroe (1990)
Wes Unseld (1988)
Gus Johnson (2010)
|Eastern Finals||Bullets defeated Knicks, 4–3|
|Western Finals||Bucks defeated Lakers, 4–1|
The 1971 NBA Finals was the championship series played at the conclusion of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 25th anniversary season of 1970–71. The Western Conference champion Milwaukee Bucks, who were founded as an expansion team three years earlier, swept the Eastern Conference champion Baltimore Bullets in four games. Baltimore had dethroned the 1969–70 NBA champion New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference finals.
The Bucks were the first Western Conference champions to win the league's championship since the St. Louis Hawks did so in 1958, and were the first expansion team in the NBA to win a championship since the NBA held its first expansion draft. (The Bullets originally started out as the Chicago Packers, an expansion team that began play in 1961–62 before moving to Baltimore in 1963.) It was also the first NBA title by a Western Conference team that has not since folded or relocated.
The Bullets were forced to play Game 1 on a Wednesday night, just 48 hours after having defeated New York in Game 7 of the 1971 Eastern Conference Finals, then had to wait four days before playing Game 2. The series was the second (and last) time in NBA history that the teams alternated home games, the other being in 1956. Most other series were held in the 2-2-1-1-1 or 2-3-2 format (a 1-2-2-1-1 format was used in 1975 and 1978). It was also the last NBA Championship Series completed before May 1.
The series was broadcast by ABC with Chris Schenkel and Jack Twyman providing the commentary.
Until 2021, it was the Bucks' only and the city's second championship (with the other being the 1957 Braves). The city's 49-year drought was the fourth longest title drought in the "Big 4" major professional sports leagues, behind Buffalo, San Diego and Vancouver.[a]
|Game||Date||Home team||Result||Road team|
|Game 1||April 21||Milwaukee Bucks||98–88 (1–0)||Baltimore Bullets|
|Game 2||April 25||Baltimore Bullets||83–102 (0–2)||Milwaukee Bucks|
|Game 3||April 28||Milwaukee Bucks||107–99 (3–0)||Baltimore Bullets|
|Game 4||April 30||Baltimore Bullets||106–118 (0–4)||Milwaukee Bucks|
Bucks win series 4–0