Reliving The 1978 NBA Finals: Bullets vs Sonics

19788 nba finals

The Seattle SuperSonics and Washington Bullets met in the 1978 NBA Finals.

It was the first of two straight Finals appearances for these teams and went all the way to a deciding seventh game.

The Sonics were a surprise to make it to this point as they started off the season 5-17.

They then fired their coach Bob Hopkins and hired Lenny Wilkens, who went 42-18 and turned the team around.

The Bullets were just 44-38 on the season and were a surprise to make it to the Finals as well.

They were coached by Dick Motta and led by veterans Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld.

The series started out with a Sonics win to put them up 1-0 in the series.

Fred Brown came off the bench and scored 30 points, and Marvin Webster and John Johnson each posted double-doubles. Seattle had six players score in double figures.

This was the starting of a back and forth series. Each team would rotate wins the first five games of the series and each game was within single-digit margins.

The Sonics would win down the wire 93-92 in game three despite Elvin Hayes having 29 points and 20 rebounds.

Seattle would lead the series on three different occasions, 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2.

They would ultimately blow a 3-2 lead and lose games six and seven to watch the Bullets raise the trophy. Game six the Sonics lost 117-82.

Game seven went back and forth, which the Sonics couldn’t overcome a deficit.

They lost 105-99 and one of their best players Dennis Johnson would shoot 0-14 from the field. Unseld would go on to win MVP despite averaging a smaller stat line then Hayes,

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Although the Sonics couldn’t come away with a victory in the 1978 NBA finals.

They got their revenge the next season as they would go on to beat the Bullets pretty easily 4-1.