Publish date:

Swept Away

It may not be any consolation to the Lakers, but they're in good
company. Some superb teams have suffered playoff sweeps. Here
are the four other most shocking shutouts in NBA history.

1975 Finals: Golden State Warriors 4, Washington Bullets 0
The Bullets, with Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld, tied the Boston
Celtics for the league's best regular-season record (60-22), but
Rick Barry, supported by a cast of mostly little-known players,
led the 48-34 Warriors to the title.

1961 Eastern Conference first round: Syracuse Nationals 3,
Philadelphia Warriors 0
The Nats, whose 38-41 regular-season record was eight games
worse than the Warriors', ran pick-and-rolls to frustrate Philly
and Wilt Chamberlain, who had topped the league in scoring (38.4
points a game) and rebounding (27.2).

1995 Finals: Houston Rockets 4,
Orlando Magic 0
Defending champ Houston, with the sixth-best record in the West,
became the lowest-seeded team to win the title, sweeping
Orlando, which had beaten the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern
Conference semifinals and was supposedly the league's next
dominant team.

1991 Eastern Conference finals: Bulls 4, Detroit Pistons 0
After years of falling short against Detroit, Chicago broke
through in a big way. Some of the Pistons couldn't bear it; they
headed for the locker room during the final seconds of Game 4
rather than shake the Bulls' hands.

--Phil Taylor