On June 23rd in 2005, the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Detroit Pistons 81-74 in Game 7 of the NBA Finals for their third championship in franchise history.
This was the Spurs' third title in as many appearances since their first in 1999 (second in 2003). Meanwhile, for the Pistons, this was their fourth loss on the championship stage in seven appearances having won their previous three in 1989, 1990, and 2004.
A matchup between the previous two champions, Game 7 was a defensive battle. With both teams struggling to knock down shots when it mattered, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili led key runs that helped the Spurs clinch the winner-take-all contest.
With 7:43 remaining in the third quarter, the Pistons led by their largest margin of nine points (48-39) and that's when Duncan led a surge. He scored 12 of the team's 18 points over the rest of the third quarter, outscoring the Pistons 12-9 by himself in that time.
San Antonio wouldn't be denied! 😤@Spurs vs. Pistons, 2005 NBA Finals Game 7 - 12:30pm ET on NBA TV! pic.twitter.com/UygzHxZhCI- NBA TV (@NBATV) June 21, 2020
For the game, Duncan finished with game-high 25 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. He would go on to be named Finals MVP for the third time in his career, with averages of 20.6 points, 14.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 2.1 blocks.
Manu Ginobili was the other star in this game. The Argentinian finished with 23 points (8-of-13 FG, 2-of-2 3PT), five rebounds, and four assists but more importantly, came up clutch for the team, scoring 11 of the team's 24 points in the period including nine of their last 12.
The Pistons, on the other hand, had six players finish in double figures led by Richard Hamilton's 15 points.
Watch the full game below:
Other notable events on June 23rd
- In 1972, one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history went down. The Houston Rockets traded Elvin Hayes to the Baltimore Bullets for forward Jack Marin and future considerations. Hayes, who was eventually inducted into the Hall of Fame, scored 15,551 of his 27,313 career points in a Bullets uniform, averaging 21.2 points and 12.7 rebounds over his nine seasons with the team.
- In 1999, the Hall of Fame class for that year was announced - Kevin McHale, Wayne Embry, Fred Zollner, John Thompson and Billie Moor.
- In 2011, Kyrie Irving was selected with the No. 1 overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Since the NBA Draft Lottery in 1985, Irving went on to become one of only seven No. 1 overall picks to win a championship.
- In 2016, Ben Simmons was selected with the No. 1 overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers. After Andrew Bogut in 2006, he became the second Australian in NBA history to be picked No. 1 overall in the Draft.
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