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San Antonio Spurs

This Date in NBA History (June 25): San Antonio Spurs win first title in franchise history in 1999 and more

On June 25th in 1999, San Antonio Spurs defeated the New York Knicks 78-77 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals to clinch their first championship in franchise history.

Avery Johnson's shot which left 47.0 seconds on the game clock would go on to become the game and championship-clinching shot. With this victory, the Spurs became the first and, still are, the only ABA franchise to win an NBA championship.

As of 2019, this Finals series is the last championship series where neither team scored 100 points or more in any of the games.

The Knicks, who played all of the Finals without one of their key stars in Patrick Ewing, are still the only eighth-seeded team in NBA history to reach the NBA Finals.

In Game 5, Latrell Sprewell scored 25 of the Knicks' 39 second-half points including 14 in the fourth quarter in an attempt to extend the series and force a Game 6. However, he missed a couple of jumpers in the final 30 seconds of the game - either of which could have possibly won the game.

Tim Duncan was the Spurs' top contributor with 31 points and nine rebounds in Game 5. In just his second season, he was named Finals MVP for averages of 27.4 points, 14.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.2 blocks per game.

Watch the full stream of clinching Game 5 here:

En route to this title, the Spurs lost just twice. Their 15-2 record is among the greatest single postseason runs in NBA history.

Other notable events on June 25th

  • In 2015, Minnesota Timberwolves selected Karl-Anthony Towns with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft. He went on to become one of only five rookies to unanimously win the Rookie of the Year award with averages of 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.7 blocks while playing all 82 games.
  • In 2009, LA Clippers selected Blake Griffin with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft. He missed all of his rookie season with a stress fracture in his left knee but he returned the following season (2010-11) to be voted in as an All-Star, win the Slam Dunk Contest, and be unanimously named the Rookie of the Year.
  • In 1997, San Antonio Spurs selected Tim Duncan with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft.
  • In 1979, Los Angeles Lakers selected Earvin Magic Johnson with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft. Actually, the New Orleans Jazz won the No. 1 overall pick in a coin toss with the Chicago Bulls but they had already this pick to the Lakers in 1976 while signing Gail Goodrich.

The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

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