The 1972-73 Los Angeles Lakers were the defending champions for the first time since 1954 and the first time since moving to L.A. That certainly helped fuel them in the regular season, as they went 60-22, tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for the second-best record in basketball.
The best record belonged to the 68-14 Boston Celtics, who were re-invigorated by a core of Dave Cowens, John Havlicek, and Jo Jo White.
Thanks to a first round upset by the Golden State Warriors, the Lakers did not have to see the Bucks during the playoffs, instead breezing through to the NBA Finals. Out East, the Celtics fought it out in a tough seven-game series, but ultimately lost to the New York Knicks.
This meant it would be Knicks and Lakers for the second straight year. And while it could have been a well-fought series, the Knicks ensured they would not lose again, needing just five games to get past L.A. and win their second title in franchise history.
NBA regular season statistics
NBA regular season schedule and results
NBA playoffs statistics
NBA playoffs schedule and results