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1981–82 NBA season
League National Basketball Association
Sport Basketball
TV partner/s CBS, USA
Regular season
Season MVP Moses Malone (Houston)
Top scorer George Gervin (San Antonio)
Playoffs
Eastern champions Philadelphia 76ers
Eastern runners-up Boston Celtics
Western champions Los Angeles Lakers
Western runners-up San Antonio Spurs
Finals
Finals champions Los Angeles Lakers
Runners-up Philadelphia 76ers
Finals MVP Magic Johnson (L.A. Lakers)

The 1981–82 NBA season was the 36th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA Championship, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals.


Notable occurrences

  • The regular-season ran until mid to late-April for the first time.
  • The 1982 NBA All-Star Game was played at the new Brendan Byrne Arena (now the Izod Center) in East Rutherford, New Jersey, with the East defeating the West 120–118. Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics wins the game's MVP award. This season also marked the New Jersey Nets first season in the new arena.
  • Magic Johnson secures his second NBA Finals MVP award several months before his 23rd birthday.
  • The Los Angeles Lakers begin a string of nine consecutive seasons as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

Final standings

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Boston Celtics 63 19 .768 -
Philadelphia 76ers 58 24 .707 5
New Jersey Nets 44 38 .537 19
Washington Bullets 43 39 .524 20
New York Knicks 33 49 .402 30
Central Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Milwaukee Bucks 55 27 .671 -
Atlanta Hawks 42 40 .512 13
Detroit Pistons 39 43 .476 16
Indiana Pacers 35 47 .427 20
Chicago Bulls 34 48 .415 21
Cleveland Cavaliers 15 67 .183 40

Western Conference

Midwest Division
Team W L PCT. GB
San Antonio Spurs 48 34 .585 -
Houston Rockets 46 36 .561 2
Denver Nuggets 46 36 .561 2
Kansas City Kings 30 52 .366 18
Dallas Mavericks 28 54 .341 20
Utah Jazz 25 57 .305 23
Pacific Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Los Angeles Lakers C 57 25 .695 -
Seattle SuperSonics 52 30 .634 5
Phoenix Suns 46 36 .561 11
Golden State Warriors 45 37 .549 12
Portland Trail Blazers 42 40 .512 15
San Diego Clippers 17 65 .207 40

C - NBA Champions

Statistics leaders

Category Player Team Stat
Points per game George Gervin San Antonio Spurs 32.3
Rebounds per game Moses Malone Houston Rockets 14.7
Assists per game Johnny Moore San Antonio Spurs 9.6
Steals per game Magic Johnson Los Angeles Lakers 2.7
Blocks per game George Johnson San Antonio Spurs 3.1
FG% Artis Gilmore Chicago Bulls 65.2
FT% Kyle Macy Phoenix Suns 89.9
3FG% Campy Russell New York Knicks 43.9

NBA awards

  • Most Valuable Player: Moses Malone, Houston Rockets
  • Rookie of the Year: Buck Williams, New Jersey Nets
  • Coach of the Year: Gene Shue, Washington Bullets
  • All-NBA First Team:
    • Larry Bird, Boston Celtics
    • George Gervin, San Antonio Spurs
    • Julius Erving, Philadelphia 76ers
    • Moses Malone, Houston Rockets
    • Gus Williams, Seattle SuperSonics
  • All-NBA Rookie Team:
    • Buck Williams, New Jersey Nets
    • Jay Vincent, Dallas Mavericks
    • Kelly Tripucka, Detroit Pistons
    • Isiah Thomas, Detroit Pistons
    • Jeff Ruland, Washington Bullets

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