Wilt Chamberlain’s double-double was surpassed by Willis Reed’s 4-point effort, resulting in a “psychological lift.”

Wilt Chamberlain’s double-double was surpassed by Willis Reed’s 4-point effort, resulting in a “psychological lift.”

Not one of the many legendary players who have played for the New York Knicks has had the same influence as Willis Reed. Not only did the seven-time All-Star lead the team to its only two NBA titles, but he also left such an impact that, in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals, he scored just four points, outlasting even the great Wilt Chamberlain.

Reed was unstoppable in the 1969–70 campaign, winning MVP awards in both the All-Star Game and the regular season with a career-high average of 21.7 points and 13.9 rebounds per game. But in the Finals, he had to confront the formidable ‘Wilt The Stilt.’ The series lived up to the hype, with both teams level at two points going into Game 5.

There was a question mark over whether the 1965 ROY would be able to play with Game 7 at Madison Square Garden. The tension persisted until two minutes before tip-off, when Reed appeared from the tunnel, thrilling the home crowd. With four of the team’s first five points of the game, Reed had an instant impact.

In his remaining 27 minutes of play, the five-time All-NBA Team selection did not score again, but his willingness to fight through pain on the court inspired his teammates. However, Chamberlain did not have the same impact despite dropping a double-double with 21 points and 24 rebounds and shooting just 1-of-11 from the free throw line.

Having said that, Willis was named the Finals MVP after the Knicks won Game 7 by a score of 14 points. Throughout the course of those seven games, he averaged a team-high 23.0 points and 10.5 rebounds.

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