Skip to main content

One of the NBA's greatest boxing matches happened in the 1977 NBA Finals

Darryl-Dawkins-vs.-Maurice-Lucas

The Sixers were on their way to take a 2-0 series lead in the '77 NBA Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers when all hell broke loose, as the NBA world got to witness a boxing match between two of its players. And this one was for the ages.

With 4:52 left on the clock, and Philly ahead 96-76, the Sixers were on a fastbreak. After they failed to capitalize on it, Darryl Dawkins and Bobby Gross got tangled up for a rebound, as the force of 6-11 Dawkins threw both players hard to the floor. After some finger-pointing by Gross, Dawkins delivered a haymaker, with the collateral victim being his teammate Doug Collins, who ended up needing four stitches over his right eye.

After he threw a punch, Dawkins started running back towards the half-court. That's when Maurice Lucas came to Gross' aid, as he sucker-punched Darryl without the Sixers big man looking. That's when squared off at center court, with fans storming the court at Spectrum.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

When play was finally restored, Dawkins and Lucas had both been ejected from the game. Dawkins took his frustrations to the locker-room, kicking the bathroom stall off its moorings. By the time the game was over, he was already dressed and on his way out of the arena. And he was angry at everyone involved.

I'm mad at my teammates. They let another player sneak up behind my back and hit me.

Darryl Dawkins, NY Times

According to Collins, Dawkins' punch was a culmination of frustration for the Blazers' dirty play since the start of the second half. With the game slipping through their fingers, they turned to non-basketball stuff to provoke a reaction and force a momentum shift that would steer the game back to their favor.

But no, momentum wasn't shifted, as the Sixers beat Portland 107-89 and took a 2-0 lead in the Finals. However, a reaction was certainly provoked. A reaction so epic that it made our list of craziest fights in NBA history. What are the other nine? Check out the video below. And keep in mind, there's also a Part 2, with our third iteration of NBA's greatest fights on the way.

Bruce Bowen

Bruce Bowen addresses his dirty player reputation ”It's who I am”

Bruce Bowen shares his honest take on being tagged as a dirty player.

stephen-a-smith-patrick-beverly-min

Patrick Beverly goes off on Stephen A. Smith: "You need to be drug tested. Get off the weed man!"

Safe to say, Pat Bev disagreed with Stephen A.'s take regarding James Harden and his possible new max contract.

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton

DeAndre Ayton’s video game obsession will cost him a lot, on and off the court

DeAndre Ayton's love for video games reduces his sleeping time to two hours on some nights. This isn't good news to fans and the front office that is not keen on giving him a max extension.

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler

“I know what I’m capable of” — Jimmy Butler shines the brightest as the Miami Heat draws first blood against the Boston Celtics

After a remarkable 42-point half, the Heat limited the Celtics to shoot just 2 out 15 from the field (13.3%) in the third quarter

Miami Heat small forward LeBron James on the floor vs. Dallas Mavericks

LeBron James admits 2011 Finals loss vs. Dallas Mavericks was the toughest one in his career

LeBron opened up on what the catastrophic 2011 Finals loss taught him.

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverly and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James

“The taxes are much, much lower than L.A.” — Patrick Beverley tries to recruit LeBron James to Minnesota

Patrick Beverley named several formidable reasons why LeBron James should go to Minnesota.

Luka Doncic on his first WCF appearance: “I’m living the best life right now”

Luka Doncic on his first WCF appearance: “I’m living the best life right now”

Will Luka Doncic continue to live his best life? Or will the Golden State Warriors make it hell for him in the next following days?

Klay Thompson takes a long pause before answering a Luka Doncic question

Klay Thompson takes a long pause before answering a Luka Doncic question

Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors know how to win against teams led by generational stars