The Houston Rockets won their first NBA title in 1994 when they defeated the New York Knicks. They would go on to win the title again in 1995.
The 1993-94 Houston Rockets were on a mission to win a title
The Rockets got off to a great start during the 1993-94 season. Houston won their first 15 games and tied the 1948-49 Washington Capitols for the best unbeaten record to start the season. The Golden State Warriors went on to break that record in 2015. Through 24 games, they had a record of 23-1. There was no question that the Rockets were the top team in the Western Conference.
Star center Hakeem Olajuwon led the Rockets during the regular season as he averaged 27.3 points, 11.9 rebounds, 3.7 blocks, and 3.6 assists. Olajuwon was the best player in the league that season, and he had a good supporting cast surrounding him. Players like Otis Thorpe, Vernon Maxwell, and Kenny Smith played well during the season for Houston.
The Rockets ended the regular season with a 58-24 record and finished first in the Midwest Division and second in the Western Conference. Olajuwon won the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year award that season. The Rockets had a lot of confidence going into the playoffs and were looking to make history.
The Houston Rockets had to battle during the 1994 NBA Playoffs
In the first round of the playoffs, the Rockets took on the Portland Trail Blazers. The Rockets did not have any problems getting past Portland in the first round as they won the series 3-1. During the second round, the Rockets faced a challenge going up against the Phoenix Suns. Phoenix went on to win the first two games of the series, and then Houston won the next two. In Game 7 Houston pulled off the 104-94 win as Olajuwon had 37 points and 17 rebounds.
The Rockets were one series away from the NBA Finals, and the team that was standing in their way was the Utah Jazz. Houston took care of business against the Jazz, winning the series 4-1. That set up an NBA Finals matchup between the Rockets and the New York Knicks.
Hakeem Olajuwon’s big-time play in Game 6 helped the Rockets win the title
The 1994 NBA FInals was a battle between two great teams. Both teams went back and forth during the series, and you could tell that they both wanted to win that championship. With the series tied at 2-2, the Knicks went into Game 5 and got a 91-84 win. The Knicks were one win away from claiming the title, but the Rockets weren’t going down without a fight.
Game 6 might have been the best game of the series. It was a close game from start to finish, and the game came down to the final seconds. During the game’s final seconds, the Knicks had the ball down two with a chance to tie or win the game. John Starks had the ball in his hands, and instead of going for the tie, he went for the win. As Starks went up for the shot, Olajuwon came out of nowhere to block the shot, and the Knicks were unable to get a shot off as time expired.
The Rockets won 86-84 to force a Game 7, and Houston took care of business in the final game to win the 1994 NBA title. Olajuwon’s block in Game 6 should never go unnoticed because who knows what could have happened if he didn’t block that shot.