Philadelphia 76ers: 15 greatest NBA playoff moments

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Julius Erving, Philadelphia 76ers
Julius Erving, Philadelphia 76ers. (Photos by NBA Photos/NBAE via Getty Images) /

15. Dr. J cements 1983 championship

The Sixers’ last NBA championship came in 1983, a season defined by the arrival of Moses Malone. Not to be overshadowed, however, was Julius Erving, one of the era’s most exciting athletes. It was “Dr. J” who cemented the 1983 title.

With around two minutes left in Game 4, the Sixers — holding a 3-0 series lead — were down 106-104. Erving went berserk from that point forward, scoring seven points down the stretch and claiming a Sixers victory.

At the tail end of the Sixers’ most dominant stretch as a franchise, it was Erving who put the virtual exclamation point on a long-awaited championship. Erving and the Sixers had been to the NBA Finals in prior years, but it wasn’t until Malone’s arrival that the Sixers were able to cruise to the promised land. It was only fitting that Erving made the final push.

After the game, Erving unleashed a classic line, which embodies his dynamic scoring to this day.

"“There wasn’t time to drive, there wasn’t time to swing the ball, so I let it fly. I didn’t find [the final shot of the seven-point stretch]. It found me.” — Sports Illustrated, via Bleacher Report"

On the night, Erving finished with 21 points, five rebounds and six assists on an efficient 8-for-13 shooting. It was the kind of well-rounded effort fans had become accustomed to. He wasn’t NBA Finals MVP, but the Sixers’ star-studded rotation centered heavily around Erving’s presence.