Trail Blazers

Suns join Blazers among handful of teams to ever accomplish this feat

Trail Blazers
Booker and Paul
The Phoenix Suns will look to join the 1977 Portland Trail Blazers as one of three teams to win the NBA Finals a year after missing the playoffs.
USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns eliminated the Los Angeles Clippers from the playoffs Wednesday night with a Game 6 win in the Western Conference Finals to reach the 2021 NBA Finals.

Phoenix will soon make its third Finals appearance. The franchise is 0-2 after losing to the Boston Celtics in 1976 and Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls in 1993.

The Suns also made a bit of history with their conference championship. They became just the seventh team in league history to reach the NBA Finals one year after missing the playoffs.

Here's the full list:

  • 1977 Portland Trail Blazers
  • 2002 New Jersey Nets
  • 2008 Boston Celtics
  • 2015 Cleveland Cavaliers
  • 2020 Los Angeles Lakers
  • 2020 Miami Heat
  • 2021 Phoenix Suns

Just three of the previous six teams to accomplish this feat went on to win the Larry O'Brien Trophy. They are the 1977 Trail Blazers, 2008 Celtics and 2020 Lakers.

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The Suns still don't know which Eastern Conference team they will play in the next round.

The Bucks and Hawks are even at two wins apiece entering Thursday night's pivotal Game 5 in Milwaukee. The Bucks will be without two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo because of injury.

If the Suns and Hawks meet in the NBA Finals, it will be a matchup between two cities that have never won an NBA title.