03-04-2013, 10:55 PM
National High School Star
Join Date: Aug 2007
Re: Dominating a game without scoring
Mount Mutombo Erupts With 31 Blocks in First-Round Series
Originally Posted by Walker
How did this thread get into the second page without one mention of Dikembe Mutombo
Yes, there was Mount St. Helens in 1980. But there was another pretty impressive eruption in 1994.
That would be the one by Mount Mutombo.
Dikembe Mutombo's Denver Nuggets, the No. 8 seed in the West, stunned the top-seeded Seattle SuperSonics 3-2 in a first-round playoff series. Mutombo led the way by blocking 31 shots, the most ever for an NBA five-game series and his 6.2 average per game remains the highest ever for any series.
That series ended with the unforgettable image of the big center sprawled on the floor, holding the ball over his head in triumph and screaming with joy.
"I've seen it a thousand times (on highlights),'' Mutombo said. "That was the best of times. It was a terrific moment.''
Mutombo retired after last season, his 18th in the NBA. That wasn't followed by a lot of complaints from Nuggets coach George Karl.
Karl, you see, then was Seattle's coach. The less he sees Mutombo, the less he has to think about Denver's 98-94 overtime victory in Game 5 being the lowest moment of his coaching career.
"That's probably my most miserable moment and most miserable day of my life,'' Karl said of May 7, 1994 in Seattle. "I really don't have any fond memories of it because there's always the flashback of Mutombo laying on the ground that comes in every package of highlights made.''
The SuperSonics had finished the regular season with an NBA-best mark of 63-19. They were favored to win the title in the first season of Michael Jordan's retirement, after he had led Chicago to three straight crowns. But Mutombo stood in the way.
He turned out to be an obstacle as formidable as the Great Wall of China.
Mutombo, who had led the NBA during the regular season with a 4.10 blocks average while his Nuggets went 42-40, swatted away shots with ease against the SuperSonics. In Game 5, Mutombo had eight blocks to go along with 15 rebounds.
Mutombo's final block of the series was pivotal. With the Nuggets clinging to a 96-94 lead and 29 seconds left in overtime, Mutombo stuffed a shot by Shawn Kemp, enabling Denver to regain possession and hit a pair of free throws.
Just before the final buzzer, Mutombo, who had averaged 12.2 rebounds in the series, grabbed his last rebound. He collapsed to the court in joy and raised the ball toward the ceiling.
"I think that's the best moment ever in NBA history,'' Mutombo said.
It was a moment that had never before happened. The Nuggets became the first No. 8 seed to beat a No. 1 seed, although they would be joined in 1999 by New York toppling Miami and in 2007 by Golden State stunning Dallas.
Those Nuggets almost tacked on another stunning moment in their next series against Utah after falling behind 3-0. They won three straight games, and were threatening to become the first team ever to win a series after trailing 3-0 before the Jazz won 91-81 in Game 7.
Mutombo swatted 38 shots in that series. That remains the most blocks ever by a player in any NBA playoff series.
Don't remember how many points he averaged, but he didn't dominate through scoring, and it wasn't his points that got them past Seattle.