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Published on May 26, 2008
Portland, now leading the series 3-2, arrived back home for Game 6 in the middle of the night to a crowd of 5,000 fans waiting at the airport. With just 48 minutes separating the Blazers from their first championship, "Blazermania" had gripped the city. Philadelphia kept the game close throughout the first quarter, but were down by 15 at halftime after the Blazers netted 40 points in the 2nd quarter. Erving tried in vain to force a game 7 for his team, scoring 40 points, but Bill Walton's 23 rebounds and 8 blocks kept the game in Portland's hands, as Philadelphia's George McGinnis missed the game-tying shot with seconds left sent for a heart stopping 109-107 Portland win.
Bill Walton was named finals MVP and was called "an inspiration" by the defeated Julius Erving. Maurice Lucas later said of Walton's post-game thrown jersey that was sent into the rushing crowd of fans, "if I had caught the shirt, I would have eaten it. Bill's my hero."