NBA playoffs 2023: Schedule, how to watch, scores, more

ESPN logo
Tuesday, May 30, 2023

The 2023 NBA Finals is finally set.

The Miami Heat closed out a nail-biting Eastern Conference finals series against the Boston Celtics with a Game 7 win on Monday night and will face the Denver Nuggets in the championship (Game 1, 8:30 p.m. ET Thursday, ABC).

The eighth-seeded Heat are just the second No. 8 seed in NBA history to appear in the Finals. The Denver Nuggets completed a sweep of the Los Angeles Lakersand will have home-court advantage against the Heat.

This year's playoffs saw a number of surprises in the first round, none bigger than theHeat -- who emerged from theNBA's play-in tournament-- knocking off the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, who led the NBA with 58 wins in the regular season. In the second round, the Nuggets became the first team to advance to the conference finals, defeating the Phoenix Suns in six games. The Golden State Warriors entered the playoffs as the defending champions but made their exit with a Game 6 loss against the Lakers.

Meanwhile, the Heat knocked off the New York Knicks to set up an Eastern Conference finals rematch with the Boston Celtics, who needed seven games to oust the Philadelphia 76ers.

All four rounds of the NBA playoffs are a best-of-seven format, as has been the case since 2003. The NBA does not reseed after each round, sothe bracketis set at the start of the tournament.

The top six teams in each conference automatically qualified for the playoffs, while the teams that finished the regular season in seventh through 10th places advanced to the NBA's play-in tournament to determine the final two playoff teams in each conference.

The NBA Finals are slated to start June 1, with Game 7 -- should the series go that long -- scheduled for June 18. All NBA Finals games will be available on ABC and the ESPN App.

Note: Series odds provided by Caesars Sportsbook and the ESPN Basketball Power Index (BPI).

MORE: Odds | Picks |Second-round recap|First-round recap


Denver Nuggets (1) defeatLos Angeles Lakers(7), 4-0

Game 1:Nuggets 132, Lakers 126

Game 2:Nuggets 108, Lakers 103

Game 3:Nuggets 119, Lakers 108

Game 4:Nuggets 113, Lakers 111


Miami Heat(8) defeatBoston Celtics (2), 4-3

Game 1:Heat 123, Celtics 116

Game 2:Heat 111, Celtics 105

Game 3: Heat 128, Celtics 102

Game 4:Celtics 116, Heat 99

Game 5:Celtics 110, Heat 97

Game 6:Celtics 104,Heat 103

Game 7:Heat 103, Celtics 84

Historical NBA Finals coverage

2022: Warriors champions once again

Stephen Curry & Co. returned to the top of the mountain, defeating the Boston Celtics in six games to claim their fourth championship in the past seven seasons.

Complete 2022 NBA Finals coverage

2021: Giannis, Bucks conquer the Suns

Giannis Antetokounmpo's epic Game 6 performance ended the Milwaukee Bucks' 50-year title drought, giving them their second NBA championship with a win over the Phoenix Suns.

Complete 2021 NBA Finals coverage

2020: LeBron, Lakers claim bubble title

The Los Angeles Lakers conquered the NBA's Orlando bubble, defeating the Miami Heat in six games for the 17th championship in franchise history.

Complete 2020 NBA Finals coverage

2019: Kawhi becomes King in the North

For the first time in NBA history, a team outside the United States won the championship, as the Toronto Raptors knocked off the Golden State Warriors in six games.

Complete 2019 NBA Finals coverage

2018: How sweep it is for Warriors

The Golden State Warriors capped off a second consecutive title run by defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games.

Complete 2018 NBA Finals coverage

2017: Durant puts Warriors back on top

The Golden State Warriors were nearly perfect in 2017, going 16-1 in the playoffs en route to winning the NBA championship.

Complete 2017 NBA Finals coverage

2016: 'Cleveland, this is for you!'

LeBron James and the Cavaliers ended Cleveland's 52-year title drought by becoming the first team to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the Finals.

Complete 2016 NBA Finals coverage

Related Video