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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Braves advance

     April 18, 1976 -- The Buffalo Braves had never won a playoff series in their first five years of play, and it didn't look good for year number six, either.

     Buffalo had a first round matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers, a three-game miniseries that was the basketball equivalent of Russian roulette. The Braves went to Philadelphia for Game One and won, but then returned to the Aud and got smoked, 131-106.  

     The teams returned to Philadelphia, and the game came down to the final seconds of regulation. Bob McAdoo was fouled in the final minutes with his Buffalo team down by two points. Philadelphia's fans tried moving the basket by shaking the supports, and McAdoo claimed that he was shooting at a moving target that night. Still, he made both free throws to send the game into overtime.

     Thus inspired, the Braves went on to a 124-123 win over the 76ers. They advanced to the second round to play the Boston Celtics.

     That Braves team mostly used six players -- McAdoo, Randy Smith, John Shumate, Jim McMillian, Ernie DiGregorio, and Ken Charles. Don Adams also saw a little action off the bench. Buffalo ran out of gas against the Celtics, losing in six games, but that Braves team did record the only playoff series win in Buffalo's NBA history.

   For more on that Braves' season, click here.

--- Budd Bailey

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