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NBA Playoffs: Golden State Warriors and Teams with 3-1 Comebacks

Stephen Curry and the 2016 Golden State Warriors are the First to Come Back From 3-1 Down in the Western Conference Finals

Stephen Curry and the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors are the First Ever to Come Back From 3-1 Down in the Western Conference Finals

It’s been a while since Sports List of the Day has hit the presses but the 2016 Golden State Warriors and Western Conference Finals have re-inspired some old writing and statistical passions.

How?

Well, the Warriors just became only the 10th team in NBA postseason history to come back from a 3-1 deficit (and the first ever in the Western Conference Finals, in fact – now how about that). It has happened three times in the Eastern Conference Finals, but still never in the NBA Finals.

And just to note, no NBA team has ever come back from three down (3-0) to win four straight. It’s happened in other sports, though.

Back in 2013, when Sports List of the Day first took a look at 3-1 NBA postseason comebacks, only eight teams had achieved the feat. Since then, the 2015 Houston Rockets and this season’s Warriors have joined the list.

Let’s take another look at all 10 comebacks, and add a dose of statistical fruit to feed your head…

WINNER (SEED) LOSER (SEED) YEAR ROUND GAME 7 SCORE
10. Golden State Warriors (1) Oklahoma City Thunder (3) 2016 Western Finals
96-88
9. Houston Rockets (2) Los Angeles Clippers (3) 2006 Western Semis
113-100
8. Phoenix Suns (2) Los Angeles Lakers (7) 2006 Eastern Round 1 121-90
7. Detroit Pistons (1) Orlando Magic (8) 2003 Eastern Round 1 108-93
6. Miami Heat (2) New York Knicks (3) 1997 Eastern Semis 101-90
5. Houston Rockets (6) Phoenix Suns (3) 1995 Western Semis 115-114*
4. Boston Celtics (1) Philadelphia 76ers (2) 1981 Eastern Finals 91-90
3. Washington Bullets (1) San Antonio Spurs (2) 1979 Eastern Finals 107-105
2. Los Angeles Lakers (2) Phoenix Suns (3) 1970 Western Semis 129-94
1. Boston Celtics (2) Philadelphia 76ers (1) 1968 Eastern Finals 100-96*

* Underdog (by seeding) and so won Game 7 on the road: the 1968 Boston Celtics and 1995 Houston Rockets

There have now been

Photos: Ezra Shaw, Getty Images, oregonlive.com

Sports List of the Day’s Top 20 NBA Playoffs Posts

1. NBA Finals: Top 20 Players with the Most Championship Rings

2. Players with the Most Triple-Doubles in Playoff History

3. NBA Teams That Have Come Back from 3-1 to Win a Playoff Series

4. NBA Finals: Winners by Seed

5. Top 20 Players Who Have Played in the Most Playoff Games

6. Top 20 Active Playoff Career Points Leaders

7. Top 10 NBA Players Who Never Won a Championship

8. Top 20 Playoff Performances (Points) in NBA History

9. NBA: Most Total Points of All Time (Regular Season + Playoffs)

10. NBA Finals: No. 1 Draft Picks That Have Won an NBA Championship

11. Longest Winning Streaks in NBA Playoff History

12. NBA Finals: Back-to-Back Winners…and Losers

13. Top 10 Most Watched NBA Finals Since 1976

14. Number and Year of NBA Championships Per Team

15. LeBron James’ 20 Highest-Scoring Games (and 10 Highest-Scoring Playoff Games)

16. Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and the Top 20 Players with the Most Points in Playoff History

17. NBA Finals Game 7 Results: All-Time

18. Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and the 20 Greatest Scorers in NBA Playoff History

19. Kobe Bryant and the Most Minutes Played in NBA Playoff History

20. NBA Playoffs All-Time Individual Stats Leaders

NBA Teams That Have Come Back from 3-1 to Win a Playoff Series

Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and the Houston Rockets Won the 1995 NBA Championship

Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and the Houston Rockets Won the 1995 NBA Title (the Rockets’ Second in a Row)

Only eight teams in NBA Playoff history have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win their series. It has never happened in the NBA Finals or Western Conference Finals.

Three times, though, a team has done this – the ultimate in NBA postseason comebacks, as no team has ever come back from 3-0 (see here) – in the Eastern Conference Finals.

In 2013, the Brooklyn Nets had a shot at becoming the ninth team, but fell to the undermanned and underdog Chicago Bulls in Round 1. The Oklahoma City Thunder are now down 3-1 to the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Semis and the Bulls are themselves now down 3-1 to the Miami Heat i the Eastern Semis. Meanwhile, the New York Knicks are looking to avoid a 3-1 deficit. They are down 2-1 to the Indiana Pacers.

Of the eight teams to come back from 3-1, only two were underdogs according to seeding, and so won that seventh game on the road (noted with an asterisk).

The 1994-95 Houston Rockets, for example, who went on to win their second title in a row, had to get past the Suns in Phoenix in a 115-114 Game 7 first.

The 1967-68 Boston Celtics is the other team to win that Game 7 on the road. They went on to win their 10th title in 12 years.

The 1980-81 Boston Celtics are the third (and last) team on the list below that went on the win the NBA Finals.

The 1996-97 New York Knicks should have won their Semifinals series against the Miami Heat, but a melee in Game 5 led to five staggered suspensions for New York in Games 6 and 7. For the full story, check out the 15 Biggest Disappointments in NY Knicks History.

WINNER (SEED) LOSER (SEED) YEAR ROUND GAME 7 SCORE
1. Phoenix Suns (2) Los Angeles Lakers (7) 2006 Eastern 1 121-90
2. Detroit Pistons (1) Orlando Magic (8) 2003 Eastern 1 108-93
3. Miami Heat (2) New York Knicks (3) 1997 Eastern Semis 101-90
4. Houston Rockets (6) Phoenix Suns (3) 1995 Western Semis 115-114*
5. Boston Celtics (1) Philadelphia 76ers (2) 1981 Eastern Finals 91-90
6. Washington Bullets (1) San Antonio Spurs (2) 1979 Eastern Finals 107-105
7. Los Angeles Lakers (2) Phoenix Suns (3) 1970 Western Semis 129-94
8. Boston Celtics (2) Philadelphia 76ers (1) 1968 Eastern Finals 100-96*

Thanks to sports.yahoo.com.

Photo: wagesofwins.com

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