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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

Steve Kerr, David Blatt and Rookie Head Coaches That Went to the NBA Finals

SEASON FINALS TEAM ROOKIE COACH WON OR LOST FINALS
1. 1946-47 Philadelphia Warriors Edward Gottlieb W
2. 1946-47 Chicago Stags Harold Olsen L
3. 1947-48 Baltimore Bullets Buddy Jennette W
4. 1948-49 Minneapolis Lakers John Kundla W
5. 1949-50 Syracuse Nationals Al Cervi L
6. 1954-55 Fort Worth Pistons Charles Eckman L
7. 1955-56 Philadelphia Warriors George Senesky W
8. 1966-67 San Francisco Warriors Bill Sharman L
9. 1967-68 Los Angeles Lakers Butch Van Breda Kolff L
10. 1969-70 Los Angeles Lakers Joe Mullaney L
11. 1977-78 Seattle SuperSonics Bob Hopkins L
12. 1979-80 Los Angeles Lakers Jack McKinney W
13. 1979-80 Los Angeles Lakers Paul Westhead W
14. 1981-82 Los Angeles Lakers Pat Riley W
15. 1990-91 Los Angeles Lakers Mike Dunleavy L
16. 1992-93 Phoenix Suns Paul Westphal L
17. 2014-15 Cleveland Cavaliers David Blatt TBD
18. 2014-15 Golden State Warriors Steve Kerr TBD

Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors and the Longest Time Between Western Conference Finals Appearances

TEAM SPAN (SEASONS IN BETWEEN) PREVIOUS CONF. FINALS APP. (OR FIRST SEASON*) LAST CONF. FINALS APP. NOTES
1. Los Angeles Clippers 45 1970-71* Active Includes Buffalo Braves (1970-71 thru 1977-78) and San Diego Clippers (1978-79 thru 1983-84)
2. Golden State Warriors 38 1975-76 2014-15
3. Denver Nuggets 23 1984-85 2008-09
4. Sacramento Kings 20 1980-81 2001-02 Includes Kansas City Kings (1980-81 thru 1984-85)
4. Toronto Raptors 20 1995-96* Active
6. Houston Rockets 18 1996-97 Active
7. Memphis Grizzlies 17 1995-96* 2012-13 Includes Vancouver Grizzlies (1995-96 thru 2000-01)
7. Utah Jazz 17 1974-75* 1991-92
7. Utah Jazz 17 1997-98 Active
10. Sacramento Kings 16 1963-64 1980-81 as Cincinnati Royals (1963-64 thru 1971-72), Kansas City-Omaha Kings (1972-73 thru 1974-75) and Kansas City Kings (1975-76 thru 1980-81)
11. Portland Trail Blazers 15 1999-00 Active
12. Dallas Mavericks 14 1987-88 2002-03
12. Minnesota Timberwolves 14 1989-90* 2003-04
12. Oklahoma City Thunder 14 1995-96 2010-11 Includes Seattle SuperSonics (1995-96 thru 2007-08)
15. New Orleans Pelicans 13 2002-03 Active Includes New Orleans Hornets (2002-03 thru 2004-05, 2007-08 thru 2012-13) and New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets (2005-06 thru 2006-07)
15. Sacramento Kings 13 2001-02 Active
17. Portland Trail Blazers 12 1976-77 1989-90
18. Minnesota Timberwolves 11 2003-04 Active
18. Phoenix Suns 11 1992-93 2004-05
18. San Antonio Spurs 11 1982-83 1994-95
21. Oklahoma City Thunder 10 1967-68* 1977-78 as Seattle SuperSonics
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