Not even close.
Actually, 20 teams have lost the first game of the NBA Finals, only to win out in the end. That’s 20 of 67 finals, a happening 30 percent (29.8 to be exact). It happens almost once every three times.
What’s more, all three Heat championships began with a Game 1 loss.
Then again, all four Spurs championships began with a Game 1 win.
These Finals are up for grabs, yet.
See below for champs that lost or won that sort-of, kinda important Game 1. Asterisks denote the home team in the first game (which by definition is the possessor of home-court advantage at the outset).Follow @VinGetz
LOST GAME 1, WON NBA FINALS
|SEASON||FINALS WINNER||FINALS LOSER||SERIES|
|1.||1947-48||Baltimore Bullets||Philadelphia Warriors*||4-2|
|2.||1952-53||Minneapolis Lakers*||New York Knicks||4-1|
|3.||1956-57||Boston Celtics*||St. Louis Hawks||4-3|
|4.||1965-66||Boston Celtics*||Los Angeles Lakers||4-3|
|5.||1968-69||Boston Celtics||Los Angeles Lakers*||4-3|
|6.||1971-72||Los Angeles Lakers*||New York Knicks||4-1|
|7.||1972-73||New York Knicks||Los Angeles Lakers*||4-1|
|8.||1976-77||Portland Trail Blazers||Philadelphia 76ers*||4-2|
|9.||1977-78||Washington Bullets||Seattle SuperSonics*||4-3|
|10.||1978-79||Seattle SuperSonics||Washington Bullets*||4-1|
|11.||1983-84||Boston Celtics*||Los Angeles Lakers||4-3|
|12.||1984-85||Los Angeles Lakers||Boston Celtics*||4-2|
|13.||1987-88||Los Angeles Lakers*||Detroit Pistons||4-3|
|14.||1990-91||Chicago Bulls*||Los Angeles Lakers||4-1|
|15.||1997-98||Chicago Bulls||Utah Jazz*||4-2|
|16.||2000-01||Los Angeles Lakers*||Philadelphia 76ers||4-1|
|17.||2005-06||Miami Heat||Dallas Mavericks*||4-2|
|18.||2010-11||Dallas Mavericks||Miami Heat*||4-2|
|19.||2011-12||Miami Heat||Oklahoma City Thunder*||4-1|
|20.||2012-13||Miami Heat*||San Antonio Spurs||4-3|
WON GAME 1, WON NBA FINALS
|SEASON||FINALS WINNER||FINALS LOSER||SERIES|
|1.||1946-47||Philadelphia Warriors*||Chicago Stags||4-1|
|2.||1948-49||Minneapolis Lakers*||Washington Capitols||4-2|
|3.||1949-50||Minneapolis Lakers||Syracuse Nationals*||4-2|
|4.||1950-51||Rochester Royals*||New York Knicks||4-3|
|5.||1951-52||Minneapolis Lakers*||New York Knicks||4-3|
|6.||1953-54||Minneapolis Lakers*||Syracuse Nationals||4-3|
|7.||1954-55||Syracuse Nationals*||Fort Wayne Pistons||4-3|
|8.||1955-56||Philadelphia Warriors*||Fort Wayne Pistons||4-1|
|9.||1957-58||St. Louis Hawks||Boston Celtics*||4-2|
|10.||1958-59||Boston Celtics*||Minneapolis Lakers||4-0|
|11.||1959-60||Boston Celtics*||St. Louis Hawks||4-3|
|12.||1960-61||Boston Celtics*||St. Louis Hawks||4-1|
|13.||1961-62||Boston Celtics*||Los Angeles Lakers||4-3|
|14.||1962-63||Boston Celtics*||Los Angeles Lakers||4-2|
|15.||1963-64||Boston Celtics*||San Francisco Warriors||4-1|
|16.||1964-65||Boston Celtics*||Los Angeles Lakers||4-1|
|17.||1966-67||Philadelphia 76ers*||San Francisco Warriors||4-2|
|18.||1967-68||Boston Celtics*||Los Angeles Lakers||4-2|
|19.||1969-70||New York Knicks*||Los Angeles Lakers||4-3|
|20.||1970-71||Milwaukee Bucks*||Baltimore Bullets||4-0|
|21.||1973-74||Boston Celtics||Milwaukee Bucks*||4-3|
|22.||1974-75||Golden State Warriors||Washington Bullets*||4-0|
|23.||1975-76||Boston Celtics*||Phoenix Suns||4-2|
|24.||1979-80||Los Angeles Lakers*||Philadelphia 76ers||4-2|
|25.||1980-81||Boston Celtics*||Houston Rockets||4-2|
|26.||1981-82||Los Angeles Lakers||Philadelphia 76ers*||4-2|
|27.||1982-83||Phiadelphia 76ers*||Los Angeles Lakers||4-0|
|28.||1985-86||Boston Celtics*||Houston Rockets||4-2|
|29.||1986-87||Los Angeles Lakers*||Boston Celtics||4-2|
|30.||1988-89||Detroit Pistons*||Los Angeles Lakers||4-0|
|31.||1989-90||Detroit Pistons*||Portland Trail Blazers||4-1|
|32.||1991-92||Chicago Bulls*||Portland Trail Blazers||4-2|
|33.||1992-93||Chicago Bulls||Phoenix Suns*||4-2|
|34.||1993-94||Houston Rockets*||New York Knicks||4-3|
|35.||1994-95||Houston Rockets||Orlando Magic*||4-0|
|36.||1995-96||Chicago Bulls*||Seattle SuperSonics||4-2|
|37.||1996-97||Chicago Bulls*||Utah Jazz||4-2|
|38.||1998-99||San Antonio Spurs*||New York Knicks||4-1|
|39.||1999-00||Los Angeles Lakers*||Indiana Pacers||4-2|
|40.||2001-02||Los Angeles Lakers*||New Jersey Nets||4-0|
|41.||2002-03||San Antonio Spurs*||New Jersey Nets||4-2|
|42.||2003-04||Detroit Pistons||Los Angeles Lakers*||4-1|
|43.||2004-05||San Antonio Spurs*||Detroit Pistons||4-3|
|44.||2006-07||San Antonio Spurs*||Cleveland Cavaliers||4-0|
|45.||2007-08||Boston Celtics*||Los Angeles Lakers||4-2|
|46.||2008-09||Los Angeles Lakers*||Orlando Magic||4-1|
|47.||2009-10||Los Angeles Lakers*||Boston Celtics||4-3|
The Sox were born as the Boston Americans way back in 1901, and pre-date the World Series itself by two years (the first official WS was in 1903). They changed their name to the Red Sox in 1908. Cy Young, the man himself, pitched for Boston between 1901 and 1908.
The Americans/Red Sox have been to the World Series 12 times, including 2013. For all the talk of that Babe Ruth curse, which is blamed for 84 years of ring-less play (1919-2003), the Sox are actually 7-4 all-time in the World Series. Ruth, in fact, was on three of those winners during his Red Sox days.
The St. Louis Cardinals’ origins go even further back. The Cards started out as the St. Louis Brown Stockings (can you imagine if it were the Red Sox vs. the Brown Sox?) way way back in 1882 as a part of the American Association League. They shortened their name to the St. Louis Browns the following year. In 1892, they joined the National League and in 1900, changed their name to Cardinals for good.
[Don’t confuse these St. Louis Browns with the other St. Louis Browns (American League, 1902-1953) who moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles. You can see the complete history of MLB team name changes and moves, here.]
The Cardinals are the second most successful team in baseball history, behind the New York Yankees. From the very begininngs, they have played in 23 World Series, including 2013, and are 12-9-1. Some of those appearances were before the NL vs AL World Series that began in 1903. After that, and officially, the Cards have 18 appearances and are 11-7
Together these two teams have been in existence 245 years (Sox 113, Cards 132) and have appeared in 34 (29 from 1903) World Series, winning 19 (18) championships.
We’ll take a look at both teams’ World Series results tomorrow. Today, though, let’s look at the Sox and Cards head-to-head in the World Series and during the regular season (interleague play). The breakdown is below.
The two have met in the Fall Classic three times before with St. Louis taking the 1946 and 1967 Series in seven-game classics. Boston broke its title drought in 2004 with an afterthought sweep of the Cards (after the greatest comeback in playoff history – that 0-3 come from behind against the Yankees in the ALCS).
While the Cardinals are 2-1 in the World Series against the Red Sox, the Sox hold the games-won lead 10-8.
With the introduction of official interleague play in 1997, three regular-season series have been played between the two. The Cards won all three and hold the games-won lead 6-3.
Enjoy the Series!Follow @VinGetz
|2004||WS||Boston Red Sox||4||St. Louis Cardinals||0|
|Game 1||RED SOX 11 – Cardinals 9|
|Game 2||RED SOX 6 – Cardinals 2|
|Game 3||Red Sox 4 – CARDINALS 1|
|Game 4||Red Sox 3 – CARDINALS 0|
|1967||WS||St. Louis Cardinals||4||Boston Red Sox||3|
|Game 1||Cardinals 2 – RED SOX 1|
|Game 2||RED SOX 5 – Cardinals 0|
|Game 3||CARDINALS 5 – Red Sox 2|
|Game 4||CARDINALS 6 – Red Sox 0|
|Game 5||Red Sox 3 – CARDINALS 1|
|Game 6||RED SOX 8 – Cardinals 4|
|Game 7||Cardinals 7 – RED SOX 2|
|1946||WS||St. Louis Cardinals||4||Boston Red Sox||3|
|Game 1||Red Sox 3 – CARDINALS 2|
|Game 2||CARDINALS 3 – Red Sox 0|
|Game 3||RED SOX 4 – Cardinals 0|
|Game 4||Cardinals 12 – RED SOX 3|
|Game 5||RED SOX 6 – Cardinals 3|
|Game 6||CARDINALS 4 – Red Sox 1|
|Game 7||CARDINALS 4 – Red Sox 3|
|2008||ILP||St. Louis Cardinals||2||Boston Red Sox||1|
|Game 1||Cardinals 5 – RED SOX 4|
|Game 2||Cardinals 9 – RED SOX 3|
|Game 3||RED SOX 5 – Cardinals 3|
|2005||ILP||St. Louis Cardinals||2||Boston Red Sox||1|
|Game 1||CARDINALS 7 – Red Sox 1|
|Game 2||CARDINALS 9 – Red Sox 2|
|Game 3||Red Sox 4 – CARDINALS 0|
|2003||ILP||St. Louis Cardinals||2||Boston Red Sox||1|
|Game 1||Cardinals 9 – RED SOX 7|
|Game 2||RED SOX 13 – Cardinals 1|
|Game 3||Cardinals 8 – RED SOX 7|
Home team in CAPS.
In the Oilers’ second (in a row) run at the Stanley Cup in 1984-85, Kurri and Wayne Gretzky (17) combined for (an insane) 36 goals, the most by any two skaters for a single team in a single playoff year.
Kurri and Gretzky appear twice (Gretzky once with the L.A. Kings) on today’s list: skaters with the most goals in a single postseason. They are joined by fellow Oilers, Craig Simpson (1990) and Mark Messier (1983).
The Pittsburgh Penguins are represented well, too. Super Mario scored 16 goals in each of the Penguins’ 1991 and 1992 back-to-back Stanley Cup winning runs. Lemieux is joined by teammate Kevin Stevens, who scored 17 in 1991. Sidney Crosby is the latest on the list – he put in 15 in 2009.
Stanley Cup winning teams are noted with an asterisk (*).Follow @VinGetz
|1.||Jari Kurri||19||18||RW||1984-85||Edmonton Oilers*|
|1.||Reggie Leach||19||16||RW||1975-76||Philadelphia Flyers|
|3.||Joe Sakic||18||22||C||1995-96||Colorado Avalanche*|
|4.||Kevin Stevens||17||24||LW||1990-91||Pittsburgh Penguins*|
|4.||Wayne Gretzky||17||18||C||1984-85||Edmonton Oilers*|
|4.||Mike Bossy||17||19||RW||1982-83||New York Islanders*|
|4.||Mike Bossy||17||19||RW||1981-82||New York Islanders*|
|4.||Mike Bossy||17||18||RW||1980-81||New York Islanders*|
|4.||Steve Payne||17||19||LW||1980-81||Minnesota North Stars|
|10.||Pavel Bure||16||24||RW||1993-94||Vancouver Canucks|
|10.||Mario Lemieux||16||15||C||1991-92||Pittsburgh Penguins*|
|10.||Mario Lemieux||16||23||C||1990-91||Pittsburgh Penguins*|
|10.||Cam Neely||16||19||RW||1990-91||Boston Bruins|
|10.||Craig Simpson||16||22||LW||1989-90||Edmonton Oilers*|
|10.||Joe Mullen||16||21||RW||1988-89||Calgary Flames*|
|16.||Sidney Crosby||15||24||C||2008-09||Pittsburgh Penguins*|
|16.||Wayne Gretzky||15||24||C||1992-93||Los Angeles Kings|
|16.||Jari Kurri||15||21||RW||1986-87||Edmonton Oilers*|
|16.||Mark Messier||15||15||LW||1982-83||Edmonton Oilers|
|16.||Yvan Cournoyer||15||17||RW||1972-73||Montreal Canadiens*|
Thanks to hockey-reference.com.