Following the Cleveland Cavaliers’ historic win at the NBA Finals, NewsCentral.PH did research on other basketball teams that have rallied and won against expected victors at the famed basketball league.
Here are 10 of the teams that came back from a 3-1 deficit in different rounds of the basketball playoffs:
Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (2016)
The Warriors overcame Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder, 96-88, to win the 2016 Western Conference finals.
Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Clippers (2015)
To survive the Clippers in the Western Conference semifinals, the Rockets had to bridge a 19-point deficit during the third quarter of Game 6. James Harden led the Rockets with 31 points to carve out a 113-100 win against the Clippers and go to the Conference finals for the first time since 1997.
Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers (2006)
Leandro Barbosa led the Suns toward a major turnaround to win Game 7 of the Western Conference quarterfinals. He scored 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting in a 121-90 victory against the Lakers.
Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic (2003)
Rookie Tayshaun Prince of the Pistons averaged only 10 minutes during regular seasons and sat through 40 games. But he rose and led his team to victory against Tracy McGrady of the Orlando Magic in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, 108-93.
Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks (1997)
During Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, Miami won 96-81 after PJ Brown blocked a Charlie Ward’s attempt to gain position for a rebound. New York’s Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson, and John Stark left the bench — and were slapped with one-game suspensions for the series’ last two games. The Knicks lost Games’ 6 and 7, 95–90 and 101–90, respectively.
Houston Rockets vs. Phoenix Suns (1995)
It was a fight to the death at the Western Conference semifinals. Houston’s Mario Elie scored three points with 7.1 seconds left on the clock to win the game for the Rockets, 115-114, against the Suns. His “Kiss of Death” led the Rockets to their second straight NBA title.
Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers (1981)
The Celtics and the 76ers both posted 62 wins in the regular season and faced each other at the Eastern Conference finals. Boston’s Larry Bird banked a shot in the game’s final minute that helped the Celtics overcome a six-point deficit in the final 4:30 to beat the 76ers, 91-90, in Game 7.
Washington Bullets vs. San Antonio Spurs (1970)
Washington’s Elvin Hayes, who averaged 25 points in Games 5-7, led the Bullets to an upset 107-105 victory against the Spurs in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns (1970)
Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, and Wilt Chamberlain raked in double-digit points for the Lakers to win the last three games against the Suns in the Western Division finals.
Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers (1968)
Sam “Mr. Clutch” Jones scored 22 points in Game 7 to lead the Celtics in becoming the first team in NBA history to comeback from a 3-1 series deficit against the defending champions Philadelphia 76ers.
Source: Sports Illustrated
Thumbnail image from NBA’s Twitter account