FYI: 3-1 comebacks at NBA playoffs

June 20 2016 6:30 PM

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.

READ: Cavaliers bag first NBA championship

Here are 10 of the teams that came back from a 3-1 deficit in different rounds of the basketball playoffs:

2016 Western Conference finals — Golden State Warriors over Oklahoma City Thunder (Image from Sports Illustrated)
2016 Western Conference finals — Golden State Warriors over Oklahoma City Thunder (Image from Sports Illustrated)

 

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.

 

2015 Western Conference Semifinals — Houston Rockets over Los Angeles Clippers (Image from Sports Illustrated)
2015 Western Conference Semifinals — Houston Rockets over Los Angeles Clippers (Image from Sports Illustrated)

 

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.

 

2006 Western Conference Quarterfinals — Phoenix Suns over Los Angeles Lakers (Image from Sports Illustrated)
2006 Western Conference Quarterfinals — Phoenix Suns over Los Angeles Lakers (Image from Sports Illustrated)

 

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.

 

2003 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals — Detroit Pistons over Orlando Magic (Image from Sports Illustrated)
2003 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals — Detroit Pistons over Orlando Magic (Image from Sports Illustrated)

 

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.

 

1997 Eastern Conference Semifinals — Miami Heat over New York Knicks (Image from Sports Illustrated)
1997 Eastern Conference Semifinals — Miami Heat over New York Knicks (Image from Sports Illustrated)

 

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.

 

1995 Western Conference Semifinals — Houston Rockets over Phoenix Suns (Image from Sports Illustrated)
1995 Western Conference Semifinals — Houston Rockets over Phoenix Suns (Image from Sports Illustrated)

 

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.

 

1981 Eastern Conference Finals — Boston Celtics over Philadelphia 76ers (Image from Sports Illustrated)
1981 Eastern Conference Finals — Boston Celtics over Philadelphia 76ers (Image from Sports Illustrated)

 

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.

 

1979 Eastern Conference Finals — Washington Bullets over San Antonio Spurs (Image from Sports Illustrated)
1979 Eastern Conference Finals — Washington Bullets over San Antonio Spurs (Image from Sports Illustrated)

 

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.

 

1970 Western Division Finals — Los Angeles Lakers over Phoenix Suns (Image from Sports Illustrated)
1970 Western Division Finals — Los Angeles Lakers over Phoenix Suns (Image from Sports Illustrated)

 

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.

 

1968 Eastern Division Finals — Boston Celtics over Philadelphia 76ers (Image from Sports Illustrated)
1968 Eastern Division Finals — Boston Celtics over Philadelphia 76ers (Image from Sports Illustrated)

 

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

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