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How Many Times Has an NBA Team Come Back From a 3-0 Deficit?


NBA Playoffs: How many times has a team come back from a 3-0 deficit? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are going to need historic comebacks if they want to reach the NBA Finals.

The two storied franchises are on the verge of getting swept out of the playoffs. The Celtics trail the eighth-seeded Miami Heat 3-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals, while the Lakers face the same deficit against the top-seeded Denver Nuggets in the West.

While no team should be ruled out until the series is officially over, let’s take a look at how many times a team has come back from a 3-0 deficit in the NBA playoffs.

How many times has an NBA team come back from a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs?

The unfortunate answer is zero times.

While no teams have come back to win after being down 3-0, there are three teams that have rallied to tie up a series 3-3 and went on to lose Game 7. 

1951: Rochester Royals def. New York Knicks (NBA Finals)

1994: Denver Nuggets def. Utah Jazz (Western Conference semifinals)

2003: Dallas Mavericks def. Portland Trail Blazers (Western Conference first round)

How many times have NBA teams come back from 3-1 in the playoffs?

There are 13 teams that have overcome a 3-1 series deficit and won Game 7 in the NBA playoffs.

The 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers are the only team to come back after being down 3-1 in the NBA Finals and win Game 7.

The 2019-20 Denver Nuggets are the only NBA team to come back from a 3-1 series deficit multiple times in the same year.

Has any NBA team been able to sweep the whole playoffs?

While no team has been able to win every single game in postseason competition, there are some squads that managed to drop only one playoff game.

1982-83: Philadelphia 76ers (12-1)

2000-01: Los Angeles Lakers (15-1)

2016-17: Golden State Warriors (16-1)

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