Celtics aiming to join this list of teams to overcome 3-1 playoff deficit


The Boston Celtics face a large deficit in their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Miami Heat, but it's not an insurmountable one.

The Heat took a commanding 3-1 series lead with a 112-109 Game 4 win over the Celtics on Wednesday night.

NBA teams that jump out to a 3-1 advantage win their series 94.9 percent (244-13) of the time. The percentage is almost the same in the conference finals.

We've actually seen a 3-1 deficit overcome twice in the 2020 NBA playoffs. The Denver Nuggets battled back and beat the Utah Jazz in the first round and the Los Angeles Clippers in the conference semifinals despite being down 3-1 in both series.

WATCH: Best video highlights from Celtics-Heat Game 4

The Celtics have done it twice, too, with the most recent instance coming in 1981 en route to Larry Bird's first of three championships with Boston.

If the Celtics are going to reach the NBA Finals, they'll need to join these teams that have overcome a 3-1 deficit in a best-of-seven playoff series.

1968 Eastern Division Finals: Celtics defeat 76ers

1970 Western Division Finals: Lakers defeat Suns

1979 Eastern Conference Finals: Bullets defeat Spurs

1981 Eastern Conference Finals: Celtics defeat 76ers

1995 Western Conference Semifinals: Rockets defeat Suns

1997 Eastern Conference Semifinals: Heat defeat Knicks

2003 Eastern Conference First Round: Pistons defeat Magic

2006 Western Conference First Round: Suns defeat Lakers

2015 Western Conference Semifinals: Rockets defeat Clippers

2016 Western Conference Finals: Warriors defeat Thunder

2016 NBA Finals: Cavaliers defeat Warriors


2020 Western Conference First Round: Nuggets defeat Jazz

2020 Western Conference Semifinals: Nuggets defeat Clippers