The Boston Celtics are on the verge of doing the unthinkable.
The storied franchise, despite being the No. 2 seed out East, trailed the No. 8 Miami Heat 3-0 in the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals. But they stormed back in extraordinary fashion, winning Game 4 on the road and Game 5 at home in a semi-blowout before a last-gasp buzzer-beater from Derrick White in Game 6 knotted it up at 3-3.
With the chance at a historic comeback on the line, 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)