The 1975 Toronto Raptors fell behind 3-0 in their series against the Miami Heat. The team has never won a series after trailing 0-3 or 3-0 before, but they did manage to win the game and force Game 7. Has a team ever managed to comeback from such an early deficit?
The “no team has come back from 3-1” is true. There have been a few games where teams came back from the 3-1 deficit, but no team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit.
The NBA Playoffs are known for their thrilling tales and amazing accomplishments. From the 1984 NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics through the 2016 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, fans of the league’s playoffs are certain to enjoy unforgettable experiences.
So, given all of the heroic efforts, has a team ever won a series after falling down 3-0?
Here’s the solution to your question.
A club has never won an NBA playoff series after falling down 3-0.
The NBA Playoff logo on Utah Jazz seats before Game 4 of the Western Conference playoffs versus the Golden State Warriors on May 8, 2017. | Getty Images/Gene Sweeney Jr
Despite all of the spectacular comebacks in NBA playoff history, no team has ever won a series after falling down 3-0.
Several teams have come close. In the 1951 NBA Finals, the New York Knicks trailed the Rochester Royals 3-0 and rallied to tie the game 3-3, but the Royals went on to win the series in seven games. The Denver Nuggets trailed Karl Malone and the Utah Jazz in the 1994 Western Conference semifinals before the Jazz won 4-3, and the same thing occurred in the 2003 first round series between the Portland Trail Blazers and Dirk Nowitzki’s triumphant Dallas Mavericks.
Despite the fact that no one has ever completed a 3-0 comeback, teams have recovered 13 times after falling down 3-1.
The Nuggets were the most recent to do it, doing so twice in the 2020 playoffs. Only the Cavaliers have done it in the NBA Finals, with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving leading them to a win against the Warriors in 2016.
Is it a feat that has been achieved in other sports?
There has never been an NBA team that has come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a postseason series. However, it has been done by a number of NHL clubs.
The Toronto Maple Leafs lost the first three games of the 1942 Stanley Cup Finals against the Detroit Red Wings, but won the next four to win the series in seven games. In the 1975 quarterfinals, the New York Islanders went down 3-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins before prevailing in seven games, and the Philadelphia Flyers did the same to the Boston Bruins in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals.
The most recent instance occurred in 2014, when the Los Angeles Kings fell behind in the Western Conference first round against the San Jose Sharks before winning the series 4-3.
In the 2004 American League Championship Series, the Boston Red Sox were down 3-0 to their rivals, the New York Yankees, but owing to David Ortiz’s heroic efforts, they rebounded to win in seven games. The Boston Red Sox then defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0 in the World Series. Manny Ramirez was named MVP of the World Series.
The NBA has yet to see a team do the seemingly impossible, but other sports have shown that it is possible.
For everything, there is a first time.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
How Many NBA Scoring Champions Have Won an NBA Championship in the Same Season?
The “new nba playoff format” is a question that has been asked before. The answer is no, as the NBA has never had a team win after trailing 3-0 in the series.
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