History of comebacks from 0-2 deficits

Tonight, the Boston Celtics will try to become the 16th team in NBA history to come back from an 0-2 deficit to win a playoff series. Yesterday, the Oklahoma City Thunder became the 15th.

Here is the list of all the teams that have done it, and below are some interesting notes about the Celtics and Heat.

Boston (vs. Los Angeles)
1969
Finals
Los Angeles (vs. San Francisco)
1969
Western Division Semifinals
Baltimore (vs. New York)
1971
Eastern Conference Finals
Portland (vs. Philadelphia)
1977
Finals
Chicago (vs. New York)
1993
Eastern Conference Finals
Houston (vs. Phoenix)
1994
Western Conference Semifinals
Houston (vs. Phoenix)
1995
Western Conference Semifinals
L.A. Lakers (vs. San Antonio)
2004
Western Conference Semifinals
Dallas (vs. Houston)
2005
Western Conference First Round
Washington (vs. Chicago)
2005
Eastern Conference First Round
Miami (vs. Dallas)
2006
Finals
Utah (vs. Houston)
2007
Western Conference First Round
Cleveland (vs. Detroit)
2007
Eastern Conference Finals
San Antonio (vs. New Orleans)
2008
Western Conference Semifinals
Oklahoma City (vs. San Antonio)
2012
Western Conference Finals

Not surprisingly, Boston has some history when it comes to close-out games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau:

  • The Celtics’ record all-time in close-out opportunities: 77-60 (.562)
  • The Celtics’ record all-time in close-out games at home: 44-16 (.733)
  • The Celtics’ record in close-out games since the Kevin Garnett trade prior to the 2007-08 season: 11-13 (.458)
  • The Celtics’ home record in close-out games since the Garnett trade: 9-2 (.818)
  • The Celtics’ all-time series record when up 3-2: 36-2* (.947)
    *The two times Boston has lost a series when up 3-2 were in the 2010 Finals (Los Angeles Lakers) and the 2009 semifinals (Orlando). The Lakers won Game 6 and 7 at home and the Magic won Game 6 at home and the clincher in Boston.After winning the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals against Boston, Miami has dropped three straight. Since the 1987-88 postseason, eight teams have gone on to win a playoff series after losing three straight during the same series. Atlanta in the first round in 2010; Detroit in the conference semifinals of 2006 and 2004; Phoenix in the first round in 2006; Dallas in the first round in 2003; Milwaukee in the conference semifinals in 2001; Utah in the conference semifinals in 1994; New York in the conference finals in 1994; and Boston in the 1988 conference semifinals.The Heat has totaled eight postseason wins on the road over the last two years, the most in the NBA. Additionally Miami’s .471 winning percentage is the second highest over that span. Dallas ranks first at .583 (7-5).

 

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  1. Jeremiah says

    There were some other 0-2 comeback that were not listed. 1993 first round Phoenix Suns vs L.A. Lakers – (5 game series) – losing the first two at home) and the 1994 Denver Nuggets came back from 0-2 to beat the Seattle SuperSonics and become the first #8 seed to win a series.

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