Can the Cavs force Game 7?

Cavs Warriors NBA Finals

On the brink of elimination, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving made history by becoming the first teammates to score 40-plus points each in the same NBA Finals game (per Elias Sports Bureau). The remarkable performances by Cleveland’s stars sends the series back to Ohio for Game 6.

With all the momentum seemingly favoring the Cavs it would be understandable if Golden State fans felt nervous. However, in the history of the NBA playoffs, only ten teams have overcome a 3-1 series deficit.

It has never happened in the NBA Finals.

In fact, teams that have taken a 3-1 series lead in the Finals have gone 32-0.

For the teams that take a commanding 3-1 lead losing Game 5 isn’t uncommon. The series leading team is now just 17-16 in their first attempt to close out the opponent.

However, only two teams have forced a Game 7 in the Finals after trailing 3-1. You have to go back to the 1966 Finals when the Lakers took the Celtics to seven before eventually losing the championship.

Cleveland will play at home but sending the series back to Cali for a winner-take-all Game 7 will be a challenge. Golden State gets Draymond Green back from suspension and isn’t likely to shoot 3 of 21 from behind the arc in the second half again.

Here are the 32 teams that took a 3-1 lead in the Finals and how the series ended.

YearUp 3-1Down 3-1Result
2014San AntonioMiamiSan Antonio in 5
2012MiamiOklahoma CityMiami in 5
2009Los AngelesOrlandoLos Angeles in 5
2008BostonLos AngelesBoston in 6
2004DetroitLos AngelesDetroit in 5
2001Los AngelesPhiladelphiaLos Angeles in 5
2000Los AngelesIndianaLos Angeles in 6
1999San AntonioNew YorkSan Antonio in 5
1998ChicagoUtahChicago in 6
1996ChicagoSeattleChicago in 6
1993ChicagoPhoenixChicago in 6
1991ChicagoLos AngelesChicago in 5
1990DetroitPortlandDetroit in 5
1987Los AngelesBostonLos Angeles in 6
1986BostonHoustonBoston in 6
1982Los AngelesPhiladelphiaLos Angeles in 6
1979SeattleWashingtonSeattle in 5
1973New YorkLos AngelesNew York in 5
1972Los AngelesNew YorkLos Angeles in 5
1967PhiladelphiaSan FranciscoPhiladelphia in 6
1966BostonLos AngelesBoston in 7
1965BostonLos AngelesBoston in 5
1964BostonSan FranciscoBoston in 5
1963BostonLos AngelesBoston in 6
1961BostonSt. LouisBoston in 5
1956PhiladelphiaFort WaynePhiladelphia in 5
1953MinneapolisNew YorkMinneapolis in 5
1951RochesterNew YorkRochester in 7
1950MinneapolisSyracuseMinneapolis in 6
1949MinneapolisWashingtonMinneapolis in 6
1948BaltimorePhiladelphiaBaltimore in 6
1947PhiladelphiaChicagoPhiladelphia in 5

 

 

 

 

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