NBA Playoffs: How many times has a team come back from a 3-0 deficit?


The Dallas Mavericks are going to need a historic comeback if they want to keep their season alive.

After upsetting the Phoenix Suns in the second round, Luka Doncic and Co. are down 3-0 in their Western Conference finals series against the Golden State Warriors. The Mavs lost Games 1 and 2 in San Francisco before losing on their home floor in Game 3 on Sunday.

With a loss in Tuesday’s Game 4, the Mavs would be sent home packing, while the Warriors would reach their fifth NBA Finals in seven seasons. It would mark the second sweep of the 2022 NBA playoffs, with the Boston Celtics’ first-round triumph over the Brooklyn Nets being the other.

While no team should be ruled out until the series is officially over, 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 Cleveland Cavaliers are the only team to come back after being down 3-1 in the NBA Finals and win Game 7 (2016).

The Denver Nuggets are the only NBA team to come back from a 3-1 series deficit multiple times in the same year (2020).

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 - 76ers (12-1)

2000-01 - Lakers (15-1)

2016-17 - Warriors (16-1)

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