Dallas Mavericks

How many NBA teams have come back from a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs?

The Mavericks are attempting to overcome a 3-0 NBA Finals deficit after winning Game 4 against the Celtics.

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The Dallas Mavericks aren't done just yet.

On the brink of being swept in the 2024 NBA Finals, the Mavs showed in Game 4 that they weren't ready for their season to be over.

Luka Doncic and Co. extended the series with a 122-84 rout of the Boston Celtics at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Friday. Dallas' 38-point victory marked the third-largest blowout in NBA Finals history.

The Mavs have now trimmed their series deficit to 3-1 as the series shifts back to Boston for Game 5 on Monday night. So, could that Game 4 blowout be the start of a historic series comeback?

Here's a look at how teams have fared in the NBA playoffs after going down 3-0 in a series:

How many NBA teams have come back from being down 3-0 in the playoffs?

An NBA team has never come back from a 3-0 deficit to win the series in the playoffs. Teams that opened a 3-0 series lead in an NBA postseason series have gone 156-0.

The Celtics nearly became the first NBA team to pull off the historic comeback just last season. After losing the first three games of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Miami Heat, Boston won the next three games before losing Game 7 at home.

Only one team has come back from a 3-1 series deficit in the NBA Finals to win the championship: the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers, who won three straight games to stun the Golden State Warriors.

As for other professional sports, the only Major League Baseball team to win a series after trailing 3-0 was the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Four National Hockey League teams have managed to do so: the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders, 2010 Philadelphia Flyers and the 2014 Los Angeles Kings.

How many teams have forced Game 6 after being down 3-0 in the NBA playoffs?

Of the 156 teams to face a 3-0 series deficit in the NBA playoffs, only 15 managed to force a Game 6.

How many teams have forced Game 7 after being down 3-0 in the NBA playoffs?

Only four teams that went down 3-0 in an NBA playoff series forced a decisive Game 7:

  • 1951 New York Knicks (lost to the Rochester Royals in Game 7 of the NBA Finals)
  • 1994 Denver Nuggets (lost to the Utah Jazz in Game 7 of the second round)
  • 2003 Portland Trail Blazers (lost to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 7 of the first round)
  • 2023 Boston Celtics (lost to the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals)
With the Dallas Mavericks set to take on the Boston Celtics for the NBA title, here are some key storylines to watch.
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