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List of teams that have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a playoff series in NBA history

LeBron James led the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers to the most famous comeback in the NBA history
LeBron James led the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers to the most famous comeback in the NBA history
Vivek Parimi
ANALYST
Modified 03 Sep 2020, 16:22 IST
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Throughout the 70-year history of the NBA, there have been just 11 instances when a team has made a comeback from a 3-1 deficit in a playoff series. These teams have shown insane tenacity and held their nerve to emerge victorious three must-win games.

Let us take a look at the legendary teams that came back from a 3-1 series deficit to win.


#1 Denver Nuggets - 2020 Western Conference First Round

Utah Jazz v Denver Nuggets - Game Two
Utah Jazz v Denver Nuggets - Game Two

The Denver Nuggets beat the Utah Jazz in a nerve warcking Game 7 of the first round of the 2020 Western Conference, after coming back from a 3-1 deficit. Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic led the way for the Denver Nuggets who were suffering injuries to several key starters.

This series also featured one of the greatest individual battles in a playoff series as Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell took each other on, putting up monstrous numbers. In the end, this series came down to the last seconds of Game 7 where Mike Conley Jr. was unable to make a three-pointer for the Utah Jazz and the Denver Nuggets prevailed to complete a sweet comebacl


#2 Cleveland Cavaliers - 2016 NBA Finals

2016 NBA Finals - Game Seven
2016 NBA Finals - Game Seven
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LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers scripted the most astonishing comeback in NBA history when they overcame a 3-1 deficit in the 2016 NBA Finals to bring a championship to Cleveland for the first time in the history of the franchise.

LeBron James' block on Andre Iguodala in the dying minutes of the game followed by Kyrie Irving's clutch three-pointer will go down as one of the greatest plays in the history of the NBA.


#3 Golden State Warriors - 2016 Western Conference Finals

Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors - Game Seven
Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors - Game Seven

The Golden State Warriors came back from a 3-1 series deficit in the Western Conference against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Splash Brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson put up monstrous numbers in Games 5, 6, and 7 to lead the Warriors to the NBA Finals once again.

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This series marked the end of Kevin Durant's tenure with the Thunder as he joined the Warriors the next season. The Warriors went on to lose the NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers that year.


#4 Houston Rockets - 2015 Western Conference Semifinals

Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets - Game Seven
Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets - Game Seven

In a nail-biting series, the Houston Rockets overcame a 3-1 deficit to beat the LA Clippers in the 2015 Western Conference Semifinals. James Harden and Dwight Howard put on a show with Trevor Ariza playing a crucial role in the last three games of this series.

This series was the beginning of the downfall of the Lob City LA Clippers team while the James Harden's Houston Rockets emerged as serious title contenders. The Rockets eventually fell to the Warriors, who ended up winning the NBA title in 2015.

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Also Read: LeBron James’ unique rookie card breaks world record with stunning $1.8m sale


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Published 31 Aug 2020, 19:45 IST
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