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

Vivek Parimi
ANALYST
Modified 03 Sep 2020, 16:22 IST
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#5 Phoenix Suns - 2006 Western Conference First Round

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns, Game 6
Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns, Game 6

In 2006, the Phoenix Suns were a title contending team with the second seed in the Western Conference. They went up against the LA Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. NBA superstar Kobe Bryant helped the Lakers secure a 3-1 lead in the series.

Steve Nash, Shawn Marion and Boris Diaw had other ideas as they went on to blow out the Lakers in the next 3 games to take the series 4-3. The Suns eventually fell to the LA Clippers in the second round that year.


#6 Detroit Pistons - 2003 Eastern Conference First Round

Clifford Robinson of the 2003 Pistons
Clifford Robinson of the 2003 Pistons

The 2003 Detroit Pistons were a dominant force in the NBA - they had the top seed and were expected to make it to the Finals. Tracy McGrady and the Orlando Magic did all they could to stop them. With a 3-1 lead, the Pistons had their backs against the wall.

Chauncey Billups and Ben Wallace stepped up in the remaining three games and stole the series from the Magic. The Pistons eventually fell to the Nets in the Eastern Conference Finals.


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#7 Miami Heat - 1997 Eastern Conference Semifinals

Miami Heat vs New York Knicks 1997 [Credits: NBA]
Miami Heat vs New York Knicks 1997 [Credits: NBA]

In 1997, the New York Knicks were set to take on their rivals the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals. They were up 3-1 in the Semifinals against the Miami Heat, but a fight in Game 5 saw Patrick Ewing and Allan Houston get involved in a fight with the Heat's players.

They were suspended for a game, and several other bench players also received suspensions. The Miami Heat capitalized on this and eventually took the series in 7 games. However, they went on to lose to the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals.


#8 Houston Rockets - 1995 Western Conference Semifinals

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Mario Elie
Mario Elie's Kiss of Death [Credits: Houston Chronicle]

The 1995 Houston Rockets were a force to reckon with, led by Hakeem Olajuwan and Clyde Drexler. They faced the Phoenix Suns who were led by Charles Barkley in the Western Conference Semifinals. After blowing a 3-1 lead, the Suns looked to close out the series at home in Game 7.

This game went down to final seconds despite the magnificent efforts of Olajuwan and Barkley. Mario Elie's game winning three-pointer, now dubbed the 'Kiss of Death', led the Rockets past the Suns. The Rockets ended up winning the 1995 NBA Championship, successfully defending their title.

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Published 31 Aug 2020, 19:45 IST
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