If the Cavs want to pull off a Back-to-Back Championship, they are going to have to pull out a comeback! So to give them a little reminder that it is definitely possible, here’s a quick look back at the GREATEST NBA Finals Comebacks in history.
1992: Blazers vs. Bulls
First up, in 1992, Blazers at Bulls. The Chicago Bulls trailed by 13 pointed when the fourth quarter began. With Michael Jordan sitting on the bench for the rally, it was Scottie Pippen and four other players who brought the Bulls back. Jordan scored a game-high 33 points, but Pippen was the key to the game for the Bulls, helping them close out the series with a 97-93 Game 6 win which gave them their second straight championship.
2006: Mavericks vs. Heat
Next, Mavericks vs Heat in the 2006 Finals. Down 2-0 in the series, the Miami Heat were trailing by 13 points with 6:33 left in the game. Dwayne Wade scored 12 points to lead a 22-7 run to close the game. Gary Payton made a game-winning jump shot with 9 seconds left and the Heat stole the victory from Dallas. The Heat closed out the Mavs in six games to win the franchise’s first championship.
2008: Celtics vs. Lakers
Next, who could forget Celtics vs Lakers 2008 Finals? Up 2-1 in the series, the Celtics found themselves down 24 points in the third quarter. Boston went on a 21-3 run to end the quarter only down by two points. The Celtics took the lead and eventually the game won 97-91. The comeback was the biggest in NBA Finals history since 1971. The Celtics went on the take the series in Game 6!
2011: Mavs vs. Heat
Next up, Mavs at Heat AGAIN in the 2011 finals. Down 15 points with 7 minutes left, the Mavs started a comeback that would see the game tied with 20 seconds left. Dirk Nowitzki converted a layup with three seconds left to give Dallas the win. The Mavs’ Game 2 win tied the series, but the Heat took the next game. Down 2-1, the Mavs took three straight wins to take the series!
2016: Cavs vs. Warriors
Lastly, perhaps the most relevant to the 2017 NBA Finals, was the Cleveland Cavs comeback in 2016. The Warriors had home court advantage that started the series 2-0 before heading to Cleveland. The Cavs returned home and responded with a 120-90 win over Golden State, but the Warriors won Game 4. Down 3-1 in the series, the Cavs won the next three games to become the first team in Finals history to successfully overcome a 3-1 deficit. It also marked the first time since 1978 that Game 7 was won by the road team.
All I have to say, is Cleveland IT IS NOT OVER YET!! Here’s to more basketball and more epic comebacks.
NBA Finals 2017 on ABC:
- Game 4: June 9 | 9:00 PM ET
- Game 5: June 12 | 9:00 PM ET*
- Game 6: June 15 | 9:00 PM ET*
- Game 7: June 18 | 8:00 PM ET*
- *If necessary
- Michael Jordan on Wikimedia by Steve Lipofsky Basketballphoto.com
- Michae Jordan on Flickr by mccarmona
- Scottie Pippin on Wikipedia by Steve Lipofsky Basketballphoto.com
- Dwayne Wade on Flickr by Keith Allison
- Gary Payton on Flickr by Keith Allison
- Celtics vs Lakers on Flickr by Eric Kilby
- Dirk Mowitzki on Flickr by Keith Allison
- LeBron James on Flickr by Keith Allison
- Kobe Bryant on Flickr by Keith Allison
- Paul Pierce on Flickr by Keith Allison
- LeBron James on Flickr 1 & 2 by Keith Allison
- Steph Curry on Flickr by Keith Allison