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Game 7 history, stats and more – NBC 6 South Florida

They’re the two best words in sports: Game 7.

The win-or-go-home nature of a Game 7 is unparalleled, especially in the NBA playoffs. After six back-and-forth matches, many series come down to the deciding match, with the season – and sometimes a championship – on the line.

Basketball has a rich history with Game 7s dating back to when the NBA was the BAA. How often do they happen and which team is the most successful with the series on the line?

Here’s a look back at Game 7s in the NBA playoffs:

How many Game 7s have there been in the history of the NBA playoffs?

There were 148 Game 7s in NBA playoff history from 1947 through 2023.

How many times have the NBA Finals gone to a Game 7?

Nineteen NBA Finals have been decided by a Game 7.

While history says that a Finals series has a one in four chance of reaching a Game 7, this was more common in the early days of the league. Ten finals required a Game 7 from 1947 to 1970, compared to only nine since then. Only four NBA Finals have required a Game 7 since 1994, with the most recent in 2016.

The following finals require a Game 7: 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1960, 1962, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1984, 1988, 1994, 2005, 2010, 2013 and 201 6.

Postseason history says the finals are less likely to reach a Game 7 than a second-round or conference finals series, but more likely than a first-round series. Here’s a round-by-round breakdown of how often series required a Game 7:

Finals: 19 Game 7s (24.7%)

Conference Finals: 38 Game 7s (28.8%)

Conference semi-finals: 61 Game 7s (27.2%)

First round: 30 Game 7s (17.9%)

Has an NBA Game 7 ever gone into overtime?

Seven Game 7s required overtime to decide a series, with one stretching to double overtime.

Two of those Game 7 overtimes came in the finals. The Boston Celtics won the 1957 title with a double-overtime victory over the St. Louis Hawks and the 1962 title with a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Four of the remaining overtime games took place in the conference semifinals and the other took place in the conference finals. The most recent overtime Game 7 came in the 2021 Eastern Conference Semifinals, when the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Brooklyn Nets on the road.

Which NBA Playoffs Had the Most Game 7s?

The 1994, 2014 and 2016 NBA Playoffs hold the record for most Game 7s with five apiece.

As previously mentioned, two of those postseasons culminated in a Game 7 in the Finals. The Houston Rockets earned a Game 7 victory over the New York Knicks to win the 1994 championship, while the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors in an epic Game 7 to capture the franchise’s first title of 2016.

In contrast, all five Game 7s in the 2014 playoffs came in the first round.

Which NBA Playoffs Had the Fewest Game 7s?

There have been thirteen NBA postseasons without a Game 7, but it’s been a while since that last happened.

The most recent playoffs without Game 7s was 1999, when the first round featured best-of-five series. Every playoff in the 21st century had at least one Game 7.

Of the thirteen playoffs without a Game 7, seven took place while there were only three best-of-seven series each year. Before 1968, division semifinals were best-of-five, leading to best-of-seven division finals and finals.

The following playoffs are those without Game 7: 1947, 1949, 1950, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1967, 1972, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1991 and 1999.

Which NBA team has played in the most Game 7s?

The Celtics hold the record for most Game 7 appearances in NBA history with 37. The Lakers have the second-highest total with 24, while the Philadelphia 76ers are third with 18.

Speaking of the Sixers, they have the most Game 7 losses in league history with 12. Six of those came against Boston, with Celtics-Sixers historically being the most common Game 7 matchup with eight matchups dating back to 1959, when the Sixers were the biggest. Nationals of Syracuse.

Which NBA team has played in the fewest Game 7s?

The Minnesota Timberwolves have the fewest number of Game 7 appearances among active teams, with just one. The New Orleans Pelicans and Charlotte Hornets are next with two each.

While the Timberwolves hold the record for fewest appearances, they also hold the record for the highest Game 7 winning percentage in league history. Minnesota won its only game, defeating the Sacramento Kings in the 2004 second round, leading to the organization’s only appearance in the Western Conference finals.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article was published in May 2022.