NBA Finals – History Favors the Sweepers

Tonight’s Game 4 between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers will be the 11th time a team entered Game 4 with a 3-0 lead.  In only two of these games did the underdog avoid elimination:

  • the 1996 Seattle Sonics beat the Chicago Bulls and extended the series to six games; and
  • the 1951 New York Knicks beat the Rochester Royals and extended the series to seven games.

It is also each teams second time in this situation, as the Warriors swept the Washington Bullets in 1975 and the Cavaliers were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in 2007.

Should Cleveland lose, Lebron James would not be the first Hall-of-Famer to be swept twice in the finals – Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Wes Unseld are also in the club.

2007

Leading Team Trailing Team G1 G2 G3 G4 Series Result
827[1] 5zp5356wfntqosqr3ah5hmdr1[1]  9  11 3 83-82

@CLE

 SWEEP

2002

Leading Team Trailing Team G1 G2 G3 G4 Series Result
LAL-2002[1] NJN-2002[1] 5 23 3 113-107

@NJ

 SWEEP

1996

Leading Team Trailing Team G1 G2 G3 G4 Series Result
SEA-1996[1] 17 4 22 86-107

@SEA

Bulls

4-2

1995

Leading Team Trailing Team G1 G2 G3 G4 Series Result
HOU-1995[1] ORL-1995[1] 2 11 4 113-101

@HOU

 SWEEP

See Champions: The Houston Rockets Dynasty 20 Years Later

1989

Leading Team Trailing Team G1 G2 G3 G4 Series Result
DET-1989[1] LAL-2002[1] 3 3 4 105-97

@LA

 SWEEP

1983

Leading Team Trailing Team G1 G2 G3 G4 Series Result
PHI-1983[1] LAL-2002[1] 6 10 17 115-108

@LA

 SWEEP

SeeChampions: 1983 Philadelphia 76ers Dominated NBA Playoffs.

1975

Leading Team Trailing Team G1 G2 G3 G4 Series Result
GSW-1975[1] WSB-1975[1] 6 1 8 96-96

@DC

 SWEEP

See Champions: The Biggest Upset in NBA History.

1971

Leading Team Trailing Team G1 G2 G3 G4 Series Result
MIL-1971[1] BAL-1971[1] 10 19 8 118-106

@BAL

 SWEEP

1959

Leading Team Trailing Team G1 G2 G3 G4 Series Result
BOS-1959[1] MNL-1959[1] 3 20 13

118-113

@MNL

 SWEEP

 

 

1951

Leading Team Trailing Team G1 G2 G3 G4 Series Result
ROC-1951[1] NYK-1951[1] 27 15 7 73-79

@NY

Royals

4-3

 

 

Rochester-Royals-NBA-Champs-1951-600x380[1]

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