List of NBA game sevens

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Since its opening in 1995, nine game sevens have been played at the TD Garden, formerly known as FleetCenter and TD Banknorth Garden.
A concrete building with the words "Great Western Forum" on top situates across an empty parking lot
The Forum in Inglewood, California hosted eight game sevens when it was the home of the Los Angeles Lakers.

In the National Basketball Association (NBA), a game seven is the final game of a best-of-seven series in the NBA playoffs. Based on the playoffs format arrangement,[a] it is played in the venue of the team holding home-court advantage for the series. The necessity of a game seven is not known until the outcome of game six is determined, assuming that a series reaches the sixth game. In other words, game seven is the only one in a series that is not be guaranteed more than one game in advance. Due to the decisive nature of game sevens, they are often "played more conservatively" and receive more media and fan attention.[1]

The NBA Finals has always employed a best-of-seven series format. The Conference (or Division) Finals have used this format since 1958;[2] the Conference (or Division) Semifinals since 1968;[3] and the First Round since 2003.[4][5] During the 1947 and 1948 playoffs, in which teams from different divisions met each other in the opening rounds, the first-place teams from each division played a best-of-seven series against each other before one advanced to the league finals. The other teams in the playoffs competed against each other in three best-of-three series to determine the other spot in the finals.[6]

Since the inception of the NBA, 133 game sevens have been played. Of those, six went into overtime, and one into double overtime. 28 game sevens have been won by the road team.[7] Every active NBA franchise has played in at least one game seven. There have been 12 playoff seasons in which no game sevens were played: 1947, 1949, 1950, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1967, 1972, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1991, and 1999. The 1994, the 2014 and the 2016 postseasons held the record for most game sevens played, with five. In 1979, 1981, 1988, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2018 four game sevens were played. The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks both hold the record for most game sevens played in a single postseason, having played 3 game sevens in 1988 and 1994, respectively, the maximum possible at that time.

Key[edit]

OT Overtime (the number in front indicates the number of overtime periods played, if there were more than one)
* Indicates a game seven that was won by the road team
Year (X) Indicates the number of games seven played in that year's postseason
Each year is linked to an article about that particular NBA season
§ Indicates the team that lost a game seven after coming back from an 0–3 series deficit
Team (#) Indicates team and the number of game sevens played by that team at that point
^ Indicates game seven in the NBA Finals

All-time game sevens[edit]

Year Playoff round Date Venue Winner Result Loser Ref.
1948 Semifinals April 6, 1948 St. Louis Arena Philadelphia Warriors (1) 85–46* St. Louis Bombers (1) [8]
1951 Finals April 21, 1951 Edgerton Park Arena Rochester Royals (1) 79–75^ New York Knicks (1) § [9]
1952 Finals April 25, 1952 Minneapolis Auditorium Minneapolis Lakers (1) 82–65^ New York Knicks (2) [10]
1954 Finals April 12, 1954 Minneapolis Auditorium Minneapolis Lakers (2) 87–80^ Syracuse Nationals (1) [11]
1955 Finals April 10, 1955 Onondaga War Memorial Syracuse Nationals (2) 92–91^ Fort Wayne Pistons (1) [12]
1957 Finals April 13, 1957 Boston Garden Boston Celtics (1) 125–123 (2OT)^ St. Louis Hawks (1) [13]
1959 Division Finals April 1, 1959 Boston Celtics (2) 130–125 Syracuse Nationals (3) [14]
1960 Division Finals March 26, 1960 Kiel Auditorium St. Louis Hawks (2) 97–86 Minneapolis Lakers (3) [15]
Finals April 9, 1960 Boston Garden Boston Celtics (3) 122–103^ St. Louis Hawks (3) [15]
1961 Division Finals April 1, 1961 Kiel Auditorium St. Louis Hawks (4) 105–103 Los Angeles Lakers (4) [16]
1962 Division Finals April 5, 1962 Boston Garden Boston Celtics (4) 109–107 Philadelphia Warriors (2) [17]
Finals April 18, 1962 Boston Celtics (5) 110–107 (OT)^ Los Angeles Lakers (5) [17]
1963 Division Finals April 10, 1963 Boston Celtics (6) 142–131 Cincinnati Royals (2) [18]
April 11, 1963 Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena Los Angeles Lakers (6) 115–100 St. Louis Hawks (5) [18]
1964 Division Finals April 16, 1964 Cow Palace San Francisco Warriors (3) 105–95 St. Louis Hawks (6) [19]
1965 Division Finals April 15, 1965 Boston Garden Boston Celtics (7) 110–109 Philadelphia 76ers (4) [20]
1966 Division Finals April 15, 1966 Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena Los Angeles Lakers (7) 130–121 St. Louis Hawks (7) [21]
Finals April 28, 1966 Boston Garden Boston Celtics (8) 95–93^ Los Angeles Lakers (8) [21]
1968 Division Finals April 19, 1968 The Spectrum Boston Celtics (9) 100–96* Philadelphia 76ers (5) [22]
1969 Finals May 5, 1969 The Forum Boston Celtics (10) 108–106*^ Los Angeles Lakers (9) [23]
1970 Division Semifinals April 6, 1970 Madison Square Garden New York Knicks (3) 127–114 Baltimore Bullets (1) [24]
Division Semifinals April 9, 1970 The Forum Los Angeles Lakers (10) 129–94 Phoenix Suns (1) [24]
Finals May 8, 1970 Madison Square Garden New York Knicks (4) 113–99^ Los Angeles Lakers (11) [24]
1971 Conference Semifinals April 4, 1971 Baltimore Civic Center Baltimore Bullets (2) 128–120 Philadelphia 76ers (6) [25]
April 6, 1971 The Forum Los Angeles Lakers (12) 109–98 Chicago Bulls (1) [25]
Conference Finals April 19, 1971 Madison Square Garden Baltimore Bullets (3) 93–91* New York Knicks (5) [25]
1973 Conference Semifinals April 15, 1973 The Forum Los Angeles Lakers (13) 95–92 Chicago Bulls (2) [26]
Conference Finals April 29, 1973 Boston Garden New York Knicks (6) 94–78* Boston Celtics (11) [26]
1974 Conference Semifinals April 12, 1974 Madison Square Garden New York Knicks (7) 91–81 Capital Bullets (4) [27]
April 13, 1974 Chicago Stadium Chicago Bulls (3) 96–94 Detroit Pistons (2) [27]
Finals May 12, 1974 Milwaukee Arena Boston Celtics (12) 102–87*^ Milwaukee Bucks (1) [27]
1975 Conference Semifinals April 25, 1975 Capital Centre Washington Bullets (5) 115–96 Buffalo Braves (1) [28]
Conference Finals May 14, 1975 Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum Arena Golden State Warriors (4) 83–79 Chicago Bulls (4) [28]
1976 Conference Semifinals April 29, 1976 Coliseum at Richfield Cleveland Cavaliers (1) 87–85 Washington Bullets (6) [29]
Conference Finals May 16, 1976 Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum Arena Phoenix Suns (2) 94–86* Golden State Warriors (5) [29]
1977 Conference Semifinals May 1, 1977 The Spectrum Philadelphia 76ers (7) 83–77 Boston Celtics (13) [30]
May 4, 1977 The Forum Los Angeles Lakers (14) 97–84 Golden State Warriors (6) [31]
1978 Conference Semifinals May 3, 1978 McNichols Sports Arena Denver Nuggets (1) 116–110 Milwaukee Bucks (2) [31]
Finals June 7, 1978 Seattle Center Coliseum Washington Bullets (7) 105–99*^ Seattle SuperSonics (1) [31]
1979 Conference Semifinals April 29, 1979 Capital Centre Washington Bullets (8) 100–94 Atlanta Hawks (8) [32]
May 2, 1979 HemisFair Arena San Antonio Spurs (1) 111–108 Philadelphia 76ers (8) [32]
Conference Finals May 17, 1979 King County Domed Stadium Seattle SuperSonics (2) 114–110 Phoenix Suns (3) [32]
May 18, 1979 Capital Centre Washington Bullets (9) 107–105 San Antonio Spurs (2) [32]
1980 Conference Semifinals April 20, 1980 King County Domed Stadium Seattle SuperSonics (3) 98–94 Milwaukee Bucks (3) [33]
1981 Conference Semifinals April 17, 1981 HemisFair Arena Houston Rockets (1) 105–100* San Antonio Spurs (3) [34]
April 19, 1981 The Spectrum Philadelphia 76ers (9) 99–98 Milwaukee Bucks (4) [34]
April 19, 1981 Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum Kansas City Kings (3) 95–88* Phoenix Suns (4) [34]
Conference Finals May 3, 1981 Boston Garden Boston Celtics (14) 91–90 Philadelphia 76ers (10) [34]
1982 (1) Conference Finals May 23, 1982 Boston Garden Philadelphia 76ers (11) 120–106* Boston Celtics (15) [35]
1984 Conference Semifinals May 13, 1984 Boston Garden Boston Celtics (16) 121–104 New York Knicks (8) [36]
Finals June 12, 1984 Boston Garden Boston Celtics (17) 111–102^ Los Angeles Lakers (15) [36]
1986 Conference Semifinals May 11, 1986 MECCA Arena Milwaukee Bucks (5) 113–112 Philadelphia 76ers (12) [37]
1987 Conference Semifinals May 17, 1987 Boston Garden Boston Celtics (18) 119–113 Milwaukee Bucks (6) [38]
Conference Finals May 30, 1987 Boston Celtics (19) 117–114 Detroit Pistons (3) [38]
1988 Conference Semifinals May 21, 1988 The Forum Los Angeles Lakers (16) 109–98 Utah Jazz (1) [39]
May 22, 1988 Boston Garden Boston Celtics (20) 118–116 Atlanta Hawks (9) [39]
Conference Finals June 4, 1988 The Forum Los Angeles Lakers (17) 117–102 Dallas Mavericks (1) [39]
Finals June 21, 1988 Los Angeles Lakers (18) 108–105^ Detroit Pistons (4) [39]
1990 Conference Semifinals May 19, 1990 Memorial Coliseum Portland Trail Blazers (1) 108–105 (OT) San Antonio Spurs (4) [40]
Conference Finals June 3, 1990 The Palace of Auburn Hills Detroit Pistons (5) 93–74 Chicago Bulls (5) [40]
1992 Conference Semifinals May 17, 1992 Chicago Stadium Chicago Bulls (6) 110–81 New York Knicks (9) [41]
Coliseum at Richfield Cleveland Cavaliers (2) 122–104 Boston Celtics (21) [41]
1993 Conference Semifinals May 22, 1993 Seattle Center Coliseum Seattle SuperSonics (4) 103–100 (OT) Houston Rockets (2) [42]
Conference Finals June 5, 1993 America West Arena Phoenix Suns (5) 123–110 Seattle SuperSonics (5) [43]
1994 Conference Semifinals May 21, 1994 The Summit Houston Rockets (3) 104–94 Phoenix Suns (6) [44]
May 21, 1994 Delta Center Utah Jazz (2) 91–81 Denver Nuggets (2) § [45]
May 22, 1994 Madison Square Garden New York Knicks (10) 87–77 Chicago Bulls (7) [46]
Conference Finals June 5, 1994 New York Knicks (11) 94–90 Indiana Pacers (1) [47]
Finals June 22, 1994 The Summit Houston Rockets (4) 90–84^ New York Knicks (12) [48]
1995 Conference Semifinals May 20, 1995 America West Arena Houston Rockets (5) 115–114* Phoenix Suns (7) [49]
Conference Semifinals May 21, 1995 Madison Square Garden Indiana Pacers (2) 97–95* New York Knicks (13) [50]
Conference Finals June 4, 1995 Orlando Arena Orlando Magic (1) 105–81 Indiana Pacers (3) [51]
1996 Conference Finals June 2, 1996 KeyArena at Seattle Center Seattle SuperSonics (6) 90–86 Utah Jazz (3) [52]
1997 Conference Semifinals May 17, 1997 The Summit Houston Rockets (6) 96–91 Seattle SuperSonics (7) [53]
May 18, 1997 Miami Arena Miami Heat (1) 101–90 New York Knicks (14) [54]
1998 Conference Finals May 31, 1998 United Center Chicago Bulls (8) 88–83 Indiana Pacers (4) [55]
2000 Conference Semifinals May 21, 2000 American Airlines Arena New York Knicks (15) 83–82* Miami Heat (2) [56]
Conference Finals June 4, 2000 Staples Center Los Angeles Lakers (19) 89–84 Portland Trail Blazers (2) [57]
2001 Conference Semifinals May 20, 2001 First Union Center Philadelphia 76ers (13) 88–87 Toronto Raptors (1) [58]
Bradley Center Milwaukee Bucks (7) 104–95 Charlotte Hornets (1) [59]
Conference Finals June 3, 2001 First Union Center Philadelphia 76ers (14) 108–91 Milwaukee Bucks (8) [60]
2002 (1) Conference Finals June 2, 2002 ARCO Arena Los Angeles Lakers (20) 112–106 (OT)* Sacramento Kings (4) [61]
2003 First Round May 4, 2003 American Airlines Center Dallas Mavericks (2) 107–95 Portland Trail Blazers (3) § [62]
The Palace of Auburn Hills Detroit Pistons (6) 108–93 Orlando Magic (2) [63]
Conference Semifinals May 17, 2003 American Airlines Center Dallas Mavericks (3) 112–99 Sacramento Kings (5) [64]
2004 First Round May 4, 2004 American Airlines Arena Miami Heat (3) 85–77 New Orleans Hornets (1) [65]
Conference Semifinals May 19, 2004 Target Center Minnesota Timberwolves (1) 83–80 Sacramento Kings (6) [66]
May 20, 2004 The Palace of Auburn Hills Detroit Pistons (7) 90–69 New Jersey Nets (1) [67]
2005 First Round May 7, 2005 FleetCenter Indiana Pacers (5) 97–70* Boston Celtics (22) [68]
American Airlines Center Dallas Mavericks (4) 116–76 Houston Rockets (7) [69]
Conference Finals June 6, 2005 American Airlines Arena Detroit Pistons (8) 88–82* Miami Heat (4) [70]
Finals June 23, 2005 SBC Center San Antonio Spurs (5) 81–74^ Detroit Pistons (9) [71]
2006 First Round May 6, 2006 US Airways Center Phoenix Suns (8) 121–90 Los Angeles Lakers (21) [72]
Conference Semifinals May 21, 2006 The Palace of Auburn Hills Detroit Pistons (10) 79–61 Cleveland Cavaliers (3) [73]
May 22, 2006 AT&T Center Dallas Mavericks (5) 119–111 (OT)* San Antonio Spurs (6) [74]
US Airways Center Phoenix Suns (9) 127–107 Los Angeles Clippers (2) [75]
2007 First Round May 5, 2007 Toyota Center Utah Jazz (4) 103–99* Houston Rockets (8) [76]
2008 First Round May 4, 2008 TD Banknorth Garden Boston Celtics (23) 99–65 Atlanta Hawks (10) [77]
Conference Semifinals May 18, 2008 TD Banknorth Garden Boston Celtics (24) 97–92 Cleveland Cavaliers (4) [78]
May 19, 2008 New Orleans Arena San Antonio Spurs (7) 91–82* New Orleans Hornets (2) [79]
2009 First Round May 2, 2009 TD Banknorth Garden Boston Celtics (25) 109–99 Chicago Bulls (9) [80]
May 3, 2009 Philips Arena Atlanta Hawks (11) 91–78 Miami Heat (5) [81]
Conference Semifinals May 17, 2009 Staples Center Los Angeles Lakers (22) 89–70 Houston Rockets (9) [82]
May 17, 2009 TD Banknorth Garden Orlando Magic (3) 101–82* Boston Celtics (26) [83]
2010 First Round May 2, 2010 Philips Arena Atlanta Hawks (12) 95–74 Milwaukee Bucks (9) [84]
Finals June 17, 2010 Staples Center Los Angeles Lakers (23) 83–79^ Boston Celtics (27) [85]
2011 Conference Semifinals May 15, 2011 Oklahoma City Arena Oklahoma City Thunder (8) 105–90 Memphis Grizzlies (1) [86]
2012 First Round May 12, 2012 Staples Center Los Angeles Lakers (24) 96–87 Denver Nuggets (3) [87]
May 13, 2012 FedExForum Los Angeles Clippers (3) 82–72* Memphis Grizzlies (2) [88]
Conference Semifinals May 26, 2012 TD Garden Boston Celtics (28) 85–75 Philadelphia 76ers (15) [89]
Conference Finals June 9, 2012 American Airlines Arena Miami Heat (6) 101–88 Boston Celtics (29) [90]
2013 First Round May 4, 2013 Barclays Center Chicago Bulls (10) 99–93* Brooklyn Nets (2) [91]
Conference Finals June 3, 2013 American Airlines Arena Miami Heat (7) 99–76 Indiana Pacers (6) [92]
Finals June 20, 2013 Miami Heat (8) 95–88^ San Antonio Spurs (8) [93]
2014 First Round May 3, 2014 Bankers Life Fieldhouse Indiana Pacers (7) 92–80 Atlanta Hawks (13) [94]
Chesapeake Energy Arena Oklahoma City Thunder (9) 120–109 Memphis Grizzlies (3) [95]
Staples Center Los Angeles Clippers (4) 126–121 Golden State Warriors (7) [96]
May 4, 2014 Air Canada Centre Brooklyn Nets (3) 104–103* Toronto Raptors (2) [97]
AT&T Center San Antonio Spurs (9) 119–96 Dallas Mavericks (6) [98]
2015 First Round May 2, 2015 Staples Center Los Angeles Clippers (5) 111–109 San Antonio Spurs (10) [99]
Conference Semifinals May 17, 2015 Toyota Center Houston Rockets (10) 113–100 Los Angeles Clippers (6) [100]
2016 First Round May 1, 2016 American Airlines Arena Miami Heat (9) 106–73 Charlotte Hornets (2) [101]
May 1, 2016 Air Canada Centre Toronto Raptors (3) 89–84 Indiana Pacers (8) [102]
Conference Semifinals May 15, 2016 Toronto Raptors (4) 116–89 Miami Heat (10) [103]
Conference Finals May 30, 2016 Oracle Arena Golden State Warriors (8) 96–88 Oklahoma City Thunder (10) [104]
Finals June 19, 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers (5) 93–89*^ Golden State Warriors (9) [105]
2017 First Round April 30, 2017 Staples Center Utah Jazz (5) 104–91* Los Angeles Clippers (7) [106]
Conference Semifinals May 15, 2017 TD Garden Boston Celtics (30) 115–105 Washington Wizards (10) [107]
2018 First Round April 28, 2018 Boston Celtics (31) 112–96 Milwaukee Bucks (10) [108]
April 29, 2018 Quicken Loans Arena Cleveland Cavaliers (6) 105–101 Indiana Pacers (9) [109]
Conference Finals May 27, 2018 TD Garden Cleveland Cavaliers (7) 87–79* Boston Celtics (32) [110]
May 28, 2018 Toyota Center Golden State Warriors (10) 101–92* Houston Rockets (11) [111]
2019 First Round April 27, 2019 Pepsi Center Denver Nuggets (4) 90–86 San Antonio Spurs (11) [112]
Conference Semifinals May 12, 2019 Portland Trail Blazers (4) 100–96 Denver Nuggets (5) [113]
May 12, 2019 Scotiabank Arena Toronto Raptors (5) 92–90 Philadelphia 76ers (16) [114]

All-time standings[edit]

Team Games played Wins Losses Win–loss %
Boston Celtics 32 23 9 .719
Minneapolis / Los Angeles Lakers 24 16 8 .667
New York Knicks 15 7 8 .467
Syracuse Nationals / Philadelphia 76ers 16 6 10 .375
St. Louis / Atlanta Hawks 13 4 9 .308
Houston Rockets 11 6 5 .545
San Antonio Spurs 11 4 7 .364
Miami Heat 10 6 4 .600
Seattle SuperSonics / Oklahoma City Thunder 10 6 4 .600
Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets / Washington Wizards 10 6 4 .600
Fort Wayne / Detroit Pistons 10 5 5 .500
Philadelphia / San Francisco / Golden State Warriors 10 5 5 .500
Chicago Bulls 10 4 6 .400
Milwaukee Bucks 10 2 8 .200
Phoenix Suns 9 4 5 .444
Indiana Pacers 9 3 6 .333
Cleveland Cavaliers 7 5 2 .714
Dallas Mavericks 6 4 2 .667
Buffalo Braves / Los Angeles Clippers 7 3 4 .429
Rochester/Cincinnati Royals / Kansas City/Sacramento Kings 6 2 4 .333
Toronto Raptors 5 3 2 .600
Utah Jazz 5 3 2 .600
Denver Nuggets 5 2 3 .400
Portland Trail Blazers 4 2 2 .500
Orlando Magic 3 2 1 .667
New Jersey / Brooklyn Nets 3 1 2 .333
Memphis Grizzlies 3 0 3 .000
Charlotte Hornets 2 0 2 .000
New Orleans Hornets / Pelicans 2 0 2 .000
Minnesota Timberwolves 1 1 0 1.000
St. Louis Bombers (defunct) 1 0 1 .000
Note: Teams that have never played a game seven are excluded. Names of franchises before their relocation are also shown.

Notes[edit]

  • a The home-and-away format in every round of the playoffs is the 2–2–1–1–1 format (the team with the better regular season record plays on their home court in games one, two, five and seven). The format of the finals from 1984–2013 used the 2–3–2 format (the team with the better regular season record plays on their home court in games one, two, six and seven).[115] In the past, there have been several other formats used in the playoffs.

References[edit]

General
  • "All-Time Game Seven Road Winners". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved May 9, 2009.
  • "Breakdown of Game 7s in NBA playoff history". NBA.com. June 8, 2012. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
Specific
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  5. ^ Anderson, Corrie and Rob Reheuser, et al (2006). Sporting News Official 2006–2007 NBA Guide. Sporting News Books. ISBN 0-89204-854-9.
  6. ^ Rosen, Charley (2008). The First Tip-Off: The Incredible Story of the Birth of the NBA. Mc-Graw Hill. pp. 211–212. ISBN 0-07-148785-9.
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