NBA Playoffs: Boston Celtics and other teams which tied series after 0-3 deficit

Only three teams before the Celtics have managed to get level in a best-of-seven series after losing the first three games.

Published : May 28, 2023 11:15 IST , CHENNAI - 3 MINS READ

Derrick White of Boston Celtics (R) controls the ball against Caleb Martin of Miami Heat.
Derrick White of Boston Celtics (R) controls the ball against Caleb Martin of Miami Heat. | Photo Credit: Megan Briggs

Derrick White of Boston Celtics (R) controls the ball against Caleb Martin of Miami Heat. | Photo Credit: Megan Briggs

Derrick White pulled out a board shot with 0.1 second left on the game clock to force the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat Eastern Conference finals series into a game seven.

The Celtics had led for the entirity of the game before Jimmy Butler’s three throws allowed a one-point advantage to the Heat, which is looking for history by becoming only the second eighth seed to qualify for the NBA Finals.

Following the resumption of play after the last timeout of the game, with three seconds left on the clock, Boston’s Marcus Smart pulled up for a three pointer. The shot missed but White was able to collect an offensive rebound and make the shot too.

The play made the Celtics only the fourth team in NBA playoffs to level the series after trailing 0-3. None of the three teams went on to win the series, however. Celtics, though, have the chance to change the trend.

Portland Trailblazers - 2003

The first round of 2003 NBA Playoffs saw Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash’s Dallas Mavericks go up against Portland Trailblazers which featured Scottie Pippen.

The German fired in the first three games, scoring 46, 25 and 42 points respectively, and gave his side a 3-0 lead. Two of the three wins were by more than 10 points. Pippen not featuring in the second and third games did not help Portland either.

Zach Randolph and Rasheed Wallace combined for 48 points on their home court and forced the series into a fifth game. The duo extended their rally into the fifth game where Portland scored 32 points in the final period to snatch the win from Dallas on a day when Nowitzki fired in 35 points.

With the sixth game returning to Portland, the Trailblazers were expected to fight till the very end. So they did. Zach Randolph led with 21 points and forced a decider with a blowout win. The Portland defence locked out Nowitzki and allowed him only four points in the game.

The final lived up to the hype till the third quarter. In the final, Nowitzki and Nash powered the Mavericks to a 36-22 advantage and killed all hopes for Portland.

Denver Nuggets - 1994

John Stockton and Karl Malone took their Utah Jazz to face Denver Nuggets in the 1994 Western Conference semifinals.

Combing for 42 points, Malone and Stockton started the series with a comfortable 100-91 victory. While the Jazz picked another straightforward win in the second game, signs of the Nuggets coming alive were evident in the third game which the Nuggets only conceded in overtime.

LaPhonso Ellis, Dikembe Mutombo and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf started shooting consistently by the time the third game ended.

The trio combined for 45 points as the Nuggets stole the fourth game 83-82. The Nuggets forced the fifth game into double overtime and eventually prevailed by eight points.

In the sixth, Denver trailed going into the fourth quarter before leading a turnaround and levelling the series 3-3. That was the last hurrah for the Nuggets. Malone returned with 31 points in the final game and ensured the Jazz did not choke a 3-0 lead.

New York Knicks - 1951

The 1951 NBA Finals offered a mouth-watering seven-game series for the fans. The Knicks made their way to the finals after a win against the Syracuse Nationals while the Rochester Royals had defeated the Lakers in the West.

The Rochester Royals dominated the first two games, winning 95-62 and 99-84. The third was slightly closer but Royals held through.

The Knicks comeback started with Harry Gallatin scoring 22 points in a fourth-quarter comeback 79-73 win. The fifth proved even closer which the Knicks won by three points.

The Knicks won the sixth game 80-73 and stretched the series to the distance but faltered at the final hurdle.

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