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Teams That Have Come Back From 0-2 To Win NBA Finals

The Mavericks are attempting to become the sixth team to come back from down 0-2.

The Dallas Mavericks now find themselves in a 0-2 hole in the 2024 NBA Finals. After getting blown out in Game 1, Game 2 was a close affair. In the end, though the Boston Celtics prevailed by the score of 105-98.

That surely puts Dallas in a precarious position as they look to win their second championship in franchise history. The Celtics are now listed as -900 favorites (Mavericks at +600) to win the series according to DraftKings Sportsbook. While their backs are seemingly against the wall, the Mavericks are down but certainly not out.

There have been five instances where a team has lost the first two games of the NBA Finals and ended up winning it all.  All five of those teams lost the first two games as the road team, just as Dallas did.  Here’s a look at those five teams that overcame losing the first two games to win the NBA Finals, starting with the most recent.

Teams That Have Come Back From 0-2 To Win NBA Finals

Milwaukee Bucks (2021)

It happened fairly recently as the Bucks dropped the first two games against the Phoenix Suns in the 2021 NBA Finals. They won the next four as Giannis Antetokounmpo was borderline unstoppable. In the four wins, he averaged 37.3 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists and put up a historic 50-point outing in the Game 6 closeout.

Cleveland Cavaliers (2016)

The Golden State Warriors won a record 73 games in the 2015-16 regular season, but they couldn’t close the deal in the finals. Not only did Cleveland overcome a 0-2 deficit, they are the only team in NBA history to overcome a 1-3 deficit in the finals. One of the biggest shots in NBA Finals history came courtesy of Kyrie Irving who connected on a three with less than a minute left in Game 7. That gave the  Cavaliers a three-point lead which they held onto to win the franchise’s only championship.

Miami Heat (2006)

Not only did the Heat lose the first two games against the Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals, but they were down nine entering the fourth quarter in Game 3. Miami outscored Dallas 30-19 in the final 12 minutes to win and also won the next three games. The series solidified Dwyane Wade’s standing as a true superstar as he totaled 157 points over the last four games.

Portland Trail Blazers (1977)

It was about two weeks ago when Bill Walton unfortunately passed away. He was named Finals MVP in 1977 after Portland won Games 3-6 against the Philadelphia 76ers. In those four wins, Walton posted averages of 16.5 points, 19.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 4.5 blocks.

Boston Celtics (1969)

The legendary Bill Russell won 11 championships in his 13 years as a player. The 1968-69 season was his last, and he retired on top. The Celtics won Game 7 by two against the Los Angeles Lakers to win the 1969 NBA Finals after losing the first two games. Russell had six points, 21 rebounds, and six assists in what ended up as his final career game.


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