LOOK: All 19 times an NBA team rallied from down 0-2 in the Playoffs
FILE - CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 15: The Cleveland Cavaliers huddle prior to Game One of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Indiana Pacers on April 15, 2018 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
The Associated Press - History shows the Cleveland Cavaliers still have a realistic chance of winning the Eastern Conference finals even after losing the first two games of the best-of-7 series with the Boston Celtics.
Nineteen times in history an NBA team has rallied to win a best-of-7 series after falling behind 2-0. Three of those instances came in the last two years, with the Cavaliers making one of those come backs.
Here’s a rundown of all 19 comebacks from 2-0 deficits.
1969: L.A. LAKERS 4, SAN FRANCISCO WARRIORS 2
After losing the first two games at home, the Lakers won four straight to capture the Western Division semifinal. Those four straight victories included three road wins. Jerry West averaged 31.8 points in that series.
1969: BOSTON 4, L.A. LAKERS 3
The Lakers had the home-court edge, and the home team won the first six games of the NBA Finals. The Celtics earned the championship by winning Game 7 108-106 in Los Angeles.
1971: BALTIMORE 4, NEW YORK 3
The Knicks had the home-court advantage in the Eastern Conference finals. The home team won each of the first six games before the Bullets won the seventh game 93-91 in New York, thanks to 26 points from Earl Monroe.
1977 PORTLAND 4, PHILADELPHIA 2
After losing the first two games of the NBA Finals in Philadelphia, the Trail Blazers won four straight. Portland won the fifth game 110-104 in Philadelphia before returning home for a 109-107 series-clinching victory. Bill Walton and Maurice Lucas averaged a combined 38.2 points and 29.7 rebounds in this series.
1993 CHICAGO 4, NEW YORK 2
The Bulls lost the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals in New York before winning four in a row. The only road win by either team in this series was a 97-94 Bulls victory in Game 5. Michael Jordan averaged 32.2 points and Scottie Pippen had 22.5 points per game in this series.
1994: HOUSTON 4, PHOENIX 3
This was a wacky Western Conference semifinal in which the road team won each of the first four games. The Rockets finally broke that up by winning 109-86 in Game 5 at Houston to take a 3-2 lead. Hakeem Olajuwon had 27 points and 17 boards in a 104-94 Game 7 victory at Houston. The Rockets went on to win their first of two straight NBA titles.
1995: HOUSTON 4, PHOENIX 3
Once again, the Rockets rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win a Western Conference semifinal with Phoenix before going on to capture an NBA title. The Suns won the first two games at home and also won Game 4 in Phoenix to take a 3-1 lead before the Rockets won three straight. Mario Elie’s tiebreaking 3-pointer with 7.1 seconds left sparked the Rockets to a 115-114 Game 7 victory in Phoenix.
2004: L.A. LAKERS 4, SAN ANTONIO 2
San Antonio won the first two games of this Western Conference semifinal at home before losing four straight. The key to the series came in Game 5, as Derek Fisher made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give the Lakers a 74-73 victory in San Antonio.
2005: DALLAS 4, HOUSTON 3
The Mavericks lost the first two games of this first-round series at home before staging their comeback. No home team won in this series until the Mavericks pulled out a 103-100 Game 5 victory. Jason Terry scored 31 points as the Mavericks rolled t o a 116-76 home victory in Game 7.
2005: WASHINGTON 4, CHICAGO 2
The Wizards lost the first two games of this series in Chicago and then rallied to win four straight. Gilbert Arenas scored 23 points per game and Larry Hughes averaged 22.5 points to spark the Wizards’ comeback.
2006: MIAMI 4, DALLAS 2
Dwyane Wade engineered the comeback as Miami won the NBA Finals for its first title after losing the first two games in Dallas. The Heat rallied from a double-digit, fourth-quarter deficit to win Game 3 in Miami and then won the next two games at home as well. The Heat completed their comeback by pulling out a 95-92 Game 6 triumph in Dallas. Wade scored 36 points in Game 6 and averaged 34.7 points in the series.
2007: UTAH 4, HOUSTON 3
The home team won every game in this first-round series until Carlos Boozer’s 35 points and 14 rebounds helped the Jazz produce a 103-99 Game 7 victory in Houston.
2007: CLEVELAND 4, DETROIT 2
The Cavaliers lost the first two games in Detroit and then won four straight to claim the Eastern Conference title. LeBron James scored 48 points in a 109-107 Game 5 victory at Detroit, and Daniel Gibson had 31 points in a 98-82 series-clinching Game 6 triumph in Cleveland. James averaged 25.7 points, 9.2 rebounds and 8.5 assists in the series to earn his first trip to the NBA Finals.
2008: SAN ANTONIO 4, NEW ORLEANS 3
The home team won each of the first six games in this Western Conference semifinal until Manu Ginobli’s 26 points helped the Spurs deliver a 91-82 Game 7 victory in New Orleans.
2012: OKLAHOMA CITY 4, SAN ANTONIO 2
The Thunder won four straight after dropping the first two games of the Western Conference finals in San Antonio. The Thunder grabbed the series lead with a 108-103 Game 5 victory in San Antonio and then clinched the series by winning 107-99 in Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant averaged 29.5 points to spark the Thunder’s comeback.
2013: MEMPHIS 4, L.A. CLIPPERS 2
The Grizzlies won four in a row after dropping the first two games in Los Angeles. The only victory for a road team in this first-round series came when the Grizzlies posted a 103-93 Game 5 triumph in Los Angeles. The Grizzlies advanced with a 118-105 Game 6 victory in Memphis.
2016: PORTLAND 4, L.A. CLIPPERS 2
The Trail Blazers lost two straight in Los Angeles and then won four in a row. C.J. McCollum scored 27 points in the Blazers’ 108-98 Game 5 victory, the only win by a road team in this series. The Blazers returned home for a series-clinching 106-103 Game 6 triumph.
2016: CLEVELAND 4, GOLDEN STATE 3
The Cavaliers lost the first two games of the NBA Finals in Golden State and also lost Game 4 in Cleveland to fall behind 3-1. Cleveland responded with three straight wins, including a 93-89 road victory in Game 7. LeBron James averaged 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists in the series. Kyrie Irving averaged 27.1 points and made a tiebreaking 3-pointer in the final minute of Game 7.
2017: BOSTON 4, CHICAGO 2
The Celtics lost the first two games of this opening-round series at home before winning four straight. Isaiah Thomas averaged 23 points for the Celtics, who got a boost when a thumb injury knocked out Chicago’s Rajon Rondo for the final four games of the series.