The odds favor the Dallas Mavericks — up 3-2 they need to win just one of the final two games in Miami to win the first title in the franchise’s history. Plus, the way they have been executing at the end of games, they must be considered the favorites.
But history says Miami has a good shot at winning.
Seven times a team has been down 3-2 heading home for the final two games — three times they came back to win. (Stat via Chris Tomasson)
The most recent was the Lakers last season, who trailed the Celtics 3-2 coming back to Staples Center (and still needed a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback to pull it off over a Kendrick Perkins-less Celtics). Although, those Lakers had already shown a championship pedigree and fire we have yet to see out of these Heat.
The other teams to do it were the 1988 Lakers coming back on the Detroit Pistons and the 1994 Houston Rockets coming back on Pat Riley’s New York Knicks.
Still, more times than not the team up 3-2 wins. Those teams have been the 1985 Lakers (Magic Johnson’s baby skyhook in the lane to beat the Celtics in the Garden); the 1993 Bulls (Charles Barkley’s Suns couldn’t win two at home over Jordan’s Bulls); the 1998 Bulls (Jordan’s final year, he wasn’t about to lose); and the 2006 Miami Heat (who closed out Dallas in these same circumstances).
The shoe is on the other foot now. We’ll see if Dallas can return the favor to Miami and close out on the road.
Rodney Hood got the Jazz to overtime.
Gordon Hayward took it from there.
This extends Utah’s win streak to eight games and snaps a 10-game losing streak in Dallas. The last time the Jazz won in Dallas? Mavericks guard Deron Williams started – for Utah.*
*Those Jazz brought Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews off the bench. Dang
Up three points and the final seconds winding down, the Mavericks had a great chance to intentionally foul Trey Lyles (a 62% free-throw shooter) with his back to the basket.
Instead, they allowed Rodney Hood to hit this shot and get the Jazz to overtime.
The Bucks led the Celtics led the Bucks by 19 in the fourth quarter and four in the final minute.
But Boston completed its comeback when Jerryd Bayless committed a boneheaded foul on Kelly Olynyk with a second left, shoving Olynyk in the back on the inbound. Olynyk sunk both free throws to tie the game.
Then, Khris Middleton got Bayless off the hook.
Middleton drew a foul on Avery Bradley, who was trying to contest the game-winning shot. The Milwaukee wing made one free throw then intentionally the second, and Jae Crowder couldn’t replicate this.
Par for the course, Gregg Popovich gave curt answers to end his in-game interview quickly.
But David Aldridge tempted the Spurs coach, asking whether he wanted New Hampshire primary results. Popovich walked back to hear the answer.
Told Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump won, Popovich shook his head.
Was that disapproval for the Democratic or Republican candidate – or both?