Thunder on verge of completing hardest-ever run to Finals

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Ten teams in NBA history outscored opponents by at least 10 points per game in the regular season.

Seven won the championship.

One was eliminated by another (Bucks by Lakers in 1972).

And the Thunder are one win from knocking out their second of the 2016 playoffs.

After beating the Spurs (+10.6) in the second round, Oklahoma City has built a 3-1 led on the Warriors (+10.8) in the Western Conference finals. If the Thunder advance, they will have faced the toughest competition en route to the Finals since the NBA adopted a 16-team playoff in 1984.

Oklahoma City’s three opponents – Mavericks (42-40), Spurs (67-15) and Warriors (73-9) – collectively won 74.0% of their games. That’d top the 1995 Rockets, who beat the 60-22 Jazz, 59-23 Suns and 62-20 Spurs – a group that went a combined 73.6%.

Houston faced such tough competition, in part, because it entered the playoffs as a No. 6 seed. The third-seeded Thunder are just excelling at the right time in a year that featured two all-time great teams in Golden State and San Antonio.

No other finalist comes within five percentage points of Oklahoma City. The 2009 Magic currently rank second at 68.7%.

Here’s every finalist since 1984 – plus the 2016 Thunder – sorted by the combined winning percentage of their playoff opponents:

Sheet 2

Finalist First round Second round Conference finals Opponents’ combined win percentage
2016 OKC DAL 42-40 SAS 67-15 GSW 73-9 74.0%
1995 HOU UTA 60-22 PHO 59-23 SAS 62-20 73.6%
2009 ORL PHI 41-41 BOS 62-20 CLE 66-16 68.7%
2002 LAL POR 49-33 SAS 58-24 SAC 61-21 68.3%
2010 BOS MIA 47-35 CLE 61-21 ORL 59-23 67.9%
2006 DAL MEM 49-33 SAS 63-19 PHO 54-28 67.5%
2005 SAS DEN 49-33 SEA 52-30 PHO 62-20 66.3%
2001 LAL POR 50-32 SAC 55-27 SAS 58-24 66.3%
2014 SAS DAL 49-33 POR 54-28 OKC 59-23 65.9%
1997 CHI WSB 44-38 ATL 56-26 MIA 61-21 65.4%
2011 DAL POR 48-34 LAL 57-25 OKC 55-27 65.0%
2008 LAL DEN 50-32 UTA 54-28 SAS 56-26 65.0%
2004 LAL HOU 45-37 SAS 57-25 MIN 58-24 65.0%
1999 NYK MIA 33-17 ATL 31-19 IND 33-17 64.7%
2011 MIA PHI 41-41 BOS 56-26 CHI 62-20 64.6%
1991 LAL HOU 52-30 GSW 44-38 POR 63-19 64.6%
1998 UTA HOU 41-41 SAS 56-26 LAL 61-21 64.2%
2012 OKC DAL 36-30 LAL 41-25 SAS 50-16 64.1%
2010 LAL OKC 50-32 UTA 53-29 PHO 54-28 63.8%
2007 SAS DEN 45-37 PHO 61-21 UTA 51-31 63.8%
1993 CHI ATL 43-39 CLE 54-28 NYK 60-22 63.8%
1990 POR DAL 47-35 SAS 56-26 PHO 54-28 63.8%
2015 GSW NOP 45-37 MEM 55-27 HOU 56-26 63.4%
2000 LAL SAC 44-38 PHO 53-29 POR 59-23 63.4%
1994 HOU POR 47-35 PHO 56-26 UTA 53-29 63.4%
2009 LAL UTA 48-34 HOU 53-29 DEN 54-28 63.0%
2006 MIA CHI 41-41 NJN 49-33 DET 64-18 62.6%
2003 SAS PHO 44-38 LAL 50-32 DAL 60-22 62.6%
1998 CHI NJN 43-39 CHA 51-31 IND 58-24 61.8%
1992 POR LAL 43-39 PHO 53-29 UTA 55-27 61.4%
2015 CLE BOS 40-42 CHI 50-32 ATL 60-22 61.0%
1999 SAS MIN 25-25 LAL 31-19 POR 35-15 60.7%
2004 DET MIL 41-41 NJN 47-35 IND 61-21 60.6%
1997 UTA LAC 36-46 LAL 56-26 HOU 57-25 60.6%
1996 CHI MIA 42-40 NYK 47-35 ORL 60-22 60.6%
2013 SAS LAL 45-37 GSW 47-35 MEM 56-26 60.2%
1994 NYK NJN 45-37 CHI 55-27 IND 47-35 59.8%
2005 DET PHI 43-39 IND 44-38 MIA 59-23 59.3%
1992 CHI MIA 38-44 NYK 51-31 CLE 57-25 59.3%
1986 HOU SAC 37-45 DEN 47-35 LAL 62-20 59.3%
2012 MIA NYK 36-30 IND 42-24 BOS 39-27 59.1%
1988 DET WSB 38-44 CHI 50-32 BOS 57-25 58.9%
2014 MIA CHA 43-39 BRK 44-38 IND 56-26 58.1%
1993 PHO LAL 39-43 SAS 49-33 SEA 55-27 58.1%
1996 SEA SAC 39-43 HOU 48-34 UTA 55-27 57.7%
1990 DET IND 42-40 NYK 45-37 CHI 55-27 57.7%
1987 BOS CHI 40-42 MIL 50-32 DET 52-30 57.7%
2008 BOS ATL 37-45 CLE 45-37 DET 59-23 57.3%
2000 IND MIL 42-40 PHI 49-33 NYK 50-32 57.3%
1989 LAL POR 39-43 SEA 47-35 PHO 55-27 57.3%
2001 PHI IND 41-41 TOR 47-35 MIL 52-30 56.9%
1985 BOS CLE 36-46 DET 46-36 PHI 58-24 56.9%
1989 DET BOS 42-40 MIL 49-33 CHI 47-35 56.1%
1986 BOS CHI 30-52 ATL 50-32 MIL 57-25 55.7%
2003 NJN MIL 42-40 BOS 44-38 DET 50-32 55.3%
2007 CLE WAS 41-41 NJN 41-41 DET 53-29 54.9%
2002 NJN IND 42-40 CHA 44-38 BOS 49-33 54.9%
1995 ORL BOS 35-47 CHI 47-35 IND 52-30 54.5%
1991 CHI NYK 39-43 PHI 44-38 DET 50-32 54.1%
2013 MIA MIL 38-44 CHI 45-37 IND 49-32 53.9%
1984 BOS WSB 35-47 NYK 47-35 MIL 50-32 53.7%
1988 LAL SAS 31-51 UTA 47-35 DAL 53-29 53.3%
1985 LAL PHO 36-46 POR 42-40 DEN 52-30 52.8%
1984 LAL KCK 38-44 DAL 43-39 PHO 41-41 49.6%
1987 LAL DEN 37-45 GSW 42-40 SEA 39-43 48.0%