Warriors, Rockets locked in historically tight playoff series

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The Warriors are in rare territory.

For just the second time in its 14 playoff series since 2016, Golden State is tied 2-2. Both this year’s and last year’s matchup with the Rockets were deadlocked through four games.

But the first four games of each series have been far different year to year. Last year, the games were decided by 13, 22, 41 and 3. This year, the games have been decided by 4, 6, 5 and 4.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr was asked, amid his focus on winning, whether he’s enjoying this competition.

“I love this,” Kerr said with an earnestness initially mistaken for deadpan and causing laughter. “I do. I do. Are you kidding me? To be able to coach basketball in the NBA and the greatest players in the world and to be part of this competition, it’s amazing. So much fun.”

This is just the seventh best-of-seven series and first since Cavaliers-Pistons in 2007 the teams split the first four games with each game decided by six or fewer points. Cleveland-Detroit was the only one of those series not to reach a Game 7.

Maybe we’ll get another lengthy series this year.

With an average margin of victory of 4.75, this is one of the most closely played 2-2 series of all-time. By contrast, last year’s Warriors-Rockets series had an average margin of victory of 19.75 – one of the largest ever for a 2-2 series.

Here’s every series that was tied 2-2 in NBA history, sorted by margin of victory (margin of each of the first four games in parentheses). This year’s and last year’s Golden State-Houston series are highlighted: