Portland Tries to Make History
The Dallas Mavericks started the season with 14 consecutive victories, one shy of the league record. They finished the regular season with 60 victories -- a franchise best.
Now, against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Mavericks are on the brink of making some history they want to avoid -- becoming the first NBA team to blow a 3-0 lead in the playoffs.
Portland has a chance to complete the unprecedented turnaround in Game 7 of their Western Conference series today at Dallas.
Only twice in league history had a team won three consecutive games after losing the first three of a postseason series.
Who will advance to play the Sacramento Kings in the second round? History is on Dallas’ side. The only other NBA teams that went from 0-3 to 3-3 in the postseason -- the 1994 Denver Nuggets and 1951 New York Knicks -- lost the series finale.
Dallas hasn’t lost four in a row since March 2000 and is 4-2 in elimination games since returning to the playoffs two years ago. None of those was a Game 7, however.
Five NHL teams have stretched a series to the limit by losing three then winning three, and only two also won the series: the 1975 New York Islanders and 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Detroit Pistons will try to avoid becoming only the third top-seeded team to lose a playoff series to an eighth-seeded team today at Auburn Hills, Mich., when they play host to the Orlando Magic in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference series.
The Magic, which once led the series, 3-1, hasn’t reached the second round since Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway played in Orlando. The winner will face the Philadelphia 76ers.
Tracy McGrady has been hounded by the NBA’s best defensive team but has averaged 33.5 points. He has vowed to “be a little bit more selfish” today.