NBA Finals history: stats from 1-1 series with road team winning opener
The Golden State Warriors bounced back in Game 2 after giving up a 12 point fourth quarter lead in Game 1. The series now heads to Boston for Games 3 and 4.
The Boston Celtics took a huge step towards their 18th NBA title when they beat the Golden State Warriors on the road in Game 1. Some of that momentum was taken out of the Celtics sails on Sunday night with the Warriors win in Game 2 to tie up the series.
We are headed east for Games 3 and 4
The two teams now pack up and ship off to Boston for Game 3 all square at a game a piece. Looking back on how the first two games went, let’s see who has the historical advantage for the rest of the Finals.
The Celtics were behind the ball without even stepped foot on the court considering the Warriors came into the Finals with home court advantage after finishing with a better record than the Celtics.
Since the inception of the NBA, 53 of the 74 (71.6%) teams that started the NBA Finals with home court advantage go on to win it all. That is excluding the Bubble in Orlando in 2020 as there was no team with home court advantage.
Winning Game 1 on road no guarantee for success
Boston swept the stats in their favor with the Game 1 win, especially when you take into consideration the winner of the series opener in the Finals goes on to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy 70.7% of the time.
There have been 17 road teams that have won Game 1 away from home. The last team to do it was the San Antonio Spurs in 2013 when they won the opener, and then had to wait until Game 7 to eventually lose to the Miami Heat. Here is the complete list of the Game 1 road winners and how they faired.
2013 San Antonio Spurs, lost to Miami Heat in seven games.
2004 Detroit Pistons, beat Los Angeles Lakers in five games.
2001 Philadelphia 76ers, lost to LA Lakers in five games.
1995 Houston Rockets, swept the Orlando Magic.
1993 Chicago Bulls, beat Phoneix Suns in six games.
1991 Los Angeles Lakers, lost to Chicago Bulls in five games.
1988 Detroit Pistons, lost to Lakers in five games.
1984 Los Angeles Lakers, lost to Boston Celtics in seven games.
1982 Los Angeles Lakers, beat Philadelphia 76ers in six games.
1975 Golden State Warriors, swept Washington Bullets.
1974 Boston Celtics, beat Milwaukee Bucks in seven gams.
1972 New York Knicks, beat LA Lakers in five games.
1966 Los Angeles Lakers, lost to Boston Celtics in seven games.
1958 St. Louis Hawks, beat Boston Celtics in six games.
1957 St. Louis Hawks, lost to Boston Celtics in seven games.
1953 New York Knicks, lost to Minneapolis Lakers in five games.
1950 Minnesota Lakers, beat Syracuse Nationals in six games.
Taking a look at the stats, the Game 1 road win doesn’t mean a whole lot for the Celtics. Nine of the seventeen teams that won the opener away from home went on to win the series.
This obviously will have no effect on who will win this NBA Finals series. Through two games, the Celtics and the Warriors are even a game a place with it all to play for heading to Boston for Game 3 on Wednesday.