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NBA

What are the largest margins of victory in the history of the NBA Playoffs?

The Boston Celtics gave the Miami Heat quite a beating in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. How close did they come to the biggest lead of all time?

Gidget Alikpala
Update:
The Boston Celtics gave the Miami Heat quite a beating in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. How close did they come to the biggest lead of all time?
Paul RutherfordUSA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat did not look at all like the top seed in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics.

The game started off in extremely lopsided fashion, with the Heat limited to a single point in the first eight minutes of play in the first quarter, a record for the NBA Playoffs in the past 25 years.

Despite this lamentable entry into the NBA’s history books, they avoided having another dubious league record. The Celtics’ lead ballooned to 32 at one point, but Miami trimmed it to a 20-point deficit to lose the game 102-82. They did not go down in history as these other teams did.

Biggest victory margins in NBA Playoff history

There is a tie for the biggest margin of victory in an NBA playoff game. The more recent game when the largest lead was tallied took place in 2009 during the Western Conference first round, when the Denver Nuggets thrashed the then-New Orleans Hornets in their home arena by an unbelievable 58 points.

Seven Nuggets players had double-digit scores led by Carmelo Anthony with 26, to finish the game at 121-63. The Hornets scored 24 in their biggest quarter, and failed to score more than 15 points in the other three.

A previously long-standing record

Before that matchup, we had the Minneapolis Lakers who played to the hometown crowd in 1956 and humiliated the St. Louis Hawks in the Western Division Semifinals, also with a 58-point lead, 133-75. It was a concerted team effort for Minneapolis, as all ten players who saw action in that game turned in double-digit scores.

Next on the list is a 70s blowout, with the Los Angeles Lakers obliterating the Golden State Warriors with a 56-point advantage, 126-70. Scoring machine Wilt Chamberlain only sank 12 points in their victory, but his contributions for the evening lay elsewhere- he ended the game with an incredible 25 rebounds.

The third largest margin of victory took place more recently, when the Chicago Bulls gored the Milwaukee Bucks with a 120-66 victory- a gap of 54 points. All of the Bulls starters served up ten points or more, while not one player among the Bucks hit the double-digits.

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