Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots over Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) during the first half in Game 4 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) looks on. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)


Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) reacts as Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston (34) walks by during the second half in Game 4 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)


Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots against the Golden State Warriors during the first half in Game 4 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)


3-1 deficit has been overcome

MIAMI (AP) — Here’s good news for Golden State: It’s not over.

Close, but not over.

There are nine teams in NBA history who have successfully overcome 3-1 deficits to win a series, which is the task the defending champion Warriors now face in their Western Conference finals matchup with Oklahoma City.

Otherwise, the greatest season in NBA regular-season history — 73-9 — will end without even a trip to the Finals.

Here are the nine who overcame the odds:

___

Boston vs. Philadelphia, 1968

East Finals

Game 5: Celtics 122, at 76ers 104

Game 6: at Celtics 114, 76ers 106

Game 7: Celtics 100, at 76ers 96

The Celtics did it the super-hard way, winning two of the final three games on the road. Boston trailed 57-56 at the half of Game 5 but went on a 38-23 fourth-quarter run to extend the series, then survived 40 points from Hal Greer to win Game 6 and got double-digit scoring from six players to take Game 7. That sent Boston to the NBA Finals, where it topped the Los Angeles Lakers 4-2.

___

L.A. Lakers vs. Phoenix, 1970

West Semifinals

Game 5: at Lakers 138, Suns 121

Game 6: Lakers 104, at Suns 93

Game 7: at Lakers 129, Suns 94

Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West each scored 36 points in Game 5 as the Lakers pulled away late. Game 6 was tied going into the fourth quarter and the Lakers found separation again, and then Game 7 was a rout. The Lakers swept the next round against Atlanta to extend their winning streak to seven, but fell in the NBA Finals to the New York Knicks 4-3.

___

Washington vs. San Antonio, 1979

East Finals

Game 5: at Bullets 107, Spurs 103

Game 6: Bullets 108, at Spurs 100

Game 7: at Bullets 107, Spurs 105

George Gervin led a huge Spurs comeback try in Game 5 that fell just short, and the Bullets broke a tie with a 21-10 run late in Game 6. And in Game 7, Bobby Dandridge scored 37 points — the last of those a 12-footer from the baseline in the final seconds — as the Bullets moved on to the NBA Finals. There, they lost to the Seattle SuperSonics 4-1.

___

Boston vs. Philadelphia, 1981

East Finals

Game 5: at Celtics 111, 76ers 109

Game 6: Celtics 100, at 76ers 98

Game 7: at Celtics 91, 76ers 90

This was a series for the ages. Boston erased a six-point deficit in the final 1:51 of Game 5 to stay alive, scoring the final eight points. In Game 6, Boston was down by 17 in the second quarter and 15 in the third before rallying again. And one more comeback awaited in Game 7, the Celtics finding a way back from a seven-point hole midway through the fourth quarter. Boston then beat Houston 4-2 for the title.

___

Houston vs. Phoenix, 1995

West Semifinals

Game 5: Rockets 103, at Suns 97, OT

Game 6: at Rockets 116, Suns 103

Game 7: Rockets 115, at Suns 114

Hakeem Olajuwon scored late to send Game 5 to overtime, where Houston escaped. In Game 6, Olajuwon scored 30 and the Rockets pulled away in the fourth quarter. And then in Game 7, Mario Elie’s corner 3-pointer in the final seconds was the decider as Houston went to the West finals. There, the Rockets ousted San Antonio 4-2, then swept Orlando in the NBA Finals.

___

Miami vs. New York, 1997

East Semifinals

Game 5: at Heat 96, Knicks 81

Game 6: Heat 95, at Knicks 90

Game 7: at Heat 101, Knicks 90

Some probably remember this series for “The Fight.” The Knicks and Heat battled in Game 5 and the penalties were fierce — New York played without Patrick Ewing, Allan Houston and Charlie Ward for Game 6, then were without Larry Johnson and John Starks for Game 7. Tim Hardaway scored 38 points for Miami in the deciding game to oust the Knicks, but the Heat would lose to Chicago 4-1 in the East finals.

___

Detroit vs. Orlando, 2003

East Quarterfinals

Game 5: at Pistons 98, Magic 67

Game 6: Pistons 103, at Magic 88

Game 7: at Pistons 108, Magic 93

The top-seeded Pistons lost homecourt because they couldn’t contain Orlando’s Tracy McGrady in Game 1, but they figured out a solution in time to advance. A 14-0 run in the third quarter sparked a blowout, Chauncey Billups scored 40 points in Game 6 and followed that with 37 more in Game 7. The Pistons beat Philadelphia 4-2 in the East semis, then got swept by New Jersey in the East finals.

___

Phoenix vs. L.A. Lakers, 2006

West Quarterfinals

Game 5: at Suns 114, Lakers 97

Game 6: Suns 126, at Lakers 118, OT

Game 7: at Suns 121, Lakers 90

Kobe Bryant’s jumper at the buzzer of Game 4 gave the Lakers a 3-1 series lead, but the second-seeded Suns fended off the upset bid. Boris Diaw scored 25 points in Game 5 for Phoenix, Tim Thomas hit a long 3 late in regulation of Game 6 to force overtime and Game 7 was decided quickly. Phoenix went seven games again in the West semifinals to beat the Los Angeles Clippers, then lost 4-2 in the West finals to Dallas.

___

Houston vs. L.A. Clippers, 2015

West Semifinals

Game 5: at Rockets 124, Clippers 103

Game 6: Rockets 119, at Clippers 107

Game 7: at Rockets 113, Clippers 100

The Clippers won Game 3 by 25, then won Game 4 by 33 for a 3-1 series lead. James Harden had 26 points in Game 5 to lead Houston’s win, and then the Rockets outscored the Clippers 40-15 in the fourth quarter on the road in Game 6 to make a 13-point deficit with 12 minutes left more than disappear. Harden added 31 more points in Game 7, and the Rockets moved to the West finals, where they lost 4-1 to Golden State.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Suddenly, these Golden State Warriors who have been compared all season to the Chicago Bulls dynasty of the 1990s are on the brink of elimination.

Russell Westbrook had 36 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Warriors 118-94 on Tuesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals. Golden State, which won a league record 73 games in the regular season, lost consecutive games for the first time this season.

The Warriors must win Game 5 on Thursday in Oakland to keep their season alive.

“We all have to bounce back,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “The good news is, we go home. Obviously we play well at home. The idea now is to go home and get one win. Do that, and we put some pressure on them and we’ll see what happens.”

Klay Thompson led Golden State with 26 points, but two-time league MVP Stephen Curry was limited to 19 points on 6-for-20 shooting. Curry’s shooting performance was so uncharacteristic that reporters asked if he was hurt.

“He’s not injured,” Kerr said. “He’s coming back from the knee, but he’s not injured. He just had a lousy night. It happens, even to the best players in the world.”

The Warriors lost consecutive playoff games by at least 20 points for the first time since Games 2 and 3 of the 1972 Western Conference semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks. Golden State’s Draymond Green, who was fined for kicking Steven Adams in the groin in Game 3, finished with six points, 11 rebounds and six turnovers.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma City got a boost from an unlikely source. Andre Roberson, a player the Warriors have ignored at times during the series, scored a career-high 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Kevin Durant added 26 points and 11 rebounds and Serge Ibaka added 17 points and seven rebounds.

As for Westbrook, it was his first triple-double of the playoffs after posting 18 in the regular season. It was his fifth career playoff triple-double.

“I play every game like it’s my last, regardless of who’s in front of me,” he said. “That’s my job, and my job is to worry about my team, and that’s all I do.”

The Thunder know they have to close. Nine teams have rallied from 3-1 deficits to win.

“I think we’re in a good place, but like I said, this game is over,” Westbrook said. “We’ve got to move on to the next game. Every game is different.”

The Thunder led 30-26 at the end of the first quarter, then gained control in the second. In the most unlikely of connections, Adams threw a bullet pass to Roberson near the basket for a dunk that gave the Thunder a 56-43 lead with just over four minutes left in the first half.

Oklahoma City finished with a flurry and led 72-53 at halftime. The Thunder matched the most points they have scored in a first half in franchise playoff history, a mark they set the previous game against the Warriors. It also matched the most points Golden State has allowed in a half this season for the second straight game.

Westbrook had 21 points, nine assists and five rebounds in the first half, and Durant had 18 points and six boards.

Thompson tried to keep the Warriors in it, scoring 19 points in just over seven minutes to start the third quarter. But the Thunder maintained their composure, led 94-82 at the end of the period and remained in control in the fourth.

“This is a tough situation to be in, but the series isn’t over,” Curry said.

QUOTABLE

Kerr, on the pressure of trying to win a title after setting the regular-season wins record: “We had a tremendous regular season, our guys competed every single night and did something no one has ever done and they’re proud of that. But in the playoffs, everybody starts 0-0. So there’s no extra pressure, whether you’re talking about defending our title or trying to back up the regular season.”

STAT LINES

According to Thunder Public Relations, the last team to score 72 or more points in the first half of two straight playoff games was the 1987 Los Angeles Lakers.

TIP-INS

Warriors: Curry went 1 for 7 in the first quarter, and made just 1 of 4 3-point attempts. … Thompson committed his third foul with 7:55 left in the second quarter, and C Andrew Bogut committed his third about two minutes later. … Curry made a 3-pointer for his 48th consecutive playoff game, extending his NBA record. … The Warriors were 12-0 this season the game after a loss.

Thunder: Westbrook had five points, six assists and three rebounds in the first quarter. … Oklahoma City forced 13 turnovers in the first half. … The Thunder improved to 19-0 this season when Westbrook gets a triple-double. … The Thunder outrebounded the Warriors 56-40 and outscored them 31-19 from the free throw line.

___

Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP .

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots over Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) during the first half in Game 4 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) looks on. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_110529473-6789b85eec5c44afa7a619e7f26a2044.jpgOklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots over Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) during the first half in Game 4 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) looks on. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) reacts as Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston (34) walks by during the second half in Game 4 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_110529473-560204458ca54abf9284a8b79fdb8a03.jpgOklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) reacts as Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston (34) walks by during the second half in Game 4 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots against the Golden State Warriors during the first half in Game 4 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_110529473-727907b4173a452db32e3370eddc305a.jpgOklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots against the Golden State Warriors during the first half in Game 4 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

3-1 deficit has been overcome

MIAMI (AP) — Here’s good news for Golden State: It’s not over.

Close, but not over.

There are nine teams in NBA history who have successfully overcome 3-1 deficits to win a series, which is the task the defending champion Warriors now face in their Western Conference finals matchup with Oklahoma City.

Otherwise, the greatest season in NBA regular-season history — 73-9 — will end without even a trip to the Finals.

Here are the nine who overcame the odds:

___

Boston vs. Philadelphia, 1968

East Finals

Game 5: Celtics 122, at 76ers 104

Game 6: at Celtics 114, 76ers 106

Game 7: Celtics 100, at 76ers 96

The Celtics did it the super-hard way, winning two of the final three games on the road. Boston trailed 57-56 at the half of Game 5 but went on a 38-23 fourth-quarter run to extend the series, then survived 40 points from Hal Greer to win Game 6 and got double-digit scoring from six players to take Game 7. That sent Boston to the NBA Finals, where it topped the Los Angeles Lakers 4-2.

___

L.A. Lakers vs. Phoenix, 1970

West Semifinals

Game 5: at Lakers 138, Suns 121

Game 6: Lakers 104, at Suns 93

Game 7: at Lakers 129, Suns 94

Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West each scored 36 points in Game 5 as the Lakers pulled away late. Game 6 was tied going into the fourth quarter and the Lakers found separation again, and then Game 7 was a rout. The Lakers swept the next round against Atlanta to extend their winning streak to seven, but fell in the NBA Finals to the New York Knicks 4-3.

___

Washington vs. San Antonio, 1979

East Finals

Game 5: at Bullets 107, Spurs 103

Game 6: Bullets 108, at Spurs 100

Game 7: at Bullets 107, Spurs 105

George Gervin led a huge Spurs comeback try in Game 5 that fell just short, and the Bullets broke a tie with a 21-10 run late in Game 6. And in Game 7, Bobby Dandridge scored 37 points — the last of those a 12-footer from the baseline in the final seconds — as the Bullets moved on to the NBA Finals. There, they lost to the Seattle SuperSonics 4-1.

___

Boston vs. Philadelphia, 1981

East Finals

Game 5: at Celtics 111, 76ers 109

Game 6: Celtics 100, at 76ers 98

Game 7: at Celtics 91, 76ers 90

This was a series for the ages. Boston erased a six-point deficit in the final 1:51 of Game 5 to stay alive, scoring the final eight points. In Game 6, Boston was down by 17 in the second quarter and 15 in the third before rallying again. And one more comeback awaited in Game 7, the Celtics finding a way back from a seven-point hole midway through the fourth quarter. Boston then beat Houston 4-2 for the title.

___

Houston vs. Phoenix, 1995

West Semifinals

Game 5: Rockets 103, at Suns 97, OT

Game 6: at Rockets 116, Suns 103

Game 7: Rockets 115, at Suns 114

Hakeem Olajuwon scored late to send Game 5 to overtime, where Houston escaped. In Game 6, Olajuwon scored 30 and the Rockets pulled away in the fourth quarter. And then in Game 7, Mario Elie’s corner 3-pointer in the final seconds was the decider as Houston went to the West finals. There, the Rockets ousted San Antonio 4-2, then swept Orlando in the NBA Finals.

___

Miami vs. New York, 1997

East Semifinals

Game 5: at Heat 96, Knicks 81

Game 6: Heat 95, at Knicks 90

Game 7: at Heat 101, Knicks 90

Some probably remember this series for “The Fight.” The Knicks and Heat battled in Game 5 and the penalties were fierce — New York played without Patrick Ewing, Allan Houston and Charlie Ward for Game 6, then were without Larry Johnson and John Starks for Game 7. Tim Hardaway scored 38 points for Miami in the deciding game to oust the Knicks, but the Heat would lose to Chicago 4-1 in the East finals.

___

Detroit vs. Orlando, 2003

East Quarterfinals

Game 5: at Pistons 98, Magic 67

Game 6: Pistons 103, at Magic 88

Game 7: at Pistons 108, Magic 93

The top-seeded Pistons lost homecourt because they couldn’t contain Orlando’s Tracy McGrady in Game 1, but they figured out a solution in time to advance. A 14-0 run in the third quarter sparked a blowout, Chauncey Billups scored 40 points in Game 6 and followed that with 37 more in Game 7. The Pistons beat Philadelphia 4-2 in the East semis, then got swept by New Jersey in the East finals.

___

Phoenix vs. L.A. Lakers, 2006

West Quarterfinals

Game 5: at Suns 114, Lakers 97

Game 6: Suns 126, at Lakers 118, OT

Game 7: at Suns 121, Lakers 90

Kobe Bryant’s jumper at the buzzer of Game 4 gave the Lakers a 3-1 series lead, but the second-seeded Suns fended off the upset bid. Boris Diaw scored 25 points in Game 5 for Phoenix, Tim Thomas hit a long 3 late in regulation of Game 6 to force overtime and Game 7 was decided quickly. Phoenix went seven games again in the West semifinals to beat the Los Angeles Clippers, then lost 4-2 in the West finals to Dallas.

___

Houston vs. L.A. Clippers, 2015

West Semifinals

Game 5: at Rockets 124, Clippers 103

Game 6: Rockets 119, at Clippers 107

Game 7: at Rockets 113, Clippers 100

The Clippers won Game 3 by 25, then won Game 4 by 33 for a 3-1 series lead. James Harden had 26 points in Game 5 to lead Houston’s win, and then the Rockets outscored the Clippers 40-15 in the fourth quarter on the road in Game 6 to make a 13-point deficit with 12 minutes left more than disappear. Harden added 31 more points in Game 7, and the Rockets moved to the West finals, where they lost 4-1 to Golden State.

comments powered by Disqus