TODAY’S SPORTSTAT — Celtics, Rockets have history on their sides

By JERRY TAPP

With their Game Six win over Houston, the Golden State Warriors forced a Game Seven in the Western Conference Finals. By doing so, for the first time in almost 40 years we have both conference finals series going to a decisive Game Seven.

The last time both conference finals series went to a seventh game was in 1979 when the Seattle SuperSonics beat the Phoenix Suns in Game Seven to advance to the ’79 NBA Finals and the Washington Bullets won Game Seven over the San Antonio Spurs to reach the finals that same year. The only other time both conference finals went to a seventh game was in 1963.

For the Celtics and Rockets this year, they have history on their side when it comes to conference finals Game Seven; the home team has won Game Seven of the conference finals 26 of the 33 times. The good news for the Warriors and Cavs is that there have been seven times when an away team has won Game Seven of a conference finals. Those seven times:

1968: Boston
1971: Baltimore
1973: New York Knicks
1976 Phoenix
1982: Philadelphia
2002: Los Angeles Lakers
2005: Detroit

As you might expect, the Boston Celtics have had the most Game Seven wins in the conference finals (also called the division finals at one time). The Celts have won seven Game Sevens in a conference/division finals. The Lakers are second in this category with five such wins.

On the flip side, the Indiana Pacers have lost the most conference/division finals Game Sevens with four. They are followed by the Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and St. Louis Hawks with three each.

One final stat: The 33 teams that have won a conference/division finals by winning Game Seven have only gone on to win the NBA Finals that year 16 times. Fatigue factor?

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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