We interrupt the sleep-deprived euphoria of the Thunder’s Game 4 triumph with this sobering thought: NBA history shows that when you win a triple-overtime postseason battle, you lose the next game and the war.
Sorry to be a killjoy, Thunder fans, but that’s what Tim Griffin of the San Antonio News-Express uncovered today on his blog.The three previous teams that won triple-overtime games all lost the next game and the series. Those teams:
The 2009 Chicago Bulls who:
– beat Boston 128-127 in triple OT in Chicago in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference series.
– lost at Boston 109-99 in Game 7
The 2004 New Jersey Nets who:
– beat Detroit 127-120 in triple OT at Detroit in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
– lost at New Jersey 81-75 and at Detroit 90-69 in Games 6 and 7.
The 1993 Phoenix Suns who:
– beat Chicago 129-121 in triple OT at Chicago in Game 3 of the NBA Finals
– lost the series 4-2 when Chicago won Game 6 at Phoenix 99-98.
Among the winners of the four triple-OT games in NBA Playoff history, only the 1976 Boston Celtics bucked the trend. Those Celtics:
– beat Phoenix 128-126 in triple OT at Boston in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
– won Game 6 and the NBA title four games to two with a 87-80 victory at Phoenix.
A few circumstances that could feed Thunder fans’ faith that this time will be different:
– None of those three triple-OT winners who became losers had the home-court advantage for the series as Oklahoma City does against Memphis.
– The Thunder’s 133-123 triple-OT victory in Game 4 pulled the series even at 2-2. Only the 2009 Bulls’ triple-OT win evened a series (3-3).