Miami Heat Become 3rd Franchise to Make 4 Straight NBA Finals

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Miami Heat Become 3rd Franchise to Make 4 Straight NBA Finals
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

With their 117-92 demolition of the Indiana Pacers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Miami Heat booked their fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals. They join the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers as the only franchises in NBA history to compete for a championship in four straight seasons, per ESPN Stats & Info.

The Celtics accomplished the feat twice, reaching 10 straight Finals from 1957-66 (winning nine of them), then four straight appearances from 1984-87 (winning two). The Lakers' run overlapped the second Celtics' one, as the Purple and Gold took the Western Conference in four consecutive years from 1982-85, twice winning a championship.

Reaching the NBA Finals four consecutive times is actually rarer than winning three straight championships. Five different times a team has won three consecutive titles, with the Heat now trying to become the sixth. 

The Heat will play the San Antonio Spurs for the second consecutive season in the Finals, after the Spurs defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-107 in overtime of Saturday's Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals.

It will be the first repeat Finals since the Chicago Bulls met the Utah Jazz in 1997 and 1998; Chicago won both series to complete their second three-peat.

As ESPN points out, reaching four consecutive finals in the other major North American sports is also atypical, with the feat occurring six times in MLB, three times in the NFL and four times in the NHL.

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