Cavaliers Become 1st Team to Overcome 3-1 Deficit in NBA Finals

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffJune 20, 2016

Cleveland Cavaliers' Lebron James, center, holds up the NBA Championship trophy alongside teammates Kyrie Irving, left, Kevin Love, rear right, J.R. Smith, right, and Tristan Thompson, front,   at the airport in Cleveland, Monday, June 20, 2016. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

When the final buzzer sounded at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, following their 93-89 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, the Cleveland Cavaliers officially became the first team to overcome a 3-1 series deficit in the Finals, also becoming just the fourth team to come back from a 2-0 deficit, per Sportsnet Stats.

The only other teams to bounce back from a 2-0 hole and emerge victorious were the 2005-06 Miami Heat, 1976-77 Portland Trail Blazers and 1968-69 Boston Celtics.

Taking a broader look across the sports landscape, only seven teams have won an NBA, NHL or MLB title after trailing 3-1 in the championship series, per Sportsnet Stats.

MLB accounts for five of those teams, with the 2015-16 Cavaliers and 1941-42 Toronto Maple Leafs being the only squads to accomplish the feat in their respective leagues.

Sunday's win also ended Cleveland's remarkable 52-year drought without a major sports title, stretching back to the Cleveland Browns' NFL championship in 1964—two seasons before the Super Bowl was first played.

Among metropolitan areas with three or more teams in the Big Four North American sports leagues, Minneapolis-St. Paul now has the longest title drought, dating back to 1991 when the Minnesota Twins won the World Series, per Sportsnet Stats.

Washington, D.C., (1992) and Toronto (1993) are not far behind, but both cities currently have teams—the NHL's Washington Capitals and MLB's Toronto Blue Jays—with rosters that appear ready to compete for a championship.

The NFL's Minnesota Vikings and NHL's Minnesota Wild both made the playoffs this past season, but neither is among the 2016-17 championship favorites in their respective leagues.

In any case, Cleveland finally has the monkey off its back.


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