Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.
Last night the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the San Antonio Spurs 109-103 and tied their Western Conference Finals series at 2-2. So here’s the big question, what’s gonna happen in Game 5 of that series on Monday night?
To get an idea of what might transpire, let’s take a look at the last 25 NBA playoff games where the series was tied at 2-2. We discover that:
* The home team won Game 5 in 20 of those 25 contests.
* The series ended with the Game 5 winner also winning Game 6 in 14 series.
* The series went to a Game Seven 11 times. The home team won Game 7 in nine of those 11 games.
* The team that won Game 5 also won Game 7 seven times.
Here’s a look at those five series where the team winning the series was not the home team in Game 5
NBA Finals, 2010, L.A. Lakers over the Boston Celtics: In the 2-3-2 finals format, the home team Celtics won Game 5. The series then shifted to Los Angeles for Game 6 and Game 7 where the Lakers won both contests.
Eastern Conference Semifinals, 2010, Boston Celtics over the Cleveland Cavaliers: Tied at two games apiece, the visiting Celtics clobbered the Cavs 120-88 in Game 5 in Cleveland. The Celtics then wrapped the series in Game 6 with a 94-85 victory.
Eastern Conference First Round, 2010, Atlanta Hawks over the Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks stole Game 5 in Atlanta with a 91-87 win and headed home for Game 6 hoping to close out the series. The Bucks lost Game 6 to the visiting Hawks 83-69. The Hawks won the series with a 21-point win at home in Game 7.
Eastern Conference Semifinals, 2009, Orlando Magic over the Boston Celtics: The home team Celtics won Game 5 then lost Game 6 in Orlando and lost the series when they could not close out the Magic at home. The Magic won 101-82 in Game 7 in Boston.
Western Conference Semifinals, 2008, San Antonio over the New Orleans Hornets: The Hornets defeated the Spurs at home in Game 5, but the Spurs won the series by winning Game 6 at home, 99-80 and then winning 91-82 in New Orleans.
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So OKC will win Game 5 and win the Championship!