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.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.
The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers will square off in Boston Saturday in Game Seven of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. This will be the seventh Game Seven the Celtics have played in the last eight years. This will be Philadelphia’s first Game Seven since the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals when they defeated the Milwaukee Bucks to advance to the NBA Finals. The 76ers did play a decisive Game Five in 2002 in a five-game first-round series against the Celtics. The Celtics won that contest.
Here’s a look at the last 21 Game Sevens (since 2005) and a handful of statistics that may determine who wins Saturday’s game.
1. Points: In the past 21 Game Sevens, the winning team has averaged 98.5 ppg while the losing team has averaged only 82.9 Teams that have scored 100 or more points have won eight and lost two. Teams that score 90 or more points are 15-7; teams that score 80 or more points are 20-11. The winning team has given up 90 or more points in only seven of the 21 Game Sevens.
2. Point Differential: None of the last 21 Game Seven have been decided by three or fewer points. Eight of the games were decided by four to nine points. Teams won by 10 or more points in seven of the games; teams won by 20 or more points in six of the Game Sevens.
3. Home Team: The home team won 14 of the last 21 Game Sevens, including seven of the last eight. The last away team to win a Game Seven: This year when the Clippers defeated Memphis in the first round of the playoffs.
4. Game Six: There doesn’t seem to be an advantage for the team that wins Game Six. The team that won Game Six only won eight of the last 21 Game Sevens.
5. Leads at the end of the quarter: The team that leads at the end of the first quarter won 18 of the 21 games. The team leading at halftime won 19 of 21. The team leading going into the fourth quarter won 17 of 20 (there was one tie at the end of the third quarter).
6. 20-Point Scorers: The team that won Game Seven had at least one player score 20 or more points in 20 of the 21 games. The losing team had a 20-point scorer in 14 of the 21 games. The Game Seven winning team had two 20-point scorers in 10 of the 21 games; the losing team had a pair of 20-point scorers in five games.
7. Turnovers: Committing fewer turnovers was not a significant stat in the last 21 Game Sevens. The winning team had fewer turnovers in only nine of the 21 games.
8. Shooting Percentage: The winning team had a higher field goal percentage in 16 of 20 games (in one game both teams had the same percentage). In 19 of the 21 games, the winning team made a higher percentage of three-point shots made than their opponents.
9. Rebounds: The Game Seven winning team had more rebounds than the losing team in 15 of 19 contests (in two games the teams had the same number of rebounds).
10. Game Seven Appearances: The Boston Celtics have played in six of the last 21 Game Sevens, tops in that category. The Celtics are 3-3 in those games. The Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets have each played in four Game Sevens since 2005. The Lakers won three of those four games; the Rockets lost all four of their Game Sevens since ’05. Detroit, San Antonio and Atlanta have each played in three Game Sevens since 2005.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp