The first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs didn’t give basketball fans a single Game 7, but the second round is ready to bring us a do-or-die doubleheader.
On Sunday, the Bucks, Celtics, Mavericks and Suns will all participate in Game 7s with trips to the Eastern and Western Conference Finals on the line. The series involving those teams have been extremely competitive, so it is only fitting that they go the distance.
Ahead of those contests, let’s take a look back at the history of Game 7s in the NBA Playoffs and some of the league’s best Game 7 performances.
(All stats courtesy of StatMuse)
How many Game 7s have been played in NBA Playoff history?
There have been 142 Game 7s in NBA Playoff history.
Before this year’s postseason, the most recent Game 7 was played between the 76ers and Hawks in the 2021 Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Bucks and Nets also reached a Game 7 in the same round last year.
Which NBA teams have played in the most Game 7s?
The Celtics have played in 33 Game 7s and won 24 of them. The Lakers are second on the all-time list with 24 Game 7s. They have a record of 16-8 in those games.
Boston and Los Angeles may have the most total Game 7 wins, but a surprising team has the highest winning percentage: the Timberwolves. Minnesota is the only franchise that has played in just one Game 7, defeating Sacramento in the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals.
Every active NBA team has played in at least one Game 7.
Which NBA players have played in the most Game 7s?
Hall of Famer Ray Allen has played in 11 Game 7s, the most in NBA history.
Two Celtics legends are right behind him, as Paul Pierce and Bill Russell each played in 10 Game 7s.
Which NBA players have scored the most points in a Game 7?
No need to dig deep into the history books.
Kevin Durant set the Game 7 scoring record just last season with 48 points against the Bucks. Unfortunately for Durant, his Nets lost an overtime thriller in Brooklyn, and Milwaukee went on to win the championship.
How many Game 7s have been played in the NBA Finals?
The NBA Finals has required a Game 7 to decide the winner 19 times.
The most recent Game 7 of the championship series was played between the Cavaliers and Warriors in 2016. Cleveland captured a 93-89 victory, becoming the first team in NBA Finals history to win the title after facing a 3-1 deficit.