Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Game 6: Celtics vs. Lakers nuggets
By Chris Forsberg
LOS ANGELES -- Here are 10 facts and figures to keep in mind before the Celtics and Lakers clash (ABC, 9 p.m) in Game 6 of the NBA Finals Tuesday night at the Staples Center (information researched for ESPN by Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.):
1. In the history of the NBA playoffs, only 14.4 percent of the teams that have trailed a best-of-seven series, 3-2, have come back to win the series. But history suggests the odds are not as daunting for the Lakers. In the history of the NBA playoffs, the defending league champion has trailed a best-of-seven series, 3-2, 25 times and has come back to win the series in 10 of those instances (40 percent).
2. The Celtics are looking to clinch the NBA title in Los Angeles tonight. There have been only five teams in NBA history that have won the clinching game of the NBA Finals on the home court of the defending NBA champions: New York Knicks against the Lakers in 1973, Seattle against Washington in 1979, Philadelphia against the Lakers in 1983, the Lakers against Boston in 1985 and Detroit against the Lakers in 1989.
3. If the Celtics go on to win this series, they will have beaten four teams in this postseason that combined for a .683 winning percentage during the regular season. Only four teams in NBA history have won an NBA title by beating teams in the postseason that combined for a higher regular-season winning percentage than .683: New York in 1973 (.732), Houston in 1995 (.726), the Lakers in 1980 (.691) and Chicago in 1997 (.686). (The Lakers also beat teams that combined for a .683 winning percentage en route to the 1972 title).
4. Kobe Bryant scored 38 points in the Lakers’ loss in Game 5. That was the most points scored by a visiting player in Boston in an NBA Finals game since Jerry West scored 40 points at the Garden on April 29, 1969.
5. Bryant scored his 5,000th career point in the postseason in Game 5, becoming the fourth player to reach that milestone. But only one player other than Bryant has scored 5,000 points in the postseason with one franchise: Michael Jordan (5,987 with the Bulls).
6. Ray Allen was 0-for-4 from three-point range in Game 5 after going 0-for-8 in Game Three and 0-for-4 in Game Four. Since the NBA instituted the three-point line in 1979, only one other player has shot 0-for-4 or worse from beyond the arc in three straight postseason games: Allen Iverson in 2001 (0-for-8; 0-for-5; 0-for-4).
7. Derek Fisher is shooting 34.8 percent in his career in games in which his team has faced playoff elimination. Only two players that ended the 2009-10 season on an active roster have a lower career field-goal percentage in “win-or-go-home” games than Fisher (minimum: 70 FGA): Jerry Stackhouse (.337) and Jason Williams (.346).
8. Phil Jackson is 9-2 at home in games in which his team has faced playoff elimination in his career as a head coach. The only two teams to celebrate a series-clinching win on Jackson’s home court are the Magic (1995 at Chicago) and the Spurs (2003 at Lakers).
9. Doc Rivers is only 1-9 (.100) on the road in games in which is team has had a chance to clinch a playoff series in his career as a head coach. That is the lowest such winning percentage for any head coach in NBA history (minimum: five games).
10. The Celtics have lost each of their last five games in which they have had a chance to clinch a playoff series on the road. That is the second longest current streak in the league (Houston, 6).