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Monday, May 7, 2012
Odds and ends: The 3-1 lead

By Chris Forsberg

A quick look at what past playoff series tell us about the importance of Tuesday's Game 5 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks, with help from our friends at ESPN Stats and Info:

* Teams with a 3-1 series lead own a 194-8 record (96 percent) since the NBA expanded to a 16-team playoff format during the 1983-84 season. A look at those eight teams to rally from a 3-1 hole:
Boston (vs Philadelphia) 1968 Eastern Division Finals
Los Angeles (vs Phoenix) 1970 Western Division Semifinals
Washington (vs San Antonio) 1979 Eastern Conference Finals
Boston (vs Philadelphia) 1981 Eastern Conference Finals
Houston (vs Phoenix) 1995 Western Conference Semifinals
Miami (vs New York) 1997 Eastern Conference Semifinals
Detroit (vs Orlando) 2003 Eastern Conference 1st Round
Phoenix (vs LA Lakers) 2006 Western Conference 1st Round

* Even if the Hawks were to prevail in Game 5, Boston odds don't drop off that dramatically, according to past series. Teams that are up 3-2 own a 209-35 mark (85.7 percent) in those series.