Will Game 7 rewrite record books?
June, 20, 2013
By ESPN Stats & Information
Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesTonight's Game 7 will be an epic battle between the Heat and Spurs.
Let’s take a look at what a win would mean for the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 tonight at AmericanAirlines Arena (9 ET on ABC).
What’s at stake for the Heat?
The Heat are trying to become the first team to repeat as NBA champions since the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009-10 and the first Eastern Conference team to win back-to-back titles since the Jordan-led Chicago Bulls won three in a row from 1996-98.
With a Heat win, LeBron James would be a two-time NBA champion and would join Bill Russell and Michael Jordan as the only players in NBA history to win back-to-back regular season MVPs and NBA titles.
The Heat went 66-16 this season, a win percentage of .805. They are trying to avoid having the best regular-season record by any NBA Finals loser.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the highest win percentage by a team that lost in the NBA Finals is .797 by the 1949-50 Syracuse Nationals.
The Heat suffered a 36-point defeat (113-77) in Game 3 of this series. If the Heat win Game 7, they would become the first team to win an NBA title after losing a game by 35 or more points at any point in the postseason.
What’s at stake for the Spurs?
The Spurs are seeking to win their fifth NBA title. They would be the fourth franchise to win at least five rings, along with the Celtics (17), Lakers (16) and Bulls (6).
The Spurs are 4-for-4 in NBA Finals series and will try to remain as one of two NBA teams to with multiple titles and no Finals series losses. The Bulls are 6-0 in the NBA Finals.
If the Spurs win, it would mean that no team would have won consecutive games in this series.
According to Elias, it would be just the sixth time that an NBA Finals series went seven games and no team won back-to-back games. The last time it happened was in the 1974 NBA Finals, won by the Celtics.
Not only would the Spurs would become just the fourth road team to win a Game 7 in the Finals, but they would also be the first team to ever defeat the defending NBA champion on the road in a NBA Finals Game 7.
Tim Duncan is one of four players to play in the NBA Finals in three different decades, along with John Salley, A.C. Green and Elgin Baylor. If the Spurs win, Duncan would join Salley as the only players to win a NBA title in three different decades.