Game 7 history: NBA playoff records, stats, best performances and more to know ahead of Celtics vs. Bucks, Suns vs. Mavericks

The first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs didn’t give basketball fans a single Game 7, but the second round is poised to bring us a do-or-die doubleheader.

On Sunday, the Bucks, Celtics, Mavericks and Suns will all take part in Game 7 with trips to the Eastern and Western Conference Finals on the line. The series involving these teams has been extremely competitive, so it’s only fitting that they hold the distance.

Ahead of these competitions, let’s take a look back at the history of Game 7 of the NBA playoffs and some of the best Game 7 performances in the league.

(All stats courtesy of StatMuse)

MORE: Why Bucks’ Game 7 v Celtics will be a classic

How many Game 7s have been played in NBA Playoff history?

There have been 142 Game 7s in NBA playoff history.

Ahead of this year’s playoffs, the final Game 7 was played between the 76ers and the 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 the most Game 7?

The Celtics have played 33 Game 7s and won 24. The Lakers are second on the all-time list with 24 Game 7s. They are 16-8 in those games.

Boston and Los Angeles may have the most Game 7 wins, but one surprising team has the highest winning percentage: the Timberwolves. Minnesota is the only franchise to play just one Game 7, beating Sacramento in the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals.

Every active NBA team has played in at least one Game 7.

Team 7s game Record
Celtics 33 24-9
Lakers 24 16-8
76ers 17 6-11
Knicks 15 7-8
hawks 14 5-9
Rockets 12 7-5
Thunder 11 6-5
Spurs 11 4-7
deer 11 3-8
Heat ten 6-4
Wizards ten 6-4
Pistons ten 5-5
Warriors ten 5-5
bulls ten 4-6
Mowers 9 4-5
Suns 9 4-5
Pacers 9 3-6
riders 7 5-2
Mavericks 7 4-3
Nuggets 7 4-3
Jazz 6 3-3
raptors 6 3-3
kings 6 2-4
Trail Blazers 4 2-2
Nets 4 1-3
Magic 3 2-1
Grizzlies 3 0-3
Hornets 2 0-2
Pelicans 2 0-2
timber wolves 1 1-0

Which NBA players have played the most Game 7?

Hall of Famer Ray Allen has played 11 Game 7s, the most in NBA history.

Two Celtics legends are right behind him, as Paul Pierce and Bill Russell have each played 10 Game 7s.

Which NBA players have scored the most points in Game 7?

No need to dig deep into the history books.

Kevin Durant set the Game 7 scoring record last season with 48 points against the Bucks. Unfortunately for Durant, his Nets lost an overtime thriller in Brooklyn, and Milwaukee won the championship.

Player Points Year
Kevin Durant 48 2021
Dominique Wilkin 47 1988
Sam Jones 47 1963
Luka Doncic 46 2021
Kevin Johnson 46 1995
james lebron 45 2018
james lebron 45 2008
Allen Iverson 44 2001
Charles Barkley 44 1993
oscar robertson 43 1963

How many Game 7s were played in the NBA Finals?

The NBA Finals took Game 7 to decide the winner 19 times.

The final Game 7 of the Championship Series was played between the Cavaliers and the Warriors in 2016. Cleveland earned a 93-89 win, becoming the first team in NBA Finals history to win the title after beating faces a 3-1 deficit.

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