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OKC Thunder trying to buck history

Only eight teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a best-of-7 NBA Playoff series.
By John Rohde Published: May 14, 2013

In the history of the NBA Playoffs, only eight out of 210 teams have won a best-of-7 playoff series in which they trailed 3-1.

That's a success rate of 3.8 percent.

If that weren't depressing enough for OKC Thunder fans, only twice has a No. 5 seed eliminated a No. 1 seed since the playoff format expanded in 1984 — Phoenix over the Los Angeles Lakers in 1990; Indiana over Atlanta in 1994. The No. 1-seeded Thunder trails the No. 5-seeded Memphis Grizzlies 3-1 heading into Game 5 on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

As you can see, history is not in OKC's favor.

“This is obviously not the greatest position to be in, but we still have a chance to be a part of history,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Tuesday. “There's not a lot of teams that have come back from 3-1, but we have the talent, we have the teamwork, we have the effort and the energy to do it.”

Six of the eight teams to successfully come back from a 3-1 deficit owned the homecourt advantage. OKC can't recapture homecourt until it wins Game 6 at FedExForum in Memphis — if there is a Game 6. Understandably, none of these eight success stories was missing a three-time All-Star while making their notable comeback.

The Thunder is missing a significant someone in dynamic point guard Russell Westbrook, an All-NBA first-team candidate who underwent season-ending knee surgery on April 27.

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