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Mavericks and Oilers already have made some history in their comeback quests

For the Dallas Mavericks and the Edmonton Oilers, the comeback efforts are just beginning and still have very long ways to go.

That said, they’re off to unprecedented starts.

Dallas’ 38-point win over the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday and Edmonton’s seven-goal win over the Florida Panthers in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday were both — by far — the biggest victories by teams facing 3-0 deficits in an NBA or NHL title series.

It was the third time a team facing a 3-0 deficit won in the NBA Finals, and the ninth time a team in that predicament has done so in the Stanley Cup Final.

A look at the times a team down 3-0 prevailed in Game 4 of the NBA and NHL title rounds, and what happened next:


2024 — Dallas 122, Boston 84

It was a 38-point win for the Mavericks, the third-largest margin in any NBA Finals game, and could have been even worse: Boston trailed by as many as 48 points.

What happened next: TBD. Game 5 is in Boston on Monday.

1996 — Seattle 107, Chicago 86

A 28-11 burst in the second quarter set the tone for the SuperSonics, who fended off elimination.

What happened next: Seattle won Game 5, but Chicago finished off the title in Game 6.

2017 — Cleveland 137, Golden State 116

Golden State was bidding for a 16-0 playoff record. But Kyrie Irving had 40 points and Cleveland scored 49 in the first quarter before adding 37 in the second quarter. LeBron James finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

What happened next: Golden State won Game 5 and captured the title.


2024 — Edmonton 8, Florida 1

It was one-sided from the outset, the Oilers jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead to set the tone, making it 6-1 after two periods and then tacking on two more goals late.

What happened next: TBD. Game 5 is at Florida on Tuesday.

2021 — Montreal 3, Tampa Bay 2 (OT)

Josh Anderson scored 3:57 into overtime to extend the series, but it would prove to be Montreal’s final goal of the season.

What happened next: Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 22 shots in a 1-0 shutout and the Lightning won Game 5 to capture the Cup.

2014 — New York Rangers 2, Los Angeles 1

Martin St. Louis’ second-period goal was the difference for the Rangers, who cut the Kings’ deficit to 3-1.

What happened next: The Kings won the Cup in five games, winning a double-overtime thriller 3-2 on the 51st and final shot they sent toward Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

2012 — New Jersey 3, Los Angeles 1

Adam Henrique (who now plays for Edmonton) got the game-winning goal and the Devils survived Game 4 to extend the series.

What happened next: The Devils won Game 5 as well, but the Kings took the Cup in Game 6.

1981 — Minnesota 4, New York Islanders 2

Minnesota scored twice in the final 7:34 to fend off elimination and send the series back to New York for Game 5.

What happened next: The Islanders took Game 5 by a 5-1 score for their second straight Cup, part of a run of four consecutive titles.

1957 — Boston 2, Montreal 0

Fleming Mackell scored both goals and Don Simmons stopped 21 shots for the season-saving shutout by Boston.

What happened next: Game 5 at the Montreal Forum was a rout, the Canadiens winning 5-1 for another title.

1946 — Boston 3, Montreal 2, OT

Terry Reardon scored 15 minutes into the extra session to extend the series.

What happened next: Toe Blake scored to start a three-goal barrage in the third and Montreal would win Game 5 to take the title.

1945 — Detroit 5, Toronto 3

The Wings got three goals in the third to erase a 3-2 deficit and extend the series.

What happened next: Detroit won Games 5 and 6 as well, but Babe Pratt’s power-play goal with 7:46 left in Game 7 would lift Toronto to the Cup.

1942 — Toronto 4, Detroit 3

Nick Metz’s goal with 7:15 left capped a third-period comeback for the Maple Leafs and started something that would become historic — the first successful rally by an NHL team from a 3-0 series deficit in the Stanley Cup Final. The feat hasn’t been matched since.

What happened next: Toronto won the next three games by scores of 9-3, 3-0 and 3-1 to win the title.

Credit: AP 

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