nba playoffs facts stats

The NBA playoffs are a stage where legends are made, and history is written – often resulting in unforgettable performances and record-breaking feats. From individual brilliance to dominant team performances, the NBA postseason has given us countless memorable moments.

Here are some of the most remarkable facts and statistics from NBA playoff history.

Individual Performances

  1. Hakeem Olajuwon’s 1987 Playoff Performance Hakeem Olajuwon had one of the most outstanding individual performances in NBA playoff history with 49 points, 25 rebounds, and 6 blocks in a single game. Despite his efforts, the Rockets lost the game and were eliminated from the playoffs, demonstrating how individual brilliance can sometimes fall short​​.
  2. Wilt Chamberlain’s 56-Rebound Game Wilt Chamberlain holds the record for the most rebounds in a single playoff game, grabbing 56 rebounds in a 1967 game. This incredible feat showcases Chamberlain’s dominance on the boards and remains a record that has stood for decades​.
  3. Walt Frazier’s Game 7 Triple-Double In the 1970 NBA Finals, Walt Frazier recorded 36 points, 19 assists, and 7 rebounds in Game 7, leading the New York Knicks to a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. This performance is legendary for its impact on the game and its significance in securing the Knicks’ championship​.
  4. Dirk Nowitzki’s Perfect Free Throw Streak Dirk Nowitzki set an NBA playoff record by making 24 consecutive free throws in Game 1 of the 2011 Western Conference Finals. This flawless performance from the line was pivotal in helping the Dallas Mavericks win the game and eventually the NBA title​.
  5. Magic Johnson’s 1980 Finals Performance As a rookie, Magic Johnson played all five positions in Game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals, recording 42 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 assists, leading the Lakers to the championship. This versatile performance is one of the most iconic in NBA history​​.
  6. LeBron James’ Scoring Prowess LeBron James is the all-time leading scorer in NBA playoff history, with over 7,500 points. His consistent scoring ability over numerous playoff runs has solidified his place among the greatest players in NBA history​.
  7. Michael Jordan’s 63-Point Game Michael Jordan scored 63 points against the Boston Celtics in a 1986 playoff game, the highest single-game point total in playoff history. Despite his heroics, the Bulls lost the game in double overtime, but Jordan’s performance remains legendary​.
  8. Tim Duncan’s Defensive Dominance Tim Duncan holds the record for most blocks in a single playoff run with 81 blocks during the 2003 playoffs. His defensive prowess was a key factor in leading the San Antonio Spurs to the NBA championship that year​.
  9. Kawhi Leonard’s Game-Winning Shot In the 2019 Eastern Conference Semifinals, Kawhi Leonard hit a game-winning buzzer-beater in Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers. This dramatic shot bounced on the rim four times before falling in, sending the Toronto Raptors to the Conference Finals and eventually to their first NBA title​.
  10. Shaquille O’Neal’s Finals Dominance Shaquille O’Neal averaged 38 points and 16.7 rebounds per game during the 2000 NBA Finals, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to victory over the Indiana Pacers. His dominance in the paint was unmatched, earning him the Finals MVP​.

Team Performances

  1. 2016-2017 Golden State Warriors’ Dominance The Golden State Warriors nearly achieved a perfect playoff run in the 2016-2017 season, finishing with a record of 16-1. They swept the Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, and San Antonio Spurs before defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-1 in the NBA Finals​.
  2. 2000-2001 Los Angeles Lakers’ Near-Perfect Run The 2000-2001 Los Angeles Lakers had one of the most dominant playoff runs, finishing with a 15-1 record. They swept through the Western Conference playoffs and only lost one game to the Philadelphia 76ers in the Finals​.
  3. Most Consecutive Playoff Wins The Golden State Warriors hold the record for the most consecutive wins in a single postseason with 15 straight victories during the 2017 playoffs. This streak highlights their dominance during that period​.
  4. Best Playoff Winning Percentage The highest playoff winning percentage for a single postseason belongs to the 2017 Golden State Warriors, who achieved a .941 winning percentage (16-1), surpassing the previous best by the 2001 Lakers who had a .938 winning percentage (15-1)​.
  5. Most NBA Finals Appearances The Los Angeles Lakers hold the record for the most NBA Finals appearances with 32. This consistent level of performance underscores the franchise’s historical dominance in the league​.
  6. Most NBA Championships The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are tied for the most NBA championships, each with 17 titles. These two franchises have been the most successful in NBA history, often setting the standard for excellence​.
  7. Longest Active Playoff Streak The Boston Celtics currently hold the longest active streak of playoff appearances with nine consecutive seasons (2015-present). This reflects the team’s consistent performance and resilience in the modern NBA era​.
  8. Highest Average Point Differential The Milwaukee Bucks have the highest average point differential in a single postseason at +14.5 points per game, achieved during their 1971 championship run. This stat showcases their overwhelming dominance during that playoff run.
  9. Most Consecutive Playoff Appearances The San Antonio Spurs and the Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers share the record for the most consecutive playoff appearances with 22. The Spurs achieved this from 1998 to 2019, while the Nationals/76ers did so from 1950 to 1971​.
  10. Largest Comeback in a Playoff Game The Los Angeles Clippers hold the record for the largest comeback in a playoff game. They overcame a 31-point deficit to defeat the Golden State Warriors on April 15, 2019. This incredible comeback remains one of the most remarkable feats in playoff history​.

From individual heroics like those of Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan to the dominant team performances of the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers, the playoffs never fail to deliver unforgettable memories, and will certainly do so in the future.

Thomas Nielsen

A sports-journalist & Las Vegas native, Thomas lives for professional basketball, NFL, college football and Ice-Hockey. When he is not watching sports (or analyzing sports data), he can usually be found reading a book in a secluded corner. Tom is also a contributor at GamblingIndustryNews.com & Vegas-Odds.com.