List of teams to overcome 3–1 series deficits

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The following is the list of teams to overcome 3–1 series deficits by winning three straight games to win a best-of-seven playoff series. In the history of major North American pro sports, teams that were down 3–1 in the series came back and won the series 53 times, more than half of them were accomplished by National Hockey League (NHL) teams. Teams overcame 3–1 deficit in the final championship round eight times, six were accomplished by Major League Baseball (MLB) teams in the World Series. Teams overcoming 3–0 deficit by winning four straight games were accomplished five times, four times in the NHL and once in MLB.

The Boston Red Sox of MLB and the Vancouver Canucks of NHL each overcame 3–1 deficits the most at three times, while the Washington Capitals of NHL blew 3–1 leads the most at five times, followed by the St. Louis Cardinals of MLB at four times (including twice in the World Series). Two teams have overcome 3–1 deficits multiple times in the single playoffs: the Kansas City Royals of MLB in 1985 and the Minnesota Wild of the NHL in 2003. Two teams have also overcome 3-1 deficits in a single playoffs only to have the favor returned to them: the Golden State Warriors of the NBA in 2016, and the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL in 2003.

Major League Baseball[edit]

MLB teams have overcome 3–1 deficits 13 times (including 3–0 deficit 1 time), six of which occurred in the World Series. This does not count the 1903 World Series, in which the Boston Americans (later known as the Red Sox) came back from down 3 games to 1 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, as that series was a best-of-nine series.

Year and series Winner that overcame deficit Loser that blew lead Note(s)
1925 World Series Pittsburgh Pirates Washington Senators First major North American pro sports team to overcome 3–1 deficit
1958 World Series New York Yankees Milwaukee Braves
1968 World Series Detroit Tigers St. Louis Cardinals
1979 World Series Pittsburgh Pirates Baltimore Orioles
1985 ALCS Kansas City Royals Toronto Blue Jays Went on to overcome 3–1 deficit in the World Series
1985 World Series Kansas City Royals St. Louis Cardinals Also overcame 3–1 deficit in the ALCS
1986 ALCS Boston Red Sox California Angels Were one strike away from elimination in Game 5
1996 NLCS Atlanta Braves St. Louis Cardinals
2003 NLCS Florida Marlins Chicago Cubs Steve Bartman incident in Game 6; went on to win the World Series
2004 ALCS Boston Red Sox New York Yankees Overcame 3–0 deficit; went on to win the World Series for first time since 1918
2007 ALCS Boston Red Sox Cleveland Indians Went on to win the World Series
2012 NLCS San Francisco Giants St. Louis Cardinals Also overcame 2–0 deficit in the NLDS; went on to win the World Series
2016 World Series Chicago Cubs Cleveland Indians First World Series championship since 1908

National Basketball Association[edit]

NBA teams have overcome 3–1 deficits 11 times, only one of which occurred in the NBA Finals. The NBA is the only sport with a seven game playoffs series where no team has ever overcome a 3–0 deficit.

Year and series Winner that overcame deficit Loser that blew lead Note(s)
1968 Eastern Division Finals Boston Celtics Philadelphia 76ers Went on to win the NBA Finals
1970 Western Division Finals Los Angeles Lakers Phoenix Suns
1979 Eastern Conference Finals Washington Bullets San Antonio Spurs
1981 Eastern Conference Finals Boston Celtics Philadelphia 76ers Went on to win the NBA Finals
1995 Western Conference Semifinals Houston Rockets Phoenix Suns Went on to win the NBA Finals
1997 Eastern Conference Semifinals Miami Heat New York Knicks
2003 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Detroit Pistons Orlando Magic
2006 Western Conference Quarterfinals Phoenix Suns Los Angeles Lakers
2015 Western Conference Semifinals Houston Rockets Los Angeles Clippers
2016 Western Conference Finals Golden State Warriors Oklahoma City Thunder Went on to lose in the NBA Finals after having a 3–1 series lead (see below)
2016 NBA Finals Cleveland Cavaliers Golden State Warriors The only time a 3–1 deficit has been overcome in the NBA Finals

National Hockey League[edit]

NHL teams have overcome 3–1 deficits 29 times (including 3–0 deficits 4 times), only one of which occurred in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Year and series Winner that overcame deficit Loser that blew lead Notes
1942 Stanley Cup Finals Toronto Maple Leafs Detroit Red Wings Only time in the Stanley Cup Finals; overcame 3–0 deficit
1975 Stanley Cup Quarterfinals New York Islanders Pittsburgh Penguins Overcame 3–0 deficit. Won 8 games while facing elimination this playoff year.
1987 Division Semifinals New York Islanders Washington Capitals
1987 Division Finals Detroit Red Wings Toronto Maple Leafs Overcame 2–0 deficit
1988 Division Semifinals Washington Capitals Philadelphia Flyers
1989 Division Semifinals Los Angeles Kings Edmonton Oilers
1990 Division Semifinals Edmonton Oilers Winnipeg Jets Went on to win the Stanley Cup Finals
1991 Division Semifinals St. Louis Blues Detroit Red Wings
1992 Division Semifinals Pittsburgh Penguins Washington Capitals Overcame 2–0 deficit, and eventually win the Stanley Cup Finals
1992 Division Semifinals Detroit Red Wings Minnesota North Stars Overcame 2–0 deficit
1992 Division Semifinals Vancouver Canucks Winnipeg Jets
1994 Conference Quarterfinals Vancouver Canucks Calgary Flames
1995 Conference Quarterfinals Pittsburgh Penguins Washington Capitals
1998 Conference Quarterfinals Edmonton Oilers Colorado Avalanche
1999 Conference Quarterfinals St. Louis Blues Phoenix Coyotes
2000 Conference Finals New Jersey Devils Philadelphia Flyers Went on to win the Stanley Cup Finals
2003 Conference Quarterfinals Minnesota Wild Colorado Avalanche Went on to overcome 3–1 deficit in the Conference Semifinals
2003 Conference Quarterfinals Vancouver Canucks St. Louis Blues
2003 Conference Semifinals Minnesota Wild Vancouver Canucks Also overcame 3–1 deficit in the Conference Quarterfinals
2004 Conference Quarterfinals Montreal Canadiens Boston Bruins Overcame 2–0 deficit
2009 Conference Quarterfinals Washington Capitals New York Rangers Overcame 2–0 deficit
2010 Conference Quarterfinals Montreal Canadiens Washington Capitals
2010 Conference Semifinals Philadelphia Flyers Boston Bruins Overcame 3–0 deficit
2011 Conference Quarterfinals Tampa Bay Lightning Pittsburgh Penguins
2013 Conference Semifinals Chicago Blackhawks Detroit Red Wings Won the Stanley Cup Finals
2014 First Round Los Angeles Kings San Jose Sharks Overcame 3–0 deficit; went on to win the Stanley Cup Finals
2014 Second Round New York Rangers Pittsburgh Penguins
2015 Second Round New York Rangers Washington Capitals
2019 First Round San Jose Sharks Vegas Golden Knights

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