2023 Playoffs: East Final | Celtics (2) vs. Heat (8)

Key stats to know ahead of Game 7 of Eastern Conference Finals

The Celtics are the 4th team in NBA history to force Game 7 after losing the first 3 games of a best-of-7 playoff series.

The Heat and Celtics will face off in a Game 7 for the 2nd consecutive year, which has happened only 5 times previously.

The 2023 Eastern Conference Finals marks the 151st time in NBA history that a team has trailed 3-0 in a best-of-seven playoff series. No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series.

This is the fourth time that a team has forced a Game 7 after trailing a playoff series 3-0.

  • 1951 NBA Finals: Knicks forced Game 7 vs. Rochester Royals
  • 1994 Western Conference semifinals: Nuggets forced Game 7 vs. Jazz
  • 2003 Western Conference first round: Trail Blazers forced Game 7 vs. Mavericks
  • 2023 Eastern Conference Finals: Celtics forced Game 7 vs. Heat

Of the four teams to force a Game 7 after trailing a playoff series 3-0, the Celtics will be the first one to host Game 7.

The Celtics and Heat will meet in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals for the second season in a row. This is the first time that the same teams will meet in Game 7 of a Conference Finals series in back-to-back years since the Celtics and 76ers did so in 1981 and 1982 (Eastern Conference Finals).

This is the first time that the same teams will meet in Game 7 of any playoff round in back-to-back years since 1994/1995. It happened twice in those years.

  • The Rockets and Suns played a Game 7 in the Western Conference Semifinals in both 1994 and 1995.
  • The Pacers and Knicks played a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals in 1994 and the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 1995.

The Celtics have won five elimination games in the 2023 postseason. If the Celtics win Game 7, they would match the NBA record for most victories when facing elimination in a single postseason. The record of six is shared by the 1994 Nuggets and the 2020 Nuggets.

The Celtics have a record of 27-9 (.750) in Game 7s. They are 22-5 at home and 5-4 on the road.

The Celtics will be playing their 37th Game 7, by far the most in NBA history. After Monday’s game, Boston will have played in exactly 25% of all NBA Game 7s (37 of 148).

The Heat has a record of 6-5 (.545) in Game 7s. Miami is 6-3 at home and 0-2 on the road.

In Game 7 of the 2023 Eastern Conference Semifinals, Jayson Tatum set the NBA scoring record in a Game 7 with 51 points against the 76ers.

The NBA scoring record by a player in a Game 7 has been broken in each of the two previous Game 7s in the 2023 postseason. (The record entering this postseason was 48 points by Kevin Durant for the Nets against the Bucks in the 2021 Eastern Conference Semifinals.)

  • April 30: Warriors guard Stephen Curry scored 50 points against the Kings in Game 7 of the Western Conference First Round.
  • May 14: Tatum scored 51 points against the 76ers, breaking Curry’s two-week-old record.

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has a 4-3 record in Game 7s. He is set to serve as a head coach in a Game 7 for the eighth time, which will tie him for the fifth most in NBA history (along with Red Auerbach and K.C. Jones).

  • The only head coaches with more Game 7s coached than Spoelstra are Doc Rivers (16), current Heat President Pat Riley (11), Larry Brown (10) and Phil Jackson (9).

The Celtics defeated the Heat 100-96 in Miami in Game 7 of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals. In that game:

  • Boston led by 13 points with less than four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
  • Miami rallied to cut the deficit to two points in the final minute.
  • Jimmy Butler scored 35 points but missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer with 16.6 seconds remaining.

Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals will be played on May 29 for the second year in a row. Before last year, there had never been a Game 7 played on this day.

The Celtics and Heat have played 13 games in the Eastern Conference Finals over the last two seasons. The road team has a 9-4 record in those games (5-2 last season and 4-2 this season).

The Celtics and Heat will play a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time: 2023, 2022 and 2012. In the 2012 matchup, the Heat defeated the Celtics 101-88 in Miami. The Heat went on to win the first of its two consecutive NBA championships.

Celtics forward-center Al Horford is set to play in his 10th career Game 7. Only three players have played in 10 or more Game 7s: Ray Allen (11), Paul Pierce (10) and Bill Russell (10).

Horford has a 7-2 record in Game 7s. If he plays in a Celtics victory on Monday, Horford could become the third player to win eight or more Game 7s, joining Bill Russell (10) and Sam Jones (9).