The Miami Heat Might Blow a 3-0 Series Lead

When a team takes a three-games-to-none lead in a best-of-seven series, it is time to start looking ahead to the next round or to a championship parade.

Most of the time.

In the history of sports, a few teams with 3-0 series leads have managed to lose three straight games before recovering. Some of them lost one more game — and the series — as well.

That’s the history facing the Miami Heat, who won the first three games of their N.B.A. Eastern Conference finals series against the Boston Celtics, then lost the next three, including Game 6 at home on Saturday night.

Game 7 is Monday night in Boston, and the Heat are 48 minutes away from historical ignominy. No N.B.A. team has ever blown a 3-0 series lead dating to 1947, when the N.B.A. was called the Basketball Association of America and had teams like the Cleveland Rebels and the St. Louis Bombers. This year, in the Western Conference finals, the Denver Nuggets took a 3-0 series lead against the Los Angeles Lakers, then finished them off in a four-game sweep.

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