If history were grading Orlando’s chances of advancing to The Finals, it would give the Magic an A. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, all time in the postseason there have been 187 best-of-seven playoff series in which a team has taken 3-1 lead. That team has advanced to the next round 179 times or 96 percent. Orlando has won five games on the road during the playoffs, the most wins away from home during a single postseason in team history (previous high was four in 1995). The Magic clinched its first round series with a win at Philadelphia in Game 6, and advanced to the conference finals with a Game 7 victory in Boston, marking the fourth and fifth times that Orlando won a series-deciding game on the road. All time in the playoffs, however, Cleveland, is 42-25 (.627) at home, including winning of eight of its last nine playoff games at The Q. Orlando is responsible for the lone loss, besting the Cavaliers in Game 1. Since the 2006 postseason, the Cavaliers are 21-7 (.750) at home, which accounts for the second most home wins in the postseason over that span behind San Antonio (22-7).
The Los Angeles Lakers took another step towards advancing to their second straight Finals by defeating the Denver Nuggets 103-94 in Game 5 yesterday to take a 3-2 series lead. Teams with a 3-2 lead are 193-33 (.854) all time, with 122 of those series ending in six games. Of those 122 Game 6 wins, more than half (69) came on the road. The last team to win a series after trailing 3-2 was the San Antonio Spurs, which defeated the New Orleans Hornets in last year’s conference semifinals.
Notable: There have been 20 games this postseason decided by three or fewer points, surpassing the previous high of 19 (2006). Orlando has played in seven of those games, winning three.