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History says Cavs’ momentum is not enough to predict Game 7 win

The tables have been turned in the ongoing NBA Finals.

After the Golden State Warriors looked every bit like the 73-win regular season team that they were in the first four games, the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, have willed themselves to a step away from immortality.

After being on the receiving end of a 3-1 series score, the Cavs have dragged this match-up to a deciding game on Sunday night. The momentum is arguably on the side of the East champs right now, especially after winning their last game at Oracle Arena, but how significant is it in their mission of ending the city’s 52-year title drought?

But first, let’s wipe some dust off of those old books for a moment as only two teams in league history have managed to do what the Cavs have accomplished at this point. The 1951 New York Knicks and 1966 Los Angeles Lakers both gave the eventual champions Rochester Royals and Boston Celtics, respectively, some major scare during those times.

Interestingly, the 1951 finals saw its first three games being won by the Royals via an average margin of 16.3 points, followed by the Knicks stringing a trifecta of tight victories with an average winning deficit of only 5.3 points. Rochester won Game 7, but it was a closely fought contest, 79-75. Royals guard Bob Davies, now a member of the NBA Hall of Fame, is recognized by many as the inventor of the behind the back pass and dribble.

Marty Lederhandler / Associated Press

Marty Lederhandler / Associated Press

On the other hand, the 1966 finals saw a collection of prominent names such as Bill Russell, John Havlicek, Sam Jones, Jerry West, and Elgin Baylor, among others. The 7th game was indeed a cardiac affair which Boston ultimately won, 95-93. Russell dished out one of the best series performances in NBA Finals history after averaging 23.6 points and 24.3 rebounds.

Fast forward to 2016 and history awaits the team that will win the title. For the Golden State Warriors, it would be a fitting exclamation point to a season like no other. While for the Cleveland Cavaliers, they could become the first team to win a finals matchup after being down by three games.

LeBron James and Stephen Curry, heralded as the faces of today’s NBA, have one more game to outdo each other. For the losing team, a colossal disappointment is waiting for them at a dark corner.

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