Two NBA Playoff Games Have Gone to Four Overtimes

Published on May 27th, 2024 2:37 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

The NBA overtime classics. Over the history of the NBA, two playoff games have gone to four overtimes.

The first occurred during a March 21st, 1953 playoff game between the Boston Celtics and Syracuse Nationals.

This was Game 2 of the Eastern Division Semifinals, and the Nationals desperately wanted a win after losing the first game 87-81.

The game, which featured the likes of Bob Cousy and Earl Lloyd, was a closely contested affair, with neither team enjoying more than a couple point lead over the course of the game.

The game was finally decided in the fourth overtime, when the Celtics finally pulled head to win the game by a score of 111-105.

The deciding factor in the game was Bob Cousy, who ended scoring 50 points over the course of the game.

Cousy would have an astonishing 32 free throw attempts in the game, while hitting 30 of them.

The Nationals couldn't keep Cousy off of the line, and they ended up costing them the game.


The second four overtime playoff game in the history of the NBA occurred on May 3rd, 2019.

The Portland Trail Blazers were battling the Denver Nuggets in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

The series was tied at 1-1 as they travelled back to the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.

Little did the fans know that they were able to witness history.

The two teams went back and forth as a young Nikola Jokic battled against Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

In the end, it was CJ McCollum and his 41 points that pushed the Trail Blazers over the top, as they would win the game by a score of 140-137.

The fact that the game took place on the West Coast meant that people on the East Coast had to stay up well past 2 am to finish watching the game.

A true classic.


A total of six NBA playoff games have been decided in three overtimes.

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