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The Longest Playoff Games In NBA History: 1953 Boston Celtics vs. Syracuse Nationals And 2019 Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets

The Longest Playoff Games In NBA History: 1953 Boston vs. Syracuse And 2019 Portland vs. Denver

The NBA playoffs have given us memorable moments and incredible games. The playoffs have also given us some extremely long games that had us fans sitting on the edge of our seats.

There have been two games in NBA history that have been credited as the longest playoff games in history. These games were the 1953 NBA Eastern Division Semifinals Game 2 between the Syracuse Nationals and the Boston Celtics. The other was the 2019 NBA Western Conference Semifinals Game 3 between the Denver Nuggets and the Portland Trail Blazers.

1953 NBA Eastern Division Semifinals Game 2: Syracuse Nationals at Boston Celtics

The year was 1953, and the second seed Syracuse Nationals were playing the third seed Boston Celtics. At this time, Bob Cousy was the star of the Celtics, and they had key role players in Bill Sharman and Chuck Cooper.

The Nationals were led by Dolph Schayes and Paul Seymour. They were going to need them both to play big in Game 2 of the 1953 semifinals. The series was a best of three and the Celtics won Game 1 by a score of 87-81.

The Nationals and the Celtics battled in Game 2, which was in Boston. The fans in Beantown would be in for a treat, as what they were about to witness would go down in history.

The game would be a struggle, as the Nationals shot 37.5% from the field and the Celtics shot 40.9%. The Nationals and the Celtics would play four quarters and four overtimes. This would be recorded as the longest NBA playoff game in history.

The Celtics eventually won the game by a score of 111-105 behind Cousy's 50 points. Cousy set the record for most free throw makes in a game with 30 (30-32).

For the Nationals, Seymour scored 18 on 5-12 shooting. Schayes, on the other hand, was a non-factor, only scoring 8 on 2-5 shooting. Seymour and Red Rocha of the Nationals set a playoff record with 67 minutes played.

2019 NBA Western Conference Semifinals Game 3: Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers

The 2019 semifinals between the Denver Nuggets and the Portland Trail Blazers brought fans the second four-overtime game in playoff history.

The Nuggets and the Trail Blazers battled in Game 3 as they did in the entire series, which went to seven games. The stars on both teams played big throughout the game, including Nikola Jokic.

The “Joker”, as Jokic is known, wasn’t an MVP yet, but he scored 33 on 13-25 shooting. He also had 18 rebounds and 14 assists for a big triple-double.

Jamal Murray, who broke out as a star during the 2020 “bubble” playoffs, scored 34 points on 14-32 shooting. This wouldn't be enough as the Trail Blazers stars out-dueled the Nuggets stars.

CJ McCollum led all scorers with 41 points on 16-39 shooting. Star guard, Damian Lillard, struggled to shoot, going 10-24 from the field, and 2-9 from three.

Lillard would come up big at the end of the third overtime, hitting the game-tying layup with 8.4 seconds remaining. This allowed the game to go into that record-tying fourth overtime.

In the fourth overtime, the Trail Blazers finally put some separation between them and the Nuggets, outscoring Denver 11-8. The Trail Blazers won the game by a score of 140-137, ending the marathon game.

The NBA has seen two playoff games go to four overtimes. Will this year's playoff give us a third game? Or maybe we'll see our first five overtime playoff game. That's the exciting part of the NBA playoffs. You never know what's going to happen until you watch the games.


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