The biggest upsets in NBA playoff history

The biggest upsets in NBA playoff history

Playoffs

The biggest upsets in NBA playoff history

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There’s nothing more exciting in sports than seeing an elite team get upset by a plucky underdog, and that doesn’t ring any truer than in the NBA, where a playoff upset is legitimately extremely difficult to come by.

From Dirk Nowitzki’s No. 1 seed Dallas Mavericks losing to the No. 8 seed We Believe Golden State Warriors to Alonzo MourningTim Hardaway and the Miami Heat – No. 1 seeds in their own right – losing to the New York Knicks, another No. 8 seed, in Round 1, the NBA has seen some crazy upsets in its playoff history.

Below, check out the biggest ones.

2007: Dallas vs. Golden State

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Winner: Golden State Warriors (42-40)
Loser: Dallas Mavericks (67-15)
Regular season difference: 30.5 percent winning percentage

1994: Seattle vs. Denver

(AP Photo/Gary Stewart)

Winner: Denver Nuggets (42-40)
Loser: Seattle SuperSonics (63-19)
Regular season difference: 25.6 percent winning percentage

2012: Chicago vs. Philadelphia

(Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Winner: Philadelphia 76ers (35-31)
Loser: Chicago Bulls (50-16)
Regular season difference: 22.8 percent winning percentage

1959: St. Louis vs. Minneapolis

(Darryl Norenberg-USA TODAY Sports Network)

Winner: Minneapolis Lakers (33-39)
Loser: St. Louis Hawks (49-23)
Regular season difference: 22.3 percent winning percentage

1976: Golden State vs. Phoenix

Rick Barry

(Manny Rubio-USA TODAY Sports)

Winner: Phoenix Suns (42-40)
Loser: Golden State Warriors (59-23)
Regular season difference: 20.8 percent winning percentage

1981: Phoenix vs. Kansas City

(AP Photo/F. Carter Smith)

Winner: Kansas City Kings (40-42)
Loser: Phoenix Suns (57-25)
Regular season difference: 20.7 percent winning percentage

2016: Golden State vs. Cleveland

(Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)

Winner: Cleveland Cavaliers (57-25)
Loser: Golden State Warriors (73-9)
Regular season difference: 19.5 percent winning percentage

1987: Dallas vs. Seattle

(USA Today)

Winner: Seattle SuperSonics (39-43)
Loser: Dallas Mavericks (55-27)
Regular season difference: 19.5 percent winning percentage

1995: San Antonio vs. Houston

(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Winner: Houston Rockets (47-35)
Loser: San Antonio Spurs (62-20)
Regular season difference: 18.3 percent winning percentage

2011: San Antonio vs. Memphis

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Winner: Memphis Grizzlies (46-36)
Loser: San Antonio Spurs (61-21)
Regular season difference: 18.3 percent winning percentage

1947: Washington vs. Chicago

Winner: Chicago Stags (39-22)
Loser: Washington Capitols (49-11)
Regular season difference: 18.3 percent winning percentage

1981: Los Angeles vs. Houston

(AP Photo/F. Carter Smith)

Winner: Houston Rockets (40-42)
Loser: Los Angeles Lakers (54-28)
Regular season difference: 17.1 percent winning percentage

2020: Milwaukee vs. Miami

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Winner: Miami Heat (44-29)
Loser: Milwaukee Bucks (56-17)
Regular season difference: 16.4 percent winning percentage

1950: Rochester vs. Fort Wayne

(Democrat & Chronicle via AP)

Winner: Fort Wayne Pistons (40-28)
Loser: Rochester Royals (51-17)
Regular season difference: 16.2 percent winning percentage

1995: Utah vs. Houston

(AP Photo/Tim Johnson)

Winner: Houston Rockets (47-35)
Loser: Utah Jazz (60-22)
Regular season difference: 15.9 percent winning percentage

1973: Milwaukee vs. Golden State

(AP Photo/File)

Winner: Golden State Warriors (47-35)
Loser: Milwaukee Bucks (60-22)
Regular season difference: 15.9 percent winning percentage

1968: St. Louis vs. San Francisco

(AP Photo/Wally Fong)

Winner: San Francisco Warriors (43-39)
Loser: St. Louis Hawks (56-26)
Regular season difference: 15.9 percent winning percentage

1975: Washington vs. Golden State

(AP Photo)

Winner: Golden State Warriors (48-34)
Loser: Washington Bullets (60-22)
Regular season difference: 14.7 percent winning percentage

1995: Phoenix vs. Houston

(AP Photo/David Phillip)

Winner: Houston Rockets (47-35)
Loser: Phoenix Suns (59-23)
Regular season difference: 14.7 percent winning percentage

1998: Miami vs. New York

(AP Photo/Victor Caivano)

Winner: New York Knicks (43-39)
Loser: Miami Heat (55-27)
Regular season difference: 14.7 percent winning percentage

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