The Oklahoma City Thunder were down 54-47 at halftime of Game 1 of the NBA Finals after losing the first quarter 29-22 and tying the Heat in the second quarter, 25-25. The Thunder won the game by winning the third quarter 27-19 and winning the fourth quarter 31-21.
So here’s a few questions to ponder: How important is it to win multiple quarters in the NBA Finals? Is it more important to win one particular quarter of the game? Can you win an NBA Finals game by outscoring your opponents in only one quarter and having them outscore your team in the other three quarters?
Looking at the quarter-by-quarter scores of the NBA Finals games since 2000 (68 games), it appears that the winning teams have had the most success in winning individual quarters two and three. Of the 272 quarters played in the 68 finals games since 2000, the winning team has won 167 quarters, lost 89 and tied in 16.