Thunder Break The Home Streak

MIAMI – The Oklahoma City Thunder pulled off a stunner on Monday, winning in San Antonio to take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals. It was the first game the road team has won in this round, just the second time that the Spurs have lost at home in almost three months and just the third game that any of the remaining teams have lost at home in the playoffs.

The Spurs, Thunder, Celtics and Heat are now 28-3 at home in this postseason. Overall, home teams are 51-24 (.680) in the 2012 playoffs, the sixth-best record for home teams in the last 20 years.

Highest home winning percentage, last 20 postseasons

Season G W L Pct
2007-08 86 64 22 0.744
1999-00 75 54 21 0.720
2003-04 82 59 23 0.720
1993-94 77 55 22 0.714
1996-97 72 50 22 0.694
2011-12 75 51 24 0.680

This is a bit of a contrast from the 1999 playoffs, the other time we had a lockout-shortened season. The Knicks, seeded No. 8, made it all the way to The Finals. Home teams won just 61 percent of playoff games that year.

Home dominance is typical in the playoffs. Over the last 20 years, home teams have won about 5 1/2 percent more games in the playoffs than they have in the regular season.

Home team record, last 20 seasons

Season G W L Pct
Regular season 23,158 13,947 9,211 0.602
Postseason 1,551 1,018 533 0.656

A look at this year’s numbers shows that the home team shoots the ball better, rebounds better, turns the ball over less, gets to the line more and has better ball movement.

Home vs. road, 2012 Playoffs

Team OffRtg 2PT% 3PT% OREB% TO% FTA Rate FGM (%AST)
Home 102.8 47.4% 33.6% 26.4% 13.9 .314 55.4%
Road 97.7 45.8% 32.3% 25.3% 15.4 .283 52.4%

OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
OREB% = Percentage of available offensive rebounds obtained
TO% = Turnovers per 100 possessions
FTA Rate = FTA/FGA
FGM (%AST) = AST/FGM

Home teams also take better shots. In these playoffs, home teams have attempted more of their shots (48.1 percent) from the paint than road teams (46.5). And road teams have taken a more of their shots from mid-range (31.2 percent) than home teams (29.9).

The Thunder (7-0) are now the only remaining team that hasn’t lost at home in this year’s playoffs. And if they beat the Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday, they’ll have home-court advantage in The Finals (because they had a better record than both the Heat and Celtics). They’ll also have a chance to be the first team since the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls (10-0) to win a championship without losing a game at home.

Interestingly, over the last 20 years, only the Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers have had a better home record in the playoffs than the Sonics/Thunder.

Best postseason home record, last 20 seasons

Team G W L Pct
Chicago 81 64 17 0.790
L.A. Lakers 122 93 29 0.762
Seattle/Oklahoma City 67 48 19 0.716
San Antonio 119 85 34 0.714
Miami 79 56 23 0.709

Entering Wednesday’s Game 6 (9 p.m. ET, TNT), the Thunder are 15-4 at home in the playoffs since moving to Oklahoma City.

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John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.

13 Comments

  1. Spurs Fan since early 80′s, now that being said here I go! Since I can remember the Spurs have been a good team, and a great team for the last 15 seasons (15 straight playoff appearances). Oklahoma City is a great team, and if they can stay focused and make the Spurs turnover the ball like the last 2 games they will Win. The Spurs have won 1 game against OKC in OKC, I know that your going to say that “Playoff and Regular season are a different feel and play” but they can still use that confidence. The Spurs have lost the last 3 games through horrible play, yet the last 2 games they barely lost. If they play as bad as they did and Bonner, Neal and Green all make a couple of shots… the Spurs win, that easy. But, they must show up, if the bench doesn’t show up then it is an OKC win! Also, OKC 13-0 and SA 13-1 at home, we Spurs know how steaks can end! Just like I gave Oklahoma respect, please NBA Fans give the Spurs respect. Please don’t get upset with us because of the media, in 15 seasons we have finally gotten credit (dare look at 15 seasons on ESPN, NBA, ETC., we never get credit) even with 4 rings. Sorry if we are a little AMP’d up since we are finally noticed! Either way, we are in the Finals, because the West will beat East! I am hoping for Spurs 5th, but OKC has my respect as well!

  2. infamousbola says:

    Look like Durant and sidekicks will 1 up lebron. A new era will arrive Thunder vs Heat

    • Jay says:

      Couldnt agree w/ you more but it even looks like the Head wont reach the Finals :) If for some reason it’s the Celtics, it’ll be a contest of how many oxygen mask will be used just to keep up w/ OKC :)

  3. goodteam says:

    The Thunder have been playing with a lot of energy, superior to that of the Spurs, one of the main reason why they are up on the series. Can they do it one more time to eliminate the well seasoned Spurs. They’ll have the home crowd behind them so they’ll have the advantage. But I wouldn’t count the Spurs out yet. They are a veteran team with championship pedigree. I doubt if they’ll fold, with their backs against the wall I don’t see them going out any other way but fighting til the end. The Thunder have shown growth and composure, I wonder if it has anything to do with bringing in one of the most experienced and decorated clutch players the game has ever seen. I would say Fisher is the difference maker between this year and last year. The squad is the same, but now they seem to have a different sense of confidence. Who more confident than Fisher taking pressure shot after pressure shot. And making them, helping his previous team win championship after championship. He’s a winner alright. The rest of the Thunder will soon find out what it is like to be a winner also, one last stand by the Spurs is all that stands in the way.

  4. PC says:

    Right on. In the playoffs, the team to win on the road generally wins the series. Generally, not always.

    SAS’s offense is easily exploited in terms of defending them. All OKC need to do is contain Tony Park and Manu Ginoboli. That’s that. Tim Duncan as great as the Big Fundamental he is, he doesn’t have the ability to dominate as the one man wrecking crew he once was. His age has him on semi-locks even though he is fundamentally good still.

    OKC, however, has three stars to contain. That’s a lil bit tougher than the two for SAS. The difference is OKC finally grasped the concept of closing out games. As Matt Silverston stated, it’s the Derek Fisher Effect inflicting a major difference. The Young Guns has really learned the reigns and their continuation of play this way has the possibility of earning them the reputation of a Dynasty, something the SA Spurs once was. But that’s is saying something which won’t be known entirely until next or next next season.

  5. danito says:

    okc vs heat match up, i cant wait. the heat stand no chance against this okc team. specially with home court advantage. heat got lebron we got durant. they got wade. we got westbrook. heat got nothing left , but we got harden , ibaka perkins, colllison, cook,sefolasha. so its not even gona be a competition agaist the heat, its gona be a beat down

  6. SuzyQ says:

    Russell Westbrook is a quality point guard who has ramped up his game. He is young (only 23), but by the time that he is a seasoned veteran, he’ll be right there with all the greats that we love to talk about. I’m impressed with the Thunder and their enthusiasm and sheer intensity which comes through in their hustle is contagious. Other players recognize it and while there are many who feel it may not be their turn, they will have to recognize that it may just be their time.

  7. Sparhawk says:

    Yea they are growing quite nicely. Its impressive. Problem imo is westbrook, great player but his basketball IQ is as bad as javell McGees, he makes retarded plays back to back for no other reason than his emotions getting the better of him.

    • PC says:

      You’re kidding? Russell Westbrook does have a significant IQ difference than JaVale McGee. He may be of what you described of him as of late, but you got to see he’s improving and learning; that’s the IQ difference between him and with all respect to McGee.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      bad comment, you do realize you are talking about a 2 time all star and the # 5 scorer in the NBA right? for what he lacks in decision making he makes up for in freakish athleticism and defense. He is young and if you know abour RW he was a 2 guard in collecge that OKc converted to PG. he gets better year after year, once his court vision matches his explosiveness its over…. shoot it might already be over as is. lol

  8. LinLin says:

    You have to take into account that teams with home court advantage are generally better teams.

  9. chris says:

    more better for sure. they is going ta beat all team in the way to theys great prize.. you will see. they be wearing the bling on da ring.

  10. This thunder is not the same team that squashed LAL and DAL, this is a more improved team that seems to grow and get better each and every game..maturity is growing right before our eyes and I have feeling that Derek fisher might be helping http://www.mindofmattman.com/2012/06/derek-fisher-effect.html