First-half high wire: every NBA team’s record in 2-point games and OT

Forget about games decided by five points or fewer — let’s offer an even more specific examination of NBA teams and their results in the first half of the season.

Below, you’ll find records in overtime games and games decided by no more than two points.

Why two, you might (reasonably) ask, instead of three? They’re both one-score margins. Very simply, a two-point margin involves an immediate risk of losing if the other team has the last possession. Conversely, it involves the possibility of winning if you have the rock for the final shot of regulation. A three-point margin merely involves the possibility of being taken into overtime or forcing overtime with a tying triple. You’re free to use three points as your preferred standard, or five, or perhaps four. This piece? We’re using two points plus any overtime game. OT games, for purposes of this piece, are considered separate from the two-point games, even if they were decided by one or two points — 48 regulation minutes produced a tie, so the subsequent OT margin seems insignificant by comparison.

You will quickly see that the Los Angeles Clippers fared the best of any NBA club in this category, followed by the Dallas Mavericks. The Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers suffered the most.

Let’s go to the big board and get the numbers, starting with records in two-point games and then in overtime contests:


ATLANTA: 1-4 in 2-point games (again, not including OT), 0-2 in OT.

BOSTON: 1-1 in 2-point games, 0-2 in OT

BROOKLYN: 2-3 (2-P), 0-2 OT

CHARLOTTE: 1-2, 5-0

CHICAGO: 2-1, 2-4

CLEVELAND: 1-2, 2-2

DALLAS: 1-1, 6-2

DENVER: 3-2, 1-2

DETROIT: 1-3, 3-1

GOLDEN STATE: 0-1, 3-0

HOUSTON: 3-2, 4-1

INDIANA: 2-3, 1-5

L.A. CLIPPERS: 4-1, 4-1

L.A. LAKERS: 0-4, 0-1

MEMPHIS: 6-1, 2-3

MIAMI: 2-1, 2-1

MILWAUKEE: 3-1, 2-0

MINNESOTA: 1-0, 2-3

NEW ORLEANS: 4-2, 1-2

NEW YORK: 2-3, 2-2


ORLANDO: 2-3, 2-5


PHOENIX: 1-1, 0-1

PORTLAND: 0-3, 1-2

SACRAMENTO: 4-0, 0-3 (the Kings, man — weird to the very end)

SAN ANTONIO: 2-0, no OT games in the first half

TORONTO: 1-3, 1-1

UTAH: 1-3, 4-3

WASHINGTON: 2-3, no OT games


About Matt Zemek

Matt Zemek is the managing editor of The Student Section, covering college football and basketball with associate editors Terry Johnson and Bart Doan. Mr. Zemek is the editor of Crossover Chronicles, covering the NBA. He is also Bloguin's lead tennis writer, covering the major tournaments. He contributes to other Bloguin sites, such as The AP Party.