ESPN Wisconsin

How the NBA breaks ties

Apr 11, 2012 -- 10:04pm

By DREW OLSON
dolson@espnwisconsin.com

There was plenty of talk about tiebreakers Wednesday night at the Bradley Center. Here is a look at the way the NBA breaks ties:

  • Two-Team Tiebreaker:
    • 1. Division winner (this criterion is applied regardless of whether the tied teams are in the same division)
    • 2. Better record in head-to-head games
    • 3. Higher winning percentage within division (if teams are in the same division)
    • 4. Higher winning percentage in conference games
    • 5. Higher winning percentage against playoff teams in own conference
    • 6. Higher winning percentage against playoff teams in opposite conference
    • 7. Higher point differential between points scored and points allowed
  • Three-Team Tiebreaker:
    • 1. Division winner (this criterion is applied regardless of whether the tied teams are in the same division)
    • 2. Best head-to-head winning percentage among all teams tied
    • 3. Highest winning percentage within division (if teams are in the same division)
    • 4. Highest winning percentage in conference games
    • 5. Highest winning percentage against playoff teams in own conference
    • 6. Highest point differential between points scored and points allowed

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