The Best Home Records in NBA History | The Analyst (2024)

We take a look at the teams across NBA history that ended the regular season with the best win percentages at home.

Which NBA teams have most enjoyed their home-court advantage?

You would think the difference between playing home and away would be minimal given the court and hoops are the same size, but having home comforts really can have a big impact.

The best home record doesn’t always translate into the best team, as we’ll address here, but it can be the platform for a great season.

We start with two teams who share the NBA record for best home winning percentage in a season.

T-1. Boston Celtics – 1985-86 (40-1; .976)

Led on the court by Larry Bird – who won a third consecutive NBA MVP award – and more than ably joined by the likes of Bill Walton, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, the Celtics put together an incredible run at Boston Garden.

They finished the regular season with an overall record of 67-15, but a near-perfect 40-1 at home. The Celtics averaged 118.3 points at home, where their only defeat came in December as they were beaten 121-103 by the Portland Trail Blazers.

That rare disappointment for coach K.C. Jones was soon forgotten though as the Celtics ultimately won the NBA championship, beating the Houston Rockets 4-2 in the Finals. Naturally, they won all 10 home games in the playoffs.

T-1. San Antonio Spurs – 2015-16 (40-1; .976)

Another run at home that was agonizingly close to flawless, the Spurs mirrored that Celtics season by going 40-1 at home, and 27-14 on the road.

Coach Gregg Popovich masterminded the best winning percentage in franchise history, with stars such as Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, who was playing his last of 19 seasons with the team.

They were denied perfection, cruelly, in their penultimate home game against the Golden State Warriors, losing 92-86. Unlike the Celtics, the Spurs were unable to end their impressive season with a championship, going out in six games to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the conference semifinals.

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3. Rochester Royals – 1949-50 (33-1; .971)

In the inaugural NBA season, the Royals were almost unbeatable at home, even if they did lose almost half of their road games (17-16). They also won their one game played at a neutral venue.

Les Harrison coached the Royals to a 33-1 record at Edgerton Park Arena, where their one home loss in the campaign came at the hands of the Fort Wayne Pistons (92-84).

Despite finishing the regular season by winning 15 straight games in a row, Rochester lost to the Pistons again in the division semifinals (2-0), though did go on to win the NBA championship the following year.

4. Syracuse Nationals – 1949-50 (31-1; .969)

The Nationals also lost just once at home in the 1949-50 season, but played two fewer games on their own court, with five played at neutral venues during the campaign (all of which they won).

Coach Al Cervi guided them to an overall regular season record of 51-13 and eventually to the NBA Finals, where they lost 4-2 to the Minneapolis Lakers.

Speaking of whom…

5. Minneapolis Lakers – 1949-50 (30-1; .968)

Our third entry from the 1949-50 season, and the team that ultimately won it all.

The Lakers went 30-1 at the Minneapolis Auditorium, with their only defeat coming against the Chicago Stags (96-82). They finished with an overall record of 51-17, identical to the Rochester Royals but playing one more game on the road (18-16) and two more games at neutral venues (3-0).

Coach John Kundia led the Lakers to the second of five titles in six seasons, defeating the Syracuse Nationals in the Finals.

6. Washington Capitols – 1946-47 (29-1; .967)

The first season of the Capitols in the Basketball Association of America (BAA) saw them win all but one of their 30 games at Uline Arena under coach Red Auerbach.

Like the Spurs almost 70 years later, they came close to perfection at home, losing to the New York Knicks 68-63 with just two more games to go in the regular season.

Washington was beaten in the BAA Semifinals 4-2 by the Chicago Stags, losing two of its three games at home.

T-7. Boston Celtics – 1986-87 (39-2; .951)

Back in the modern era of 41 regular-season home games, and we start with the team at the top of this list. The Celtics followed up their 40-1 home record in 1985-86 with a 39-2 effort the next year.

The Celtics finished the regular season with a 59-23 record, losing more than they won on the road (20-21). At Boston Garden, they were only beaten by the Washington Bullets and the Los Angeles Lakers, both in December.

They initially carried that form into the postseason and reached the NBA Finals again but this time they fell in six games to the Lakers.

T-7. Orlando Magic – 1994-95 (39-2; .951)

Led by a 22-year-old Shaquille O’Neal, the Magic lived up to their name at Orlando Arena. They lost just twice in 41 home games, though they had a significantly less impressive road record of 18-23.

Brian Hill, who was in his second season as head coach after being promoted from an assistant role, had Shaq and impressive second-year guard Penny Hardaway to call on. Orlando’s only two home losses came against the Seattle SuperSonics and the Utah Jazz.

The Magic made it all the way to the NBA Finals but were swept by the Houston Rockets.

T-7. Chicago Bulls – 1995-96 (39-2; .951)

From Shaq to MJ. Michael Jordan’s Bulls are the first team on this list to almost be as good on the road as they were at home. Chicago’s 39-2 record at the United Center was accompanied by an away record of 33-8. Their 72 regular-season wins set a record for most wins in a season until the Golden State Warriors broke it in 2015-16 under coach Steve Kerr, who played as part of the 95-96 Bulls team.

Jordan was joined by the likes of Kerr, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman in an incredible Bulls team that only lost to the Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers at home – both in the final month of the season (the 100-99 Pacers loss was their final home game of the regular season).

They won the NBA championship after beating the SuperSonics 4-2, winning all three home games in the process.

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T-7. Chicago Bulls – 1996-97 (39-2; .951)

Like the Celtics in the mid-80s, the Bulls immediately ran it back with an overall record of 69-13.

They averaged 105.3 points per home game but almost spookily, made only one fewer field goal in home games than the previous season (1,683 to 1,684).

Phil Jackson’s legendary team went on to win the title again, beating the Utah Jazz 4-2 in the Finals, winning all three home games.

T-7. Cleveland Cavaliers – 2008-09 (39-2; .951)

Another team led by someone who went on to become an NBA legend, the 2008-09 Cavs included All-Star LeBron James, who went on to pick up his first MVP award that year as well as being named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team. He would spend one more year in Cleveland before joining the Miami Heat.

The Cavs finished atop the standings of the Eastern Conference at 66-16, and their only two losses at Quicken Loans Arena came against the Lakers in February and the Philadelphia 76ers in their final regular season game.

Their home points per game average was just 102.3 (12 teams averaged more) showing how defensively solid they were that season. Their season ended in disappointment with a 4-2 defeat to the Magic in the Eastern Conference finals, where they lost one of their three home games.

T-7. Golden State Warriors – 2014-15 (39-2; .951)

As mentioned, Steve Kerr didn’t just play in a team with a 39-2 home record, he coached one too. In his first season after replacing Mark Jackson, Kerr led the Warriors to an overall record of 67-15 to win the Western Conference.

The likes of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green took Golden State all the way to the NBA Finals, where the team beat the Cavaliers to win its first title in 40 years.

Their form at Oracle Arena played a big part in that success, only losing to the San Antonio Spurs and Bulls at home all season.

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T-7. Golden State Warriors – 2015-16 (39-2; .951)

Kerr actually played in a team with a 39-2 home record twice. He also coached one twice.

The third team on this list to prove that their first time dominating at home wasn’t a fluke, the Warriors again lost only two home games in the 2015-16 campaign.

This time, both defeats came in the last few games of the regular season, losing to the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves in April. Despite that, they ended 2015-16 with the best regular season record of all time at 73-9.

Golden State again came up against the Cavs in the NBA Finals, but this time were beaten 4-3 by LeBron James, Kyrie Irving et al.

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The Best Home Records in NBA History | The Analyst (2024)
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