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All eyes on Florida: Miami Heat and Florida Panthers could team up to make sports history

The Miami Heat have reached the NBA Finals for the seventh time, while the Florida Panthers have reached the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in franchise history.

Together, they could become the first NBA and NHL teams from the same market to win championships in the same season.

Basketball and hockey teams from five areas around the country have reached the championship round together eight times previously. It has resulted in three total NBA titles by two basketball teams, Stanley Cup championships for two hockey teams and three years where both lost in the finals.

But never has a market enjoyed an NBA and NHL title together.

Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem plays the drum prior to an NHL playoff game between the Florida Panthers an Toronto Maple Leafs in Sunrise, Florida on May 7.

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The Heat beat the Boston Celtics in Game 7 on Monday night, and they will visit the Denver Nuggets when the NBA Finals begin on Thursday.

The Florida Panthers swept the Carolina Hurricanes, and they will face the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final starting Saturday.

Here’s a breakdown of NBA and NHL teams from the same metro area that nearly won championships in the same year:

NBA team wins, but NHL team loses in final

1957: The Boston Celtics won against the St. Louis Hawks, but the Boston Bruins lost to the Montreal Canadiens.

1974: The Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks, but the Bruins lost to the Philadelphia Flyers.

1992: The Chicago Bulls beat the Portland Trail Blazers, but the Chicago Blackhawks fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

NHL team wins, but NBA team loses in final

1994: The New York Rangers beat the Vancouver Canucks, while the New York Knicks lost to the Houston Rockets. Both series were decided in seven games.

2003: The New Jersey Devils beat the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, but the New Jersey Nets lost to the San Antonio Spurs.

No titles for same market in finals

1958: In a repeat of the 1957 matchup, the Celtics lost to the Hawks, and the Bruins lost to the Canadiens.

1972: The New York Knicks (NBA) and New York Nets (ABA) both lost in the finals, and the Rangers lost to the Bruins.

1980: The Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, while the Philadelphia Flyers lost to the New York Islanders, starting a four-peat of Stanley Cup titles for the Islanders.

Heat, Panthers make it to finals at No. 8 seeds

The Heat and Panthers both climbed from the eighth and final seeds in the Eastern Conference to reach their respective finals.

The Heat ousted the No. 1 seed Bucks, No. 5 seed Knicks and No. 2 seed Celtics to reach the NBA Finals. The Panthers beat the No. 1 seed Bruins, the No. 2 seed Toronto Maple Leafs and the No. 4 seed Carolina Hurricanes to reach the Stanley Cup Final.

And the synergy has permeated throughout South Florida.

Heat star Jimmy Butler wore a Panthers jersey before a practice, while Panthers star Matthew Tkachuk said it’s a surreal feeling for the area’s two teams.

“I think back to like two or three months ago. Nobody in the whole world thought we would be in this position right now, let alone even make the playoffs,” Tkachuk said during an interview on TNT’s NBA pregame show with Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal.

“The fact that I'm sitting here with you guys and getting ready to play in the Stanley Cup Final, at my first-ever Heat game here with them having a chance to make the (NBA) Finals? It's storybook for South Florida.”

Even second-year Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel has taken notice, attending home games for both teams during their playoff runs.

“How cool is that for South Florida sports just in general,” McDaniel said. “The Heat and the Panthers doing a lot of things that people said they couldn’t do, which I very much appreciate and we are definitely taking note.”

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Miami Heat, Florida Panthers could make sports history in NHL, NBA