The NBA Board of Governors, in a unanimous vote, ordered the finals to be decided on a 2-2-1-1-1 basis, with the team with the best record of the finalists hosting the first and second games and potentially the fifth and seventh games.
The lower seeded team in the finals would be the home team for Games 3 and 4 and Game 6, if the series goes that far.
The new format also calls for an extra day off between Games 6 and 7. The change is to go into effect after the 2013-14 season, which begins Tuesday.
"The Competition Committee felt strongly that a consistent format should be used for each round of our playoffs," NBA President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn said. "With improvements in team air travel and technology, the reasons the 2-3-2 format made sense for us in the past largely do not exist anymore, so creating consistency became the priority."
The NBA adopted a 2-3-2 format for the finals in 1985 for travel logistics reasons. The NBA said Wednesday that critics of the format said it gave an advantage to the lower-seeded team in Game 5, often a key game in a best-of-seven series.