It starts with one basket.
That's the only way back. One basket. And then another. And another. One at a time, basket after basket. Quietly, methodically, you just have to string buckets together and hope.
Down 27 in the second half, 24 with eight minutes to go, the game is essentially over. It's tough to score 24 points in a quarter, much less eight minutes. All while not letting the other team score.
But the Clippers somehow did it. They finished Game 1 against the Grizzlies on a 28-3 run to somehow cap one of the more improbable comebacks in NBA playoff history beating Memphis 99-98 after Rudy Gay's last gasp effort came up short.
The thing with coming back like that is that you have to believe you have a shot. It's almost impossible to really feel that way when you're looking at the scoreboard and it shows you behind 24 with eight minutes left. You just have to chip away and start seeing results. Down to 20. Down to 18. Fifteen. Ten. Eight, six, three. One.
And then you take the lead.
Somehow, you can't give up. Can't stop believing it's possible. Which is exactly what Chris Paul said the Clippers did.
"The whole time man," Paul told Craig Sager following the game. "I honestly tell you. End of the third quarter coach took me out and I went nuts. Said, 'Coach give us a chance. Give us a chance.'"
Of all teams though, you have to always give the Clippers a shot. They've specialized in double-digit comebacks this season, and with CP3 at the helm, you can't count them out. And while Paul was intrumental, the comeback really centered around two unsung guys -- Reggie Evans and Nick Young.
Evans' defense on Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol was inspired, he cleaned up with dirty work on the glass, set good screens and was the emotional spark prodding along the team despite them down a seemingly insurmountable number.
Young did it with a barrage of 3s, scoring nine points in a minute, capping it with back-to-back 3-balls that actually put the Clippers in a place to win the game.
You can point to the Grizzlies' failure to execute offensive -- they scored three points in the final eight minutes -- but the Clippers deserve a ton of credit. You have to be near perfect on both ends to pull something like that off. And get some luck too. Both Marreese Speights and Tony Allen missed easy layups at the rim, Mike Conley missed a free throw and the Grizzlies couldn't even execute the first pass of an offensive set at times. But again, that's what it takes. A big comeback is a joint effort. One team giving it away, one team taking it.