NBA Playoffs 2019: Clippers' win over Warriors tops list of largest comebacks in postseason history
The Clippers' grit paid off in a big way on Monday
The Warriors shouldn't panic (yet), but Monday's 135-131 loss was historically bad. After trailing 94-63 with 7:31 left in the third quarter, the Clippers stormed back for a stunning win over Golden State to knot the series up at 1-1 heading back to Los Angeles. The 31-point collapse and eventual Clippers victory adds up to be the biggest postseason comeback in NBA history, and the third biggest comeback in league history.
Here are some of the comebacks that Los Angeles' win ultimately topped. These comebacks are in terms of raw points, so while there are arguably some more impressive ones out there due to how much time was remaining on the clock, these teams faced the longest odds at one point in the game.
April 25, 2018 -- Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Utah Jazz (25 points)
Having Russell Westbrook and Paul George helps when you are trying to erase a deficit. The Jazz were up 71-46 with 8:34 left in the third quarter, but they were knotted up at 78 points entering the fourth thanks to a ridiculous run spearheaded by the dynamic duo. Westbrook would finish with 45 points and George had 34.
The Thunder outscored the Jazz 61-21 over the last 20 minutes of the game, turning in a dominant performance behind their stars. While the 107-99 Game 5 win kept OKC's season alive, it wouldn't be enough to win the series.
May 14, 2017 -- Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs (25 points)
The Warriors have been on the right side of outstanding comebacks before. This game has a more depressing aura to it, as it was the beginning of the end for Kawhi Leonard's time in San Antonio. The Spurs led the Warriors 46-21 with 7:05 left in the second quarter, and led by as many as 23 points in the second half.
Leonard's injury deflated the Spurs. After his injury just over four minutes into the third, the Warriors outscored San Antonio 58-33 to win 113-111. The Game 1 win would set the tone for the series, and the Warriors won in four as the Spurs played without their best player.
April 20, 2017 -- Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers (26 points)
This game came with the Cavaliers already up in the series against the Pacers. They were leading two games to none and went into halftime down 25 after trailing by as many as 26. The Cavs' 25-point halftime deficit is the largest to ever be erased (and it still is-- the Clippers trailed by 23 on Monday). The Pacers dropped 74 points in the first half, and led 72-46 with 49 seconds left in the half.
LeBron James paved the way for the Cavaliers with 41 points, while four other players finished with 13. The final was 119-114 after the Cavaliers held the Pacers to just 44 points in the second half, completely turning the tables. Cleveland would go on to sweep the series.
April 29, 2012 -- Los Angeles Clippers vs. Memphis Grizzlies (27 points)
The Clippers also aren't new to these insane comebacks. Their' 99-98 Game 1 win over the Grizzlies in 2012 is particularly impressive due to how late it came. They trailed 84-57 with 2:12 left in the third quarter, and by as many as 24 points in the fourth. However, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Nick Young led the Clippers to a miraculous comeback win.
It's one of the rare 20-plus point comebacks in which nothing really went right until the fourth quarter, rather than the third. The Clippers would go on to win their series against the Grizzlies in seven games.
May 4, 1989 -- Los Angeles Lakers vs. Seattle Supersonics (29 points)
This one started extremely early. The Lakers, who were up in the series 3-0, trailed the Supersonics by 29 points in the second quarter. It turned out to be a short-lived burst of energy for Seattle, as the Lakers stormed back to win 97-95 and complete the sweep on the road.
The Sonics jumped out all over the Lakers, but Magic Johnson finished with nine assists and nine rebounds while James Worthy dropped 33 points. Mychal Thompson added 15 off the bench. The Lakers' depth proved to be too much, while the sparkplug Sonics came up just short.
April 15, 2019 -- Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors (31 points)
The eighth-seeded Clippers looked flat vs. the Warriors. They trailed by as many as 31 points, but Los Angeles showed that there are no easy outs. Lou Williams finished with 36 points off the bench for Los Angeles and Montrezl Harrell had 25. The Clippers' stubbornness got them back into the game and the win tied the series up at 1-1 as it heads to L.A.
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