The Los Angeles Clippers pulled off the largest comeback in postseason NBA history last night. The Clippers came back from a 31-point deficit against the Golden State Warriors to win game 2 153-131. This makes their first-round series tied at one game apiece.
This comeback topped a 29-point comeback by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1989 Western Conference semifinals over Seattle. This wasn’t an easy comeback by any means and here’s a breakdown of how it went down.
The Warriors entered the game 57-25 on the season and 1st in the Pacific Conference. The Clippers entered the game 48-34 on the season and 2nd in the Pacific Conference.
Game 2 of the series started out pretty evenly. The first score of the game came from a dunk from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with 11:23 left in the quarter. The two teams traded leads for the first few minutes of the quarter. Golden State’s lead started with a dunk from Draymond Green to make the score 9-7. The Clippers came back quickly though following this lead change and retook the lead after a three-pointer from Landry Shamet.
This would be the last lead that the Clippers had until very late in the game. Even though the Clippers did not lead again until late, the score did not get out of hand until the second quarter.
After free throws from both teams, Golden was still only up by six 24-18. The Warriors extended their lead slightly after a three-point jumper from Andre Iguodala with just a little over three minutes left to play in the quarter.
The teams traded foul shots late in the quarter to make the score 33-23 Golden State. The quarter would be capped though by a step back jump shot from Garrett Temple with just 5.3 seconds left to close the Golden State lead slightly to end the quarter 33-25.
The second quarter is where Golden State really made their run. The scoring began quickly with a jump shot from Klay Thompson to put the Warriors up by 10.
The Clippers responded with a three-point shot of their own from Temple. Golden State was hot though and had the next three scoring possessions. The Warriors were up by 12 now with 9:38 left in the quarter.
A free throw shot from JaMychal Green broke up the scoring run for the Warriors. Golden State’s true scoring run would not start until later in the second quarter with a dunk from Kevin Durant, putting the Warriors up 52-39. Following this dunk, Golden State had three straight unanswered scoring possessions before the Clippers could find an answer from Patrick Beverley. Golden State was already up by 15 though at this point.
In the last 2:43 of the quarter, Golden State had seven scoring possessions while Los Angeles only had two. The quarter was capped off by a three-point shot from Stephen Curry with just 3.7 seconds left, making the score 73-50. This gave Golden State a lead of 23 to enter halftime.
Golden State continued their hot scoring streak to start the second half with a quick score from Thompson to extend their lead to 25. The Clippers made back to back threes on their next two possessions to cut the lead down to 21. Golden State proved too much for the Clippers at the moment though and quickly re-extended their lead by 27. With 8:
46 left in the quarter, a three-point shot from Green put the Warriors up by 28.
After two more scoring possessions for Golden State, they were up by 30 following a three-point jumper from Quinn Cook. After a delay of game violation on the Clippers, the Warriors were up by 31. The Clippers responded to this with five straight scoring possessions to cut the Warrior’s lead down to 22 and made the score 96-74.
Following three more scoring possessions for the Clippers, including a dunk from Green, the 31 point lead had been cut down to 19 points making the score 99-80 with a little over four minutes left in the quarter. Golden State would try to re-extend their lead, but the Clippers kept coming back with scoring possessions of their own. By the end of the quarter, Golden State’s lead would be cut down to just 14 after a layup from Wilson Chandler with just .1 seconds left before the fourth.
Los Angeles started the fourth with two scoring possessions, including a three-point shot from Shamet, to put the Clippers back within 10. Shaun Livingston tried to help re-gain the Warriors lead with a two-point shot with 11:13 left.
This started a short scoring run for the Warriors that helped them get back a lead of 16. Danilo Gallinari made four shots in under a minute to help the Clippers get back within 8. This made the score 120-112 with 6:26 left to play.
After a jump shot and foul shot from Lou Williams, the Clippers had turned a 31 point deficit into a three-point deficit. Golden State tried to re-extend their lead and got back out to a six-point lead, but the Clippers were ready to come back. With 1:33 left in the game, the Clippers were only down by two and after a Williams two-point shot the game was tied 128-128.
Curry made a quick three-point jumper, just twelve seconds after the last Clippers score to put the Warriors back up by three. It was all Los Angeles from then on out though, and they rounded out their 31-point comeback 135-131.