Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Clippers make incredible comeback in Victory against the Warriors

Clippers Stun the World with Huge Comeback

By: Griffin Greenberg

Wow. This game was incredible. We all know what happened. History was made as the Clippers made the largest comeback in playoff history after being down by 31 in the 3rd quarter with a 0.01% chance of winning at the time.

How did this happen? The Warriors took control of the game but were presented with a big scare as DeMarcus Cousins went down with a quad injury. Aside from that, everything looked fine for Golden State as they dominated the first half holding a 23 point lead going into halftime and even shot 16 first quarter free throws to the Clippers' 4 in the first quarter. They even managed to contain Lou Williams and hold him to 7 points at half and he was their biggest threat. Things were still looking fine in the second half when disaster struck.

Golden State took a 31 point lead thanks to a Kevin Durant and-one with 7:31 left to play in the third. JaMychal Green, Lou Will, and Gallo scored a few times but the Warriors still held a 25 point lead with about 5 minutes to go. 3 minutes later the Clippers cut it down to 16 thanks to 4 baskets by Lou and 2 by Green. Then with 5 seconds left in the 3rd, Shai stole the ball from Steph Curry and Wilson Chandler made a last second layup to cut it down to 14 heading into the 4th. Lou had 17 3rd quarter points. So, the Clippers are chipping away at this lead and a comeback is doable. Scoring in the 4th was even to start but suddenly Gallinari drives and gets an and-one with 7 minutes left to put the Clips down only 11. Next Warriors possession down, Bogut misses a hook shot and Clippers come down and Gallo hits a 3. Then, the 2 Clipper possessions after were highlighted by Lou as he assisted Montrezl Harrell for a 2 and then converted an and-one. All of the sudden the Clippers are down 3 and the hype is real. A few minutes later a big problem for the Clippers strikes. In a controversial play, Patrick Beverley "runs" into Draymond while passing the ball to Lou Will and picks up yes, his 6th foul. Draymond is waving him goodbye, and the Clippers energetic guard who was guarding Durant well is done for the game.

 Later, the Clips are down 3 with 2 minutes left and Draymond fouls Lou sending him to the line. Crucial free throws. Lou hits the first and misses the second. Wow. The very next play was designed for Durant to set a screen on Shamet so Curry could run around and get an open shot. But, Durant is late and when he sees Shamet coming, he backs up into him causing him to receive his 6th foul. The very next play we get a great fadeaway by Lou Williams from just beyond the elbow. 128-128 with 1:10 left. 10 seconds later the Clippers are completely lost on defense. Gallo is standing at the block when he should be on Green at the elbow, Montrezl is in the middle of the paint when he should be on Looney behind where Gallo is, and Shai is covering Green when he should be on Iguodala at the 3 point line (even though the Clips have been giving Iggy this shot). Curry swings it to Iggy, makes a V-cut into Shamet, runs around a handoff screen from Iggy and sinks a 3 as Shai is nowhere to be found. Warriors now up by 3 with a minutes left. Next play is just more Lou as he hits Klay with a nice crossover, drives, pump-fakes, and scores. Next defensive play for LA was even worse than the last one as Lou and Shamet collapse on Curry to prevent him from going anywhere leaving Klay wide open for 3 from the top. Klay misses. At this point I've at 2 heart attacks in this game. That shot which could have very well gone in and when Curry hit the 3 to put Golden State us 131-128. 20 seconds left. Lou comes off an SGA screen and have Klay and Curry doubling him so he swings it to Shai who has a wide open 3. Instead of taking it he drives causing the defense to collapse on him and gets a pass off right above the arms of Iggy to Shamet for 3. Shamet gathers, shoots, and...BINGO!!! Clips take their first lead since it was 12-11.

Reactions are Shamet jumping up and down, other Clippers screaming, and Steve Ballmer going crazy (as always)!  But, the Warriors take a timeout, have 15 seconds ton the clock, and are only down by 2. Golden State gets the ball in and swings it to Iggy at the top of the key. He gives it back to Curry who now has Harrell guarding him off of a switch. Curry steps back, fakes, and Harrell goes flying by. With an open shot for Curry he rims it short! The ball is tipped up in the air by Gallo and tipped by Shamet to Harrell who the Warriors have to foul. Warriors fans head for the gates as Montrezl steps up to the line and hits 2 clutch free throws despite being a 64% free throw shooter this year and puts the Clips up 4 with 5 seconds left. Klay puts up a horrible shot and it's over. Clippers complete the comeback. Bev and Trez walk around the court screaming and fired up. At this point, I am running around my house screaming at what an incredible comeback we made. WHAT A GAME. Gallo finished with 24 points, Lou with 36 points and 11 assists, Montrezl Harrell with 25 on 9-9 shooting from the field, and Shamet with 12 on 4 threes. Looney finished with 19, Curry with 29, and KD had 21 points on 8 shots total with 9 turnovers. YES, KEVIN DURANT HAD MORE TURNOVER THAN SHOT ATTEMPTS. History has been made. The Clippers never gave up. At halftime down 23, Doc told the team that they would win. The Clippers have done this many times this year as this reminded Landry Shamet of his first game as a Clippers where they came back down 28 against Boston. Some crazy stats that cannot go unnoticed occurred too. The Clippers scored 72 points in the final 19.5 minutes to the Warriors' 37, Golden State attempted 45 free throws to LA's 31, and LA had 83 bench points. Also, LA became the 3rd team in NBA history to score 85+ points in a half, this is the largest playoff comeback ever (like I said earlier), and no team since 1996 has comeback from a 25 or more point deficit more than once in a season while the Clippers have done it 3 times now.

In simpler terms, amazing performance (in the 2nd half). Doc Rivers was able to keep the squad composed and just play basketball. Pat Beverley celebrated by doing an extra strength workout in the locker room. Need to resign him. But, the Clippers have to remember that it's just 1 game and they can win this series by holding home court and winning later. Beverley comments, "It felt good. I'm going to try to be as humble as possible right now. We'll enjoy tonight, but in reality, it's just one game... We did what we wanted to do. We wanted to come out here & steal 1. It's going to be fun back in L.A." The Clippers had 100-1 odds against Golden State, lowest in 30 years, and had the greatest comeback in playoff history. A truly stunning victory.

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