SALT LAKE CITY — The Golden State Warriors were up 94-63. Everything looked good. The team had a 99.9 percent chance to win, according to ESPN.
And then the Los Angeles Clippers went on a 72-37 run to close out the game. Lou Williams scored 36 points and dished out 11 dimes. And Clippers rookie Landry Shamet hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 15.9 seconds left.
Game. Set. Series tied 1-1.
The Clippers pulled off the largest comeback in NBA playoff history with the victory, and they did it against one of the NBA’s most legendary teams — a team with five All-Stars in the starting lineup, according to USA Today.
The loss may seem pretty familiar to Utah Jazz fans. Why? Because the Utah Jazz own one of the largest playoff collapses in NBA history.
Last year, the Utah Jazz found themselves up 3-1 in the series against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference First Round. And in Game 5, the Jazz held a 25-point lead on the Thunder.
All looked good for the Jazz. With 8:34 left in the third quarter, the Jazz held a 25-point lead and “it seemed as though Oklahoma City Thunder players would be planning early vacations,” according to the Deseret News.
But then Utah’s Rudy Gobert went off the court after he picked up his fourth foul in the third quarter.
Russell Westbrook went on a tear, scoring 20 points in the third quarter alone to tie up the game. The Thunder went on 32-7 run in the third to knot the score at 78 apiece at the end of the quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Westbrook scored 13 points, ending up with 45 points to lead the Thunder back into it.
And just like that, the Utah Jazz surrendered one of the largest collapses in NBA playoff history. In fact, according to Sports Keeda, the Thunder’s charge was the fifth-largest comeback in NBA playoff history until Monday night’s win by the Clippers. It's now the sixth-highest in NBA history.1 comment on this story
“Well, I think a 25-, 20-point lead in the NBA is not safe, especially when you’ve got two guys like Russell (Westbrook) and Paul George that can do what they did,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said at the time, according to the Deseret News. “I thought the two 3s that Westbrook hit were big shots, and then Paul George followed up with a 3-point play, and all of a sudden a 25-point lead is a 16-point lead and they found some rhythm.”
Of course, the Utah Jazz went on to win the next game, eliminating the Thunder, according to the Deseret News.