What the hell happened in L.A. last night?
World Wide Wob covered most of the action for us with an awesome reaction piece, but so much went down that we need to keep talking about it.
The story starts with the Rockets, because they did two things I can’t recall ever seeing in a playoff game before.
There are three playoff comebacks that I’ve watched live that came to my mind as this one unravelled. The Lakers over the Blazers in Game 7 of the 2000 WCF (the Kobe to Shaq ally-oop), Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker’s Celtics erasing a 26-point deficit vs. the Nets in 2002, and my personal favorite, the 2008 champion Celtics coming all the way back to win Game 4 in the Lakers’ building.
This game was in that conversation for the Rockets, maybe even more impressive. What all three comebacks I listed have in common, is that they ended in narrow victories, and star players led the charge. The Rockets went from down 19 late in the third quarter (and 13 entering the fourth), to winning this game 119-107 — and that includes a meaningless Chris Paul 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Rockets freaking blew the Clippers out after it looked like they were going to lose by double-digits themselves! In a game with their season on the line on the road! And even more amazing? They did it all with James Harden on the bench!
Here’s some historical perspective:
There will be a Game 7! Rockets defeat Clippers, 119-107 in stunning finish 4th quarter scoring Rockets 40 Clippers 15— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 15, 2015
50th time is a charm! 1st time in 50 tries that Rockets won a playoff game in which they trailed by 10 or more entering 4th quarter— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 15, 2015
Rockets 3-point shooting 1st 3 quarters 6 of 21 4th quarter 7 of 11— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 15, 2015
This seems a bit surprising Corey Brewer finished a +32 for the Rockets James Harden finished at -21— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 15, 2015
It really was incredible to watch, and as Mike Tirico pointed out on the broadcast, no one even saw it coming. Man, did the Clippers screw themselves hard or what?
This series was over and they just stopped playing basketball. At home in a potential clincher, LAC finished the game getting outscored 49-18 with the opposing team’s MVP candidate on the bench. You can read all this in Rob’s recap, but props to Josh Smith (14 fourth quarter points) and Corey Brewer (15) who just dominated down the stretch, as any and all Clippers were nowhere to be found.
Talk about a collapse. The obvious pick is the Rockets at home in Game 7 with ALL the momentum on their side. But the way the series has gone so far, the Clippers will wind up finding a way to win. I’m not even going to try and pick this game, but it should be a special one to watch.
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