Basketball

Clippers pull off biggest comeback in NBA play-off history

The Los Angeles Clippers delivered the biggest comeback in NBA play-off history yesterday morning (Singapore time), rallying from a 31-point deficit for a shocking 135-131 win over the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors.

Lou Williams scored 36 points and Montrezl Harrell nailed a couple of clutch late free- throws as the Clippers surprised even themselves to square the first-round play-off series at 1-1.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he told his players at halftime, when they were down by 23 points, to not give up.

"I said 'We are going to win this game.' I was honest with them. I said, 'I don't know how. Just hang in there with each other'," Rivers said.

"This is who we are. We hung in there long enough. We found a way to win the game."

Williams also had 11 assists, going 13-of-22 from the field and eight-of-10 from the free- throw line.

The stretch drive featured the Clippers' consistent mid-range game against the Warriors' inconsistent three-point shooting. But fouls and injuries also worked against the Warriors in game two of the first-round series.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr described it as an epic meltdown.

"Once you lose momentum in a game, it is hard to get it back," said Kerr. "We lost this game in the middle of the third quarter when we stopped playing.

"We got up by 31 and we shut down. We got exactly what we deserved."

The Clippers topped the Los Angeles Lakers' rally from a 29-point deficit to beat the Seattle Supersonics in 1989.

Elsewhere, Ben Simmons heard cheers instead of jeers, as the Philadelphia 76ers set a franchise record with 51 points in the third quarter en route to a 145-123 play-off win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Australia's Simmons, who had criticised the Philadelphia fans' booing in game one of the series, delivered a triple-double of 18 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. - AFP

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