If you decided to go to sleep while Golden State had built a 30-point lead and you were tired, nobody would blame you. But, if you woke up to discover that the Clippers made the largest comeback in NBA Playoffs history and realized you missed it because you had to wake up early the next day, well, you probably regret prioritizing sleep over basketball.
Though DeMarcus Cousins suffered what looked to be a serious quad injury just four minutes in (prayers up for Boogie, who deserves so much better), the team looked like their dominant self. Golden State amassed 73 points in the opening half while holding the Clippers to 50. They were playing well on both ends of the floor. It did not seem that anything could get in their way, and Andrew Bogut was giving them some effective minutes at the center spot along with Kevon Looney, who would finish the game with 19 pts (6-6 FG) in as many minutes of action.
The lead got as high as 31 in the third quarter before it all came crashing down. Steph’s 29 points and KD’s 21 did not make any difference, nor did another poor shooting performance from Klay. The Clippers just could not be stopped. Even so, LAC was only +9 for the quarter, their 44 points only getting them to within 14 at the start of the final frame. But they took it over from there. Danilo Gallinari stepped his game up, while Landry Shamet was able to knock down some key baskets, including the go-ahead shot. How about that from a rookie was traded mid-season, hitting the shot to cap off the greatest comeback in playoff history? You cannot make this stuff up.
And just like in game one, both Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell played like the greatest reserves in NBA history. Each of them dominated, despite Steve Kerr talking before the game about them being the best players on the team and wanting to pay EXTRA attention to them. Both of them logged 33 minutes, and Lou finished the game with a wild 36 points and 11 assists. Montrezl Harrell, on the other hand, had 25 points and 10 rebounds. And to think, these are both guys who are out there coming off the bench. They sit the first 6-8 minutes of the first and third quarters, and then generally play the rest of the half.
This was a game of adjustments, and the Clippers did everything to show us that it is not over until it is over. They have a long way to go if they actually want to win the series, but for the time being, they have stolen home-court advantage away from the 2X defending champs.
Hopefully, the injury to DeMarcus Cousins is not one that keeps him out up to six weeks as some preliminary reports may suggest. It’s up to Kevon Looney and the recently-signed Andrew Bogut to hold it down, now.