Clippers come from 31 down in second half to get historic comeback win, even series


At the 7:31 mark of the third quarter, Kevin Durant scored an and-1 on a driving dunk off an assist from Klay Thompson. After KD hit the free throw, it was 94-63. The game was over…

Except nobody told the Clippers.

Led by a brilliant game from Lou Williams, the Clippers outscored the Warriors 72-37 and completed the greatest comeback in NBA playoff history, eventually taking the lead on a Landry Shammet three in the final minute and going on to get a 135-131 win.

The first-round series is now tied 1-1 headed to Los Angeles for Game 3 Thursday.

If the Warriors were going to lose a game (or more) in this series, it was going to be because they got bored, didn’t respect the game or the Clippers, and it would come back to bite them because the Clippers do not quit. That is what happened in the final 19.5 minutes.

“When I say we stopped playing, we stopped playing, like defense, offense, execution-wise we were not as engaged as we needed to be,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “We got exactly what we deserved. The Clippers were great. They executed, they were hungry, they stayed connected. They were together.”

Lou Williams, the reigning and likely to repeat Sixth Man of the Year, was nothing short of brilliant. Hitting tough shot after tough shot going to his left, plus this was the best passing game I can remember seeing him have.

The Warriors have more bad news out of this game: DeMarcus Cousins injured his quadricep chasing down a loose ball, went straight to the locker room and did not return. Doctors fear a torn quad that would end his playoffs (and impact his free agency next summer)

It was a rough night for the Warriors. They will still win the series, but this was the first reminder (likely of several) that they just cannot coast into wins.

In addition to Williams big night, Montrezl Harrell had another big game in this series with 25, while Danilo Gallinari had 24.

Stephen Curry had 29 and Kevin Durant 21 for the Warriors.

Knicks rookie R.J. Barrett out at least a week with right ankle sprain

R.J. Barrett
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NEW YORK (AP) New York Knicks rookie R.J. Barrett will miss at least a week with a sprained right ankle.

Barrett was hurt during the Knicks’ loss to Phoenix on Thursday. On Friday, he had X-rays, which were negative.

The Knicks announced afterward that Barrett will be re-evaluated in a week.

The No. 3 pick in the draft from Duke is averaging 14.1 points.

Heat: Justise Winslow out at least two more weeks

Justise Winslow
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MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Heat say Justise Winslow will miss at least two more weeks while recovering from a back injury.

Winslow has played only once since Dec. 4 and is slated to be out for at least the remainder of January. The team originally called Winslow’s injury a back strain, then updated the diagnosis to a bone bruise.

Winslow played off the bench in Miami’s win at Indiana on Jan. 8. The team said the back problems reappeared after that game. He has not played since.

Friday’s game in Oklahoma City is Miami’s 41st of the season and the 30th that Winslow has missed. He’s averaging 11.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists for the Heat this season.

Kevin Huerter’s 3-pointer gives Hawks first win in San Antonio in his lifetime (video)

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The Hawks beat the Spurs in San Antonio on Feb. 15, 1997.

The next year, Kevin Huerter was born.

Atlanta’s next win in San Antonio came Friday, when Huerter hit the game-winning 3-pointer in a 121-120 win.

The Hawks’ losing streak in San Antonio spanned Tim Duncan’s entire lengthy career – and continued a few seasons beyond that. The only reprieve came during the lockout-shortened 1999 season, when Atlanta didn’t visit San Antonio. So, the skid lasted 21 games.

Buddy Hield on Kings getting booed at home: ‘That’s how Sacramento fans are’

Kings guard Buddy Hield
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Buddy Hield is quite familiar with frustration amid the Kings’ disappointing season.

Sacramento fans showed theirs Wednesday, booing the Kings during their home loss to the Mavericks.

Buddy Hield, via James Ham of NBC Sports California:

“Everybody is frustrated, it’s not even them, we’re trying to figure it out too,” Buddy Hield said following the loss. “But it’s the home team and we get booed…we don’t agree with it, but they’re going to voice their opinion.

“I understand their frustration, but like I said, I’m going to keep shooting the ball,” Hield continued. “When I make a three they like me, when I don’t, they hate you. That’s how Sacramento fans are, man, so you’ve got to embrace it.”

Hield seemingly isn’t looking to pick a fight with fans. He made a point to empathize with their frustration.

But I don’t think he’s being fair, either.

Kings fans are far more loyal than swinging between love and hate depending whether or not a shot falls. They’re fed up after 13 – going on 14 – straight seasons missing the playoffs. This year has been particularly discouraging, as Sacramento has backtracked from fun and fast to sad and slow. Losing to Luka Doncica particular grievance – only adds to the irritation.

The Kings’ problems have spanned multiple owners, executives, coaches and players. So, booing this group isn’t totally fair, either. But this is who’s in front of the fans.

If this Sacramento team plays hard and together, fans will embrace it – and stick with it through thinner times.