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Clippers erase big deficit, even series

by The Associated Press | April 17, 2019 at 2:08 a.m.
Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams (23) celebrates with Patrick Beverley during the second half of Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif., Monday, April 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Lou Williams led the Los Angeles Clippers to the largest postseason comeback in NBA history.

Landry Shamet hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 16.5 seconds left, Stephen Curry couldn't answer on the other end, and the Clippers somehow rallied from 31 points down on the road to stun the Golden State Warriors 135-131 on Monday night and even their first-round playoff series at one game apiece.

The comeback topped a 29-point rally by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1989 Western Conference semifinals over Seattle. The Clippers confirmed it's the best comeback ever.

"That's a record we didn't necessarily want to have. We'll take it," Williams said. "You're competitive and you get lost in the game. Once you cut the lead to 12, you cut the lead to 10, then you realize you've got a game going. I'm one of those guys who can get hot."

Curry scored 29 points and put the Warriors up 131-128 with 58 seconds left before Shamet's dagger on a night the two-time defending NBA champions lost DeMarcus Cousins to a leg injury in the first quarter.

"We changed a couple things offensively and defensively in the third on the fly. It worked out for us. But I thought it was our spirit more than anything," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. "Just every single guy. I loved the end of the game."

Williams tied the game on a jumper with 1:10 to play then Curry immediately answered. Williams scored again at 46 seconds and finished with 36 points and made 8 of 10 free throws in as the teams combined for 64 fouls and 76 free throws attempted.

"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. "We got exactly what we deserved. The Clippers were great. They executed, they were hungry, they stayed connected. They were together."

Cousins injured his left quadriceps muscle in the first quarter and was done for the game, but Golden State's depth shined and the Warriors built a 23-point halftime lead they pushed to a 31-point advantage before failing to hold off Los Angeles late.

Williams' jumper and three-point play with 5:34 left pulled the Clippers within 120-117 then he rebounded his own miss and scored the putback at the 5:05 mark and cut it to 121-119.

"The wheels fell off," Curry said.

Cousins has a torn left quadriceps muscle that will sideline the Golden State center indefinitely. An MRI exam Tuesday morning on Cousins' left leg revealed the tear. The two-time defending NBA champion Warriors said Cousins will begin rehabilitation immediately and updates will be "provided as appropriate."

Cousins hobbled to the locker room at the 8:09 mark of the first quarter. At the 81/2-minute mark Cousins stole the ball from Patrick Beverley (Arkansas Razorbacks) in the back court and tried to retrieve the loose ball when went down in front of the Golden State bench and grabbed at his left quad.

Kevon Looney picked up the bulk of the extra minutes in Cousins' absence and scored a career-high 19 points making all six of his shots but the Warriors had their seven-game postseason winning streak snapped that dated to last year's run to a repeat championship. Durant had 21 points, five rebounds and five assists, Klay Thompson scored 17 points and Draymond Green 14 with 9 assists.

Curry followed up a 38-point performance in Game 1 that gave him the most threes in postseason history with another nice showing but Golden State hurt itself with too many miscues.

The Warriors committed 21 turnovers in Game 1, then 22 more Monday -- 9 by Durant.

"We let our guard down. We weren't the aggressors anymore. We didn't deserve to win that game," Thompson said.

LA CLIPPERS (135)

Gilgeous-Alexander 2-5 0-0 4, Gallinari 8-17 5-6 24, Zubac 1-2 0-0 2, Beverley 3-8 2-2 10, Shamet 4-9 0-0 12, J.Green 5-6 1-2 13, Harrell 9-9 7-9 25, Chandler 1-3 0-0 2, Thornwell 0-0 0-0 0, Temple 2-4 2-2 7, Williams 13-22 8-10 36. Totals 48-85 25-31 135.

GOLDEN STATE (131)

Durant 5-8 11-12 21, D.Green 5-9 3-4 14, Cousins 0-1 2-2 2, Curry 8-18 8-8 29, Thompson 6-11 4-4 17, McKinnie 0-0 0-0 0, Bell 0-0 0-0 0, Looney 6-6 7-8 19, Jerebko 0-1 0-0 0, Bogut 1-2 1-2 3, Livingston 3-6 0-1 6, Cook 4-7 0-0 11, Iguodala 2-6 4-4 9. Totals 40-75 40-45 131.

LA Clippers 25 25 44 41 -- 135

Golden State 33 40 35 23 -- 131

3-Point Goals--LA Clippers 14-31 (Shamet 4-9, Gallinari 3-6, J.Green 2-3, Williams 2-4, Beverley 2-5, Temple 1-2, Chandler 0-2), Golden State 11-28 (Curry 5-11, Cook 3-3, D.Green 1-3, Thompson 1-4, Iguodala 1-5, Durant 0-1, Jerebko 0-1). Fouled Out--Durant, J.Green, Beverley. Rebounds--LA Clippers 34 (Harrell 10), Golden State 38 (Bogut 9). Assists--LA Clippers 34 (Williams 11), Golden State 31 (D.Green 9). Total Fouls--LA Clippers 33, Golden State 31. Attendance--19,596 (19,596).

Sports on 04/17/2019

Print Headline: Clippers erase big deficit, even series

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