Clippers' Doc Rivers after Game 6 win vs. Spurs: 'This team is tough'

Clippers' Doc Rivers after Game 6 win vs. Spurs: 'This team is tough'
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers talks to his players as they face off against the Spurs during Game 6 of their first-round playoff series on April 30 in San Antonio. (Darren Abate / Associated Press)

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers has been saying it all along -- don't count out the Clippers.

With their season on the line, trailing the San Antonio Spurs three games to two in their best-of-seven playoff series, the Clippers overcame the odds and beat the defending champion in San Antonio, 102-96, to force a Game 7 at Staples Center on Saturday.

"I have been saying it all year, this team is tough," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said Thursday night. "They are mentally tough."

Just how much were the odds stacked against the Clippers?

Before Thursday, Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich was 12-1 when his team had a 3-2 lead in a series. Rivers, on the other hand, was 0-3 in that situation.

Entering Saturday's game, the numbers will actually be in the Clippers favor. Or, one number at least -- the home team wins NBA Game 7s nearly 80% of the time.

The Clippers, a three-seed against the sixth-seeded Spurs, have to like that statistic, but Jamal Crawford said there's something a bit tragic about two teams of this caliber facing off so early in the playoffs.

"It's a shame that one of these two great teams' seasons will end on Saturday," Crawford said. "Either way, it's been an unbelievable series, one of the best first round series I can remember."

Blake Griffin said he understands what his team will be up against Saturday, playing a Spurs team that has won five NBA championships, including one last year. The Clippers have never made it past the second round of the playoffs.

"They have been in this situation," Griffin said. "They went into a Game 7 with Dallas last year in the first round and they ended winning the whole thing. They have been in this situation and they know how not to panic."

Thursday's win came down to the final minute. With 14.9 seconds left, Marco Belinelli made a three-pointer to bring the Spurs within two points of the Clippers, 98-96.