The biggest comebacks in NBA playoffs history

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James Worthy had a major role in a memorable 1989 Lakers comeback, scoring 33 points in Game 4 of the conference semifinals against Seattle.
(Steve Dykes / Los Angeles Times)

In the wake of the Los Angeles Clippers’ epic 135-131 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of their first-round series, here’s a look at some of the biggest comebacks in NBA playoffs history.

Lakers 97, Seattle 95

May 14, 1989 | Conference semifinals, Game 4 | 29 points

L.A. only had 12 points after the first quarter but eventually erased a deficit that grew to 29 points in the first half. James Worthy scored 12 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to help complete a sweep.


Clippers 99, Memphis 98

April 29, 2012 | First round, Game 1 | 27 points

L.A. trailed by as much as 27 points and matched the biggest fourth-quarter comeback in playoff history when, trailing 85-64 after three quarters, they went on a 26-1 run. Nick Young had 19 points off the bench and Chris Paul sank two free throws in the final seconds for the win.

Cleveland 119, Indiana 114


April 20, 2017 | First round, Game 3 | 25 points

The Cavaliers set what at the time was the record for wiping out the biggest halftime deficit, 25 points, 74-49. The Baltimore Bullets had set the record with a 21-point comeback over the Philadelphia 76ers in 1948.

Golden State 113, San Antonio 111

May 14, 2017 | Conference finals, Game 1 | 25 points

The Warriors trailed by 25 points in the second quarter and by halftime were losing 62-42. Stephen Curry, who scored 19 of his 40 points during the third quarter, led an 18-0 run after Kawhi Leonard injured an ankle. Kevin Durant scored 10 consecutive points during the fourth quarter.

Oklahoma City 107, Utah 99

April 25, 2018 | First round, Game 5 | 25 points

Russell Westbrook scored 45 points and Oklahoma City rallied from 25 points down in the second half to fight off elimination and beat Utah 107-99. Westbrook had 15 rebounds, seven assists and dropped 20 points in the third quarter as the Thunder went on a 32-7 run to tie the game at 78 entering the fourth quarter. Paul George added 34 points and eight rebounds.


San Antonio 96, Clippers 86

May 19, 2012 | Conference semifinals, Game 3 | 24 points

Tim Duncan lead the Spurs on a 24-0 run during the third quarter to wipe out what had been a 24-point deficit. L.A. opened the game by making 64% of their shots, went on a 20-2 run and led 33-11 at one point.

Lakers 100, Sacramento 99

May 26, 2002 | Conference finals, Game 4 | 24 points

Robert Horry collected a rebound tipped toward him by Kings center Vlade Divac and sank a game-winning three-pointer. The Kings led by as many as 24 points.

Boston 97, Lakers 91

June 12, 2008 | NBA Finals, Game 4 | 24 points


The Celtics fell behind by 24 points in the first half but outscored L.A. by 16 points, 31-15, in the third quarter to cut their deficit to two. Ray Allen’s acrobatic layup in the last 20 seconds sealed the comeback.

Boston 94, New Jersey 90

May 25, 2002 | Conference finals, Game 3 | 21 points

The Celtics outscored the Nets 41-16 in the fourth quarter to erase a 21-point deficit, a record at the time. Paul Pierce scored 19 points in the fourth quarter against the Nets, who led by as many as 26 points

Associated Press contributed to this report.