Clippers stun Warriors with biggest comeback in playoff history

Kevin Durant talks to head coach Steve Kerr. (Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 16 April 2019
0

Clippers stun Warriors with biggest comeback in playoff history

  • Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he told his players at halftime, when they were down by 23 points, to not give up.

LOS ANGELES : The Los Angeles Clippers delivered the biggest comeback in NBA playoff history Monday, rallying from a 31-point deficit for a shocking 135-131 win over the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors.

Lou Williams scored 36 points and Montrezl Harrell nailed a couple of clutch late free throws as the Clippers surprised even themselves to square the first round playoff series at 1-1.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he told his players at halftime, when they were down by 23 points, to not give up.

“I said ‘We are going to win this game.’ I was honest with them. I said, ‘I don’t know how. Just hang in there with each other,”’ Rivers said.

“This is who we are. We hung in there long enough. We found a way to win the game.”

Williams also had 11 assists, going 13-of-22 from the field and eight-of-10 from the free throw line.

Game 3 is Thursday in Los Angeles.

The stretch drive featured the Clippers’ consistent mid-range game against the Warriors’ inconsistent three-point shooting. But fouls and injuries also worked against the Warriors in Game 2 of the first round series.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr described it as an epic meltdown.

“Once you lose momentum in a game, it is hard to get it back,” said Kerr. “We lost this game in the middle of the third quarter when we stopped playing.

“We got up by 31 and we shut down. We got exactly what we deserved.”

The Clippers topped the Los Angeles Lakers’ rally from a 29-point deficit to beat the Seattle Supersonics in 1989.

The Clippers also came back from being 27 points down in a playoff win over the Memphis Grizzlies in 2012.

“We changed a couple things offensively and defensively on the fly in the third,” Rivers said. “And it worked out for us.”

The Warriors got more bad news after the game when they learned center DeMarcus Cousins suffered a serious injury. Cousins injured his left quad in the first quarter and is expected to have an MRI scan done on it on Tuesday.

“It is a significant quad injury,” said Kerr without going into detail. “We will get an MRI done tomorrow. He is going to be out a while. It is significant.”

Williams drained a key jump shot over Klay Thompson with 46 seconds remaining after Curry had put the Warriors ahead 131-128 on a three-pointer 12 seconds earlier.

After Klay Thompson missed a shot from beyond the arc, Clippers Landry Shamet hit a three pointer with 16 seconds left for the game winner. Harrell sank two free throws with five seconds left to cap the scoring.

Elsewhere, Ben Simmons heard cheers instead of jeers Monday as the Philadelphia 76ers set a franchise record with 51 points in the third quarter en route to a 145-123 playoff win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Australia’s Simmons, who had criticized the Philadelphia fans’ booing in game one of the series, delivered a triple-double of 18 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

He joined Wilt Chamberlain and Charles Barkley as the only Sixers to get multiple triple-doubles in the postseason, and this time he left to a standing ovation from the home fans.

Philadelphia grabbed command of the contest with a 51-point third quarter, a team record for most points in a quarter.

The Sixers also set a club record for most points in a playoff game, squaring their best-of-seven opening round series 1-1. Game 3 is on Thursday in New York.

Ailing Joel Embiid finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead Philadelphia, who shot 56 percent from the field. Embiid was a game-time decision due to a sore left knee.

“Everybody’s got to bring it,” Embiid said. “We need everybody.”

Tobias Harris added 19 points, JJ Redick scored 17, reserve center Boban Marjanovic had 16 and Mike Scott scored 15 for Philadelphia.

Spencer Dinwiddie scored 19 and D’Angelo Russell added 16 for the Nets, who set a team record for points allowed in a postseason game.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson got 15, while Caris LeVert and Shabazz Napier scored 13 each.


Algeria sink Senegal in fiery final to claim second Africa Cup of Nations

Updated 20 July 2019
0

Algeria sink Senegal in fiery final to claim second Africa Cup of Nations

CAIRO: Baghdad Bounedjah’s early goal propelled Algeria to a first Africa Cup of Nations title in 29 years after a fiery 1-0 victory over Sadio Mane’s Senegal in Friday’s final in Cairo.
Bounedjah gave Algeria a dream start in the second minute when his deflected shot looped over Senegal goalkeeper Alfred Gomis, and it proved enough for the 1990 champions to lift the trophy on foreign soil for the first time.
For Senegal, who lost to Algeria by the same scoreline in the group stage, the long wait for a first continental crown goes on as coach Aliou Cisse, the captain of the 2002 runners-up, again fell short in the final.
It was the first title-decider to feature two African coaches since 1998, with Algeria boss Djamel Belmadi completing a whirlwind 12 months at the helm after inheriting a side that failed to make it out of the group stage two years ago.
With defensive rock Kalidou Koulibaly suspended for Senegal, Salif Sane deputised at the back and Ismaila Sarr was recalled in attack, while Belmadi kept faith in the same side that overcame Nigeria with an injury-time free-kick from Riyad Mahrez.
Senegal had understandably feared the absence of Napoli star Koulibaly, banned after two bookings in the knockout rounds, although the towering Sane was desperately unlucky as Algeria grabbed the lead with scarcely a minute played.
As Bounedjah took aim from 20 yards his effort smacked off Sane and arced high into the air before dropping underneath the crossbar and beyond a static Gomis, sparking delirious celebrations from both players and fans, some of whom arrived for the final on military planes provided by the Algerian government.
It was the first time Gomis had conceded in almost 400 minutes in Egypt having replaced the injured Edouard Mendy ahead of Senegal’s final group game.
Henri Saivet, who missed a penalty in the 1-0 victory over Tunisia, tried to catch Rais Mbohli out with a free-kick while Mbaye Niang fizzed a powerful drive just over as Senegal gradually showed signs of life before the half ended with both sets of players embroiled in a scuffle as they headed for the tunnel.
Senegal thought they had won a penalty on the hour when Cameroonian referee Alioum Alioum pointed to the spot for a suspected handball by Adlene Guedioura, but the official reversed his decision after a VAR review.
Niang rounded an advancing Mbohli after a searching ball through from Cheikhou Kouyate but the forward sliced wide of the target from a tough angle, with the Algeria ‘keeper then acrobatically tipping over a rasping drive from Youssouf Sabaly.
The Desert Foxes started to look jaded as Senegal brought on fresh legs in Krepin Diatta and Mbaye Diagne, but Youcef Belaili nearly made it 2-0 when his cross brushed the head of a defender and skimmed the roof of the net.
Sarr blazed over on the volley as Algeria clung on to their advantage in the closing minutes, the final whistle greeted by an outpouring of raw emotion as the North Africans emerged worthy winners of the expanded 24-team event.