The Clippers are starting to get used to the fact. For the third time this season, Nicolas Batum’s teammates managed to come back from a deficit of 24 points or more to snatch victory. But the “comeback” of the night was undoubtedly the most impressive of all since the Clippers counted up to 35 points behind to win by a small point in the end after a double exploit by Luke Kennard.
“Why do we keep doing this to ourselves? “asked the hero of the evening with a big smile. “I have no idea but I don’t want to do it anymore. Man, that was crazy”.
The Californians indeed had their dose of strong emotions, and Luke Kennard in particular with this first 3-pointer that came out of nowhere 9 seconds from the end and this 3+1 scored in the face and beard of Bradley Beal, guilty of fouling at the worst moment, a split-second delay that cost the Wizards the victory.
“Of course, I thought they were going to foul, whether it was on the player who took the ball up or as soon as I went off screen. I was able to dribble and take this shot by going to my right. They hit me too late and I was able to put in an extra throw”, he summarized before paying tribute to the rest of the team. “There are actions before that, even before we go back to -6. The guys fought until the very end. It was a collective effort. In the second half, we came back little by little, saying that to each other. We believed in it in the back of our minds because we have already done so this season. But this one was a hot one. We just had to give a little more.”
“Crazy”, the word of the evening
Luke Kennard’s performance is inevitably reminiscent of that of Tracy McGrady against Tony Parker’s Spurs a little over 17 years ago, even if the feat of “T-Mac” will remain unique.
A completely crazy statistic, however, confirms the content of the feat achieved by the Clippers. Over the past twenty years, in 16,240 games, only one team has managed to win at the end of the fourth quarter after being 7 points behind or more with less than 20 seconds to play.
” It’s crazy “, slipped Tyronn Lue. “Because when I looked at the score in the first half, I thought we were down 19 points. And when I looked again, I saw that we were actually trailing by 29 points! I was like, “Oh, shit! It happened so quickly”. We kept reducing the brand afterwards. I know we were at -17 in the fourth quarter, and I think when we got to -10, I said to myself: “OK, we have a real chance”.
Luke Kennard then took care of the final to allow the Clippers to win the day and have a celebration worthy of the name in the locker room.
“It’s probably the craziest game I’ve ever played. January has been amazing. You never know when the game is over. We play until the buzzer. And as was the case tonight, anything can happen.”concluded Amir Coffey, who was able to savor his career-high 29-point outing.