It was all over. The Los Angeles Clippers were down by 24 points with eight minutes to go in the fourth – a fitting way to wrap up a game in which they had been dominated from start to finish.
Most people had either flipped to a different channel or gone to sleep, and understandably so.
But then Reggie Evans hit a seemingly inconsequential basket. And then Nick Young hit some jumpers, which suddenly made the game a bit more interesting. Next thing you know, the Clippers had just gone on a monster run all the while holding the Grizzlies to a mere three points. At home.
When it was all said and done on Sunday night, Los Angeles’ other team wrapped up one of the most stunning comebacks in NBA history with a 99-98 victory over a Memphis bunch that looked like it might sweep the series just 30 minutes earlier.
A lot of Clippers players deserve credit for that win, but none moreso than Evans and Young. Both players are generally afterthoughts on a roster laden with the likes of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, but it was those guys above all others who brought their squad back from a seemingly insurmountable deficit.
Young finished the day with 19 points and Evans chipped in a huge 11 boards in the win.
The Grizzlies are a ridiculously talented team, but it’s hard to imagine coming back from that sort of epic collapse at home. Whereas the Clippers will enter Game 2 with all of the confidence in the world, the Grizzlies will come into Game 2 having heard and seen nothing but constant analysis of how badly they broke down mentally and physically when it mattered most.
Regardless of what happens over the next two weeks, this much is certain: a series that looked like it would be horrible for 90 percent of Game 1, may now officially be the most fascinating Western Conference playoff battle around.
Game 2 is scheduled for Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.
(Kudos to CBS Sports for the video)