The San Antonio Spurs extended their win streak to 17 games (dating to the regular season) in historic fashion.
In Game 3, San Antonio trailed by 22 points after the first quarter, 33-11. That deficit after the first 12 minutes of play is the largest overcome to win a playoff game in NBA history. The previous record was held by the 2008 Celtics, who trailed by 21 against the Los Angeles Lakers after the first quarter (35-14) in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Like Saturday, that game was also at the Staples Center.
The Spurs trailed by 24 points in the second quarter (40-16), making this the second-largest comeback win this postseason. In the first round, the Clippers erased a 27-point deficit in the third quarter of Game 1 against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Largest 1st Quarter Deficit Overcome
Won Playoff Game, NBA History
The Spurs comeback was highlighted by a 24-0 run in the third quarter. The Spurs made 10-of-15 field goals and did not commit a turnover in turning a 57-45 deficit into a 69-57 lead. The Clippers went 0-for-12 from the field during the Spurs run and were scoreless for eight minutes.
The Clippers jumped out to a 24-point lead less than 15 minutes into the game, shooting better than 65 percent from the field (17-26). But over the final 33:17, the Clippers made just 20 field goals and missed nine of 14 free throws.
Clippers Game 3 vs Spurs
Duncan finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds, the 134th double-double of his postseason career. Duncan now is three shy of Bill Russell for fourth on the all-time list.
The Spurs now are 7-0 this postseason, the first time in franchise history they have won their first seven games to start a postseason.
The lone bright spot for the Clippers was Griffin, who scored 20 of his game-high 28 points in the first half. He’s only the second different player to score at least 20 points in the first half of a playoff game in franchise history. Elton Brand did it twice during the 2006 postseason against the Phoenix Suns.