Brooklyn Nets @ Phoenix Suns 02/16/2021
James Harden led the Nets’ 24-point comeback with 38 points and 11 assists despite having to do without teammates Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
The Suns built a 75-54 lead at halftime but went scoreless in the game’s last two minutes. Joe Harris added 22 points, while the Nets’ bench provided 40 critical points.
Memphis Grizzlies @ Golden State Warriors 01/07/2017
Steph Curry scored a whopping 40 points, but the Warriors gave up a 24-point lead to the Grizzlies, losing 128-119. Memphis outscored Golden State 32-13 in the fourth quarter.
Kevin Durant, who had recently joined the Warriors at the time, finished with 27 points but missed five free throws. Even though Golden State went on to win back-to-back titles, this was the first game where the team showed poor body language, ending their experiment with Durant.
Detroit Pistons @ Chicago Bulls 10/30/2010
“MVP” chants swirled around the arena for Derrick Rose during the Bulls’ 101-91 win over the Pistons. Rose tied his career-high with 39 points, shooting 48% from the field.
The Pistons gave up a 21-point third-quarter lead to the Bulls and were outscored 34-9 fourth quarter. The Bulls became the top-seed team in the East, and Rose became the team’s first MVP since Michael Jordan in 1998.
Toronto Raptors @ Dallas Mavericks 02/25/2006
The Mavericks extended their home winning streak to 14 games after coming back from a 25-point deficit to defeat the Raptors 115-113 in overtime. Dirk Nowitzki hit the game-winner with his vintage fadeaway jumper.
Nowitzki became the Mavericks’ first MVP, leading the Mavs all the way to the 2006 NBA Finals, though they were unable to defeat the Miami Heat for the title.
Los Angeles Lakers @ New Orleans Hornets 03/06/2013
Remember how basketball is a game of runs? Well, Kobe Bryant and the lakers went on a 20-0 run in this epic game’s last six minutes.
Bryant ended the night with a whopping 42 points, scoring 13 of the Lakers’ 20 points during the run, and capping off the 25-point comeback 108-102.
Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics 04/14/2016
The Celtics invited players from previous championship teams, and they were treated to the largest comeback of the 2016 NBA season. Isaiah Thomas led all scorers with 21 points in the Celtics’ 98-88 victory.
The 26-point comeback included a 25-5 third-quarter run by Boston, followed by a 35-point fourth quarter.
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Atlanta Hawks 04/09/2017
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving will go down in history as one of the best duos in NBA history. However, the stalwart Hawks managed to fight off 42 points from Irving and a 30-point triple-double from James to cap off a 126-125 victory.
The Hawks came back from 26 points in front of a sold-out Atlanta crowd. The crowd may have been there to see the defending champs the Cavaliers, but instead, they were treated to a 44-15 fourth quarter by the Hawks.
Phoenix Suns @ Dallas Mavericks 03/02/1997
The Mavericks outscored the Suns for three straight quarters, entering the fourth with an 85-67 lead. The Suns didn’t go down easy, coming back from a 26-point deficit thanks to an outrageous 30-12 fourth quarter.
It took going to overtime for the Suns to seal the comeback, 109-108. Jason Kidd led the Suns with 23 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Golden State Warriors 04/20/1999
The 1999 NBA lockout is a blur, but it featured one of the largest comebacks in the history of the NBA. In the first quarter, the Lakers were outscored 32-10. In the fourth quarter, the Lakers outscored the Warriors 37-17.
By the end of the game, the Lakers walked away with a 106-102 victory, cementing a 26-point comeback. Kobe Bryant led the team with 27 points, while Shaquille O’Neal was held to 10 points.
Miami Heat @ Cleveland Cavaliers 03/21/2013
The Heat were on a 23-game win streak when they met Cleveland for a showdown. LeBron James was making another trip back to play against his former team after leaving for the Heat, and the Cavs almost spoiled James’ homecoming and 20+ game win streak. James didn’t allow either, leading the Heat to a 98-95 victory, capping the 27-point comeback.
James called it one of the best comebacks he has been a part of, scoring 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals during the Heats’ 30-18 fourth quarter.
Los Angeles Clippers @ Boston Celtics 02/10/2019
“BEAT LA” chants were birthed in the Boston Garden, and the Clippers heard those same chants during their 123-112 victory.
However, the chants from the homeside supporters turned to boos as the Clippers returned from a 28-point deficit. Montrez Harrell led the Clippers in scoring.
Golden State Warriors @ Milwaukee Bucks 11/27/1975
The Warriors defeated the Bucks 106-105, erasing a 31-point first-half deficit with a group of runs in the fourth quarter.
It was the largest comeback in NBA history at the time, a game that became cemented in the collective memory.
Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers 05/24/2002
This is the only game on our list where the team who made a comeback didn’t win and still lost big.
The Kings knocked off the Lakers in game three of the Western Conference Finals 103-90, but most people remember the Lakers’ 14-0 run in just 50 seconds.
Milwaukee Bucks @ Atlanta Hawks 11/25/1977
The Bucks of the late ’70s were fans of historical comebacks. This time they were on the better side of a 30-point comeback, defeating the Hawks 117-115.
The second half of this game featured 40-point quarters from both teams. The Bucks won the fourth quarter, outscoring the Hawks 41-11 after being outscored 40-21 in the third quarter.
Phoenix Suns @ Boston Celtics 12/05/2003
Before becoming a basketball legend in China, Stephon Marbury was one of the best players in the NBA, as proven by his 34-point performance in the Suns’ 29-point comeback over the Celtics.
Marbury scored 21 points in the second half and knocked down a couple of three-pointers in the final stretch.
Dallas Mavericks @ Toronto Raptors 12/22/2019
The Raptors’ 30-point comeback to win 110-107 was the largest since 2010. Kyle Lowry led all scorers with 32 points, scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter, one less than the Mavs’ entire team.
Raptors’ head coach Nick Nurse described it as something he has “never seen before.”
Sacramento Kings @ Portland Trail Blazers 04/11/2019
The Blazers only needed six players to defeat the Kings 136-131, coming back from being down as much as 30 points.
All five starters for the Blazers played 40+ minutes, while three players never came out of the game. Anfernee Simons led the Blazers in scoring with 37 points, knocking down seven three-pointers in the process.
Golden State Warriors @ New Orleans Pelicans 04/24/2015
The first playoff matchup on our list. Steph Curry led the Warriors in their 123-119 overtime victory, on their way to completing the first-round sweep.
Curry hit a late clutch three-pointer that sent the game into overtime, completing a 20-point fourth-quarter comeback.
Dallas Mavericks @ Los Angeles Lakers 12/06/2002
It was the greatest regular season comeback in Lakers franchise history. Kobe Bryant scored 21 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, leading the Lakers’ 27-point comeback.
The Lakers were down 27 points to start the fourth quarter and were even booed in the Staples Center at halftime. The 44-15 quarter for the Lakers cemented their 105-103 victory.
San Antonio Spurs @ Boston Celtics 04/30/2021
With only 2,000 fans in attendance, the Celtics came back from 32 points to defeat the Spurs 143-140 in overtime.
Jayson Tatum scored a career-high 60-points with 32 points entering the fourth quarter and overtime.
Sacramento Kings @ Chicago Bulls 12/22/2009
The Kings’ 35-point comeback over the Bulls was the biggest comeback at the time since 1996. The Bulls led 79-44 in the third quarter, and the Kings cut it to 69-88 to start the fourth quarter.
Tyreke Evans led the Kings in scoring with 23 points and had a personal 9-3 run down the stretch to seal the win for the Kings.
Los Angeles Clippers @ Washington Wizards 01/25/2022
The Wizards walked into the second half with a 30-point lead over the Clippers, leading by as much as 35 at one point. The second half was much different.
The Clippers went on to outscore the Wizards 80-49 in the second half to claim a 116-115 victory. Luke Kennard scored seven points in the last nine seconds to give the Clippers their first lead of the second half.
Baltimore Bullets @ Philadelphia Warriors 04/13/1948
The Bullets came back from 21 points down to defeat the Warriors 66-63 in game three of the BAA Finals (Basketball Association of America, it was rebranded to the NBA in 1949).
It would remain in the record books as the largest comeback in the Finals until 2008.
Boston Celtics @ Cleveland Cavaliers 05/21/2017
Avery Bradley saved the Celtics from being swept and completed the 21-point second-half comeback with a last-second three-pointer.
The Celtics’ 111-108 win gave them an extra game in the Eastern Conference Finals, playing without MVP candidate at the time, Isaiah Thomas.
Los Angeles Clippers @ Dallas Mavericks 08/23/2020
Our first game from the NBA Bubble saga. Luka Dončić led the Mavs to a 135-133 victory over the Clippers with a legendary triple-double performance capped off by a buzzer-beater stepback three-pointer.
The Mavs were down by as much as 21 points in the second quarter. Dončić finished with 43 points, 17 rebounds, 13 assists, and two steals.
Los Angeles Clippers @ Oklahoma City Thunder 05/12/2014
The Clippers came back from 22 points down thanks to a late rally led by Darren Collison.
The 101-99 victory by the Clippers tied the series at two apiece, but the Thunder would go on to win the next two games on their way to the Western Conference Finals.
San Antonio Spurs @ Los Angeles Clippers 05/14/2012
The Spurs were down by as much as 24 points before going on a 24-0 run in the third quarter, to take a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Semifinals.
The 96-86 victory was led by Tony Parker’s 23 points and ten assists. The Spurs would sweep the Clippers, advancing to the Western Conference Finals.
Miami Heat @ Utah Jazz 11/10/2010
The big three of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh hadn’t even played ten games yet, but the hype to beat them was already there.
Paul Millsap dropped 46 points on the Heat, 11 points coming in the final 28 seconds of regulation. Millsap’s surge erased the 22-point deficit, claiming an overtime 114-116 win.
Utah Jazz @ Oklahoma City Thunder 04/26/2018
The Thunder faced elimination when they came back from down 25 points in the second half to defeat the Jazz 107-99.
Russell Westbrook scored 33 of his 45 points in the second half, giving another MVP performance. The Jazz still took the series 4-2, winning the next game.
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Indiana Pacers 04/20/2017
Some of LeBron James’s most memorable performances came against the Pacers. James finished with 41 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists, and two blocks in the Cavs’ 119-114 victory.
The 26-point comeback is the largest halftime comeback since the Bullets in 1948.
Atlanta Hawks @ Philadelphia 76ers 06/16/2021
The Hawks started the second half down 22 and the fourth quarter down 18. However, Trae Young and the rest of the Hawks didn’t say die and rallied from 26-points down to defeat the Sixers 109-106.
The victory was proved worthwhile as the Hawks won the series in game seven, heading to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Memphis Grizzlies @ Minnesota Timberwolves 04/21/2022
The Grizzlies came back from being down 26 points in Minnesota, mainly thanks to Desmond Bane’s seven three-pointers.
The 104-95 victory was a part of one of the best series of the 2022 playoffs. Ja Morant didn’t have a great game, but he averaged 30 for the entire series.
Los Angeles Clippers @ Memphis Grizzlies 04/30/2012
The Clippers opened the first round of the 2012 Western Conference playoffs with a 27-point comeback over the Grizzlies, taking game one 99-98 in overtime.
It only took the Clippers nine minutes to clip the Grizzlies’ 24-point lead in the second half.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Seattle Supersonics 05/15/1989
The Lakers trailed 43-14 at one point in the second quarter, but chopped the lead down to 11 by halftime thanks to a 22-6 run in the last eight minutes of the half.
In the second half, the Lakers’ hall of fame lineup began clicking, completing the sweep and advancing to the Western Conference Finals. James Worthy led the Lakers in scoring in the 99-97 road victory.
Boston Celtics @ New Jersey Nets 05/26/2002
The Celtics were the first team in NBA history to come back from 26 points down in the playoffs.
The Celtics trailed by 21 to begin the fourth quarter and went on to outscore the Nets 41-16 to seal a 94-90 victory. Paul Pierce led all scorers with 28 points.
Chicago Bulls @ Utah Jazz 02/04/1998
Before the Jazz and Bulls met in the Finals for Jordan’s last dance, the Jazz had one of the best comebacks in a half. The Bulls led for 35 minutes of the game and built a 41-19 lead in the first half.
The Jazz surged in the second half, outscoring the Bulls 56-37 and fighting off Jordan’s 40-point performance with a 101-93 victory.
San Antonio Spurs @ Houston Rockets 12/09/2004
This comeback is memorable because of the individual performance by Tracy McGrady. With the Rockets trailing by eight points, McGrady scored 13 points in 35 seconds on a run that became historic.
It remains as of the most memorable moments in NBA history, not just for the comeback value. McGrady’s last shot was a game-winning three-pointer sealing the Rockets’ 81-80 victory.
Dallas Mavericks @ Portland Trail Blazers 04/24/2011
The Blazers were looking at a 67-44 third-quarter deficit, down 2-1 in the series to the Mavericks.
Brandon Roy, one of the most underrated players in the history of the NBA, led the 23-point comeback with 18 of 24 points in the fourth quarter. The 84-82 victory was stamped after Roy gave the Blazers the game’s final lead.
Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks 05/07/1995
Another individual performance that lives rent-free in our minds. Reggie Millier’s famous (infamous for Knicks’ fans) eight points in nine seconds included two free throws, a steal, and two three-pointers.
Spike Lee and the rest of Madison Garden were left stunned while Miller hit the choke gesture. The Pacers won 107-105.
Utah Jazz @ Portland Trail Blazers 02/22/2010
With seven minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Jazz saw themselves down by a disheartening 25 points.
The Jazz roared during the final 19 minutes of the game, outscoring the Blazers 44-19.
Golden State Warriors @ Oklahoma City Thunder 05/29/2016
The Warriors didn’t have to make a huge comeback, only down eight points in the fourth quarter.
But, the 108-101 victory was the turning point for the 73-win Warriors, who eventually became the first team to come back from a 3-1 series deficit.
Boston Celtics @ Los Angeles Lakers 06/13/2008
The Celtics became the first team in NBA Finals history to overcome a 15+ deficit after the first quarter.
The deficit they conquered was 24 points in the second half to defeat the Lakers 97-91 on their quest for a 17th NBA title.
Los Angeles Clippers @ Golden State Warriors 04/15/2019
The Clippers went into Oracle Arena and defeated the defending champs 135-131 with the largest comeback in the history of the NBA.
Lou Williams led the second-half comeback with 36 points and said after the game, “it’s not a record we wanted to have.” Nonetheless, it remains the best playoff comeback performance in NBA history.
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Dallas Mavericks 12/30/2008
It was a great way to end the year for the Mavericks. The Mavs were looking at a 70-41 deficit before claiming their first lead seven minutes into the fourth quarter.
Jason Terry led the charge, scoring 24 of his 29 points in the second half. The Mavericks finished the game with a 107-100 victory, outsourcing the Timberwolves 67-38 in the second half.
Denver Nuggets @ Utah Jazz 04/13/2011
It was 70-36 at halftime, with the Jazz walking into the locker room to boos from the home crowd. Then they woke up.
The Jazz established themselves in the record books with the largest comeback ever in the history of the NBA. The Jazz outscored the Nuggets 71-33 in the second half to complete their 107-103 victory.
Although there are still many unknowns and the plans for 2021 might be subject to change, like they were throughout 2020 due to world health events, it seems that there’s a reason for baseball fans to rejoice. MLB has announced the 2021 season schedule and there are 162 games planned.
Possible Restrictions During 2021 MLB Season
As the MLB season in 2020 was cut short, down to 60 games, many things were learned about how to navigate the games while following restrictions. These restrictions will continue to affect both players and fans in 2021, in terms of abiding by health and safety protocols and restricting how many people will be able to attend. USA Today Sports has already projected records for all 30 teams!
American League Projections
Taking into account the respective teams’ total number of wins and losses, it’s clear which 8 teams from the American League are likely to qualify for the playoffs. When it comes to AL East, with 94 wins to 68 losses, it looks like New York is in a great position to stay on top of this division. They’re likely to be followed by Tampa Bay and Toronto. In the AL Central, we see Chicago and Minnesota as the frontrunners, as well as Houston and Oakland in the West. However, Cleveland and Los Angeles both stand at a score of 82-80, so it remains to be seen who will take the 8th spot. In the American League, Baltimore and Detroit currently hold the lowest scores of 60-102 and 61-101.
National League Projections
When it comes to the MLB National League, once again, the numbers are pretty clear. The east division is headed up by Atlanta with 93-69, followed by New York and Washington. In the central division, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Chicago are holding strong. With 105 wins to 65 losses, Los Angeles stands as the clear frontrunner in the west division and overall. San Diego is also expected to qualify with a score of 95-67. From the National League, the lowest scores are currently held by Colorado 66-96 and Pittsburgh 57-105, making them unlikely to qualify.