After eight Game 1 contests sandwiched in between two days, how are you feeling this morning? We're a little bleary-eyed over here, but man, was it worth it.
If you didn't make it through the fourth quarter of the Grizzlies/Clippers game last night, consider this your reminder that you missed something incredible.
Trailing by 24 points with nine minutes remaining, the Clippers reeled off a 26-1 run and escaped Memphis with a victory and place in history among the best playoff comebacks of all time.
It was unbelievable, except it was true. Even more unbelievable? Nick Young got to be the hero, hitting three three-pointers during the run, and Reggie Evans scored a basket to give the Clippers the lead with 58 seconds remaining.
A whole lot of things that didn't make sense happened, and it was glorious.
Here's a rundown of the rest of the things you need to know if you were MIA this weekend:
- The injury to Derrick Rose. Rose went down in the final minutes of the Bulls' victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, and it was announced after the game that he had suffered a torn ACL. This is devastating news for the Bulls, but also for the league as a whole. A 23-year-old reigning MVP blowing out his knee is horrible any way you look at it.
- Sports fans were given an extra blow on Saturday afternoon when Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert also went down in a heap after tearing his ACL. While Shumpert is not a reigning MVP, he has proven to be one of New York's best defenders all season. His absence will hurt it as it moves forward.
- The Heat came out even stronger than I had expected, and I expected them to deal with the Knicks pretty easily. Miami absolutely crushed New York, 100-67. LeBron James finished with 32 points as the Heat shot better than 48 percent from the floor to just 35 percent shooting for the Knicks. Non-highlight highlight of the game? J.R. Smith throwing a between the legs pass while down 30 and Jeff Van Gundy's reaction.
- The Orlando Magic stunned the Pacers by stealing a Game 1 victory in Indiana. They showed they're more than just Dwight Howard's teammates, pulling together to pull out a big win down the stretch. Danny Granger had Saturday's "uh-oh" moment when he traveled with 7.5 seconds remaining. Ryan Anderson and Jason Richardson were awesome.
- In the late game on Saturday, Kevin Durant reminded us all why he will likely finish second in the MVP race this season (LeBron should take the award). In a fantastic game against the Mavericks, the Thunder raced back from seven down with less than three minutes remaining, setting the scene for a Durant game-winner that was pure perfection. The celebration between Durant, his teammates and his mother smiling on the sideline was just as sweet.
- In a Game 1 victory for the Spurs over the Jazz on Sunday afternoon, Tony Parker was awesome (28 points, eight assists), Kawhi Leonard was active and Stephen Jackson was the x-factor. Sidenote: how surreal is it to see Jamaal Tinsley on an NBA court in the playoffs? So happy he's made his way back into the league.
- The Lakers dominated the Nuggets from start to finish in Los Angeles. Andrew Bynum played like a man possessed, recording the first triple-double of his career. He was phenomenal with 10 points, 13 rebounds and 10 blocked shots. He was also a plus-23 on the afternoon, while Kobe Bryant (31 points) was a plus-26. I'm not entirely sure what the Nuggets need to do to avoid a quick sweep at the hand of the Lakers. L.A. was dominant in the first game of the postseason.
Chris Andersen making news from the bench:
- In Atlanta, Rajon Rondo went firecracker and argued with an official, clapped in his face, was given a technical and then tripped, appeared to chest bump the official's back and was tossed. The Celtics went on to lose the game, as Josh Smith was fantastic for the Hawks and everyone was pretty brutal for the Celtics. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett combined to shoot 13-of-38 from the floor. It wasn't great for Boston, and now the Celtics will wait to see if they will have to play without Rondo in Game 2 (they almost certainly will).
- The Los Angeles Clippers. We've already discussed it above, but really…one of the greatest games I've ever witnessed. This game also serves as a reminder not to turn the television off when things look bad in the playoffs. You don't want to be that person who had to find out about the comeback over Twitter because you abandoned the game.
- Also: Chris Paul is phenomenal at basketball. He's also got to drive his opponents crazy. Such a tricky player out there.
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