After his team set an NBA playoff record by blowing a 31-point lead in a 135-131 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 2 on Monday, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr called out his players for taking their foot off the gas.
"When I say we stopped playing, we stopped playing, like defense, offense, execution-wise we were not as engaged as we needed to be," Kerr said, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "We got exactly what we deserved. The Clippers were great. They executed, they were hungry, they stayed connected. They were together."
Warriors star Klay Thompson echoed similar thoughts after the game.
"We let our guard down," Thompson acknowledged. "We weren't the aggressors anymore. We didn't deserve to win that game."
Golden State held a 23-point lead at halftime before ultimately pushing its lead to 94-63 with 7:31 to play in the third quarter. At that point, the game appeared to be over—but it wasn't.
Los Angeles outscored the two-time defending champs 72-37 over the course of the final 19 minutes and 31 seconds, including a 41-23 edge in the final period. Two-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams had 36 points off the bench for the Clippers.
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The Clippers just came back from 31 points down at Oracle Arena, pulling off the largest comeback in NBA postseason history. They scored 85 points in the 2nd half for the 1st time since they were the Buffalo Braves. Lou Williams had 36, a franchise postseason bench record. https://t.co/ywZC8bAapE
"That's a record we didn't necessarily want to have. We'll take it," Williams said, per the AP. "You're competitive and you get lost in the game. Once you cut the lead to 12, you cut the lead to 10, then you realize you've got a game going. I'm one of those guys who can get hot."
The Clippers kept pace with the Warriors early on but saw their deficit grow little by little. However, they managed to fight back and eventually tie the game with 70 seconds to play. It wasn't until 16.5 seconds remained that they completed the comeback by moving out in front for the first time since it was 12-11 in the opening minutes.
The previous playoff record for a come-from-behind victory was 29 points, set by the Los Angeles Lakers against the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1989 Western Conference semifinals.
Now, instead of having a commanding 2-0 lead, Kerr and Co. have lost home-court advantage, at least for the time being, as the series shifts to Los Angeles. They will have the opportunity to put Game 2 behind them as play resumes with Game 3 on Thursday.