Biggest Comeback in NBA History

The overwhelming nature of an NBA game lies in its unpredictability and not a thing can match the pounding hearts sitting in anticipation on the bleachers, witnessing the biggest comeback in NBA history. This feat has been achieved by the players who refused to accept defeat, even when all odds were stacked against them. Be it the Sacramento Kings in 2019 to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2023, these teams have etched their name in the annals of NBA history. However, there hasn’t been a single team who has successfully made a 3-0 deficit in an NBA game. 

  1. Denver Nuggets Vs. Utah Jazz (1996)

One of the biggest comebacks in NBA history happened on 27 November 1996 when the Utah Jazz faced the Denver Nuggets at home as the Jazz were were down by 36 points late in the second quarter and the fans bored at them during the halftime off court.But, the Jazz didn’t quit and rallied behind their stars Karl Malone and Jeff Hornacek who combined, scored total over 60 points. The Jazz was able to outscore the Nuggets by 71-33 in the second half and won with 107-103 marking one of the iconic moments in NBA.

2. Los Angeles Clippers vs Golden State Warriors (2019)

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The Los Angeles Clippers stunned the world by making one of the biggest comeback in NBA playoff history and made the playoffs for the first time since 2017 against the Warriors in game 2 of the first-round series late in the 3rd quarter and it looked like ‘the ball was in their court’ but the clippers mounted with fierce rally behind their bench players, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell who scored 36 and 25 points respectively. The Clippers defeated the Warriors by 44-18 in the final 14 minutes and took the lead with a clutch three-pointer by Landry Shamet with only 16 seconds left. The Clippers bagged victory by 135-131 and tied the series at 1-1. 

3. Sacramento Kings Vs. Chicago Bulls (2009)

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Sacramento had the biggest playoff since 1996 as they made history by erasing a 35-point deficit to beat the Chicago Bulls 102-98 at the United Center. The Kings were led by Tyreke Evans who scored 23 points including the nine in the final 2:13 of the game . The bulls dominated in the first half leading by 79-44 in the third quarter but the tables turned amidst the contant booing by fans to the Kings They outscored in the last 20 minutes with 58-19.

4. Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers (2008)


The Boston Celtics won the game by 97-91 and took the lead as 3-1 in the game on June 12, 2008 in game 4 of the series. Initially, the Lakers were on the lead and ready to tie the series at 2-2 but the Celtics soon began to chip away at the huge deficit behind their Big Three and outscored the lakers by 57-33 in the second half, taking the first lead of the game with 4:07 left on a 3-pointer by

5. Cleveland vs Indiana Pacers (2017)


On 20 April, 2017, The Cavaliers competed to prove themselves as they played against the Pacers in Game 3 of the first round series at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse and trailed by 26 points 26 points in the second quarter. The team wasn’t doing great and could potentially cut the series deficit to 2-1 but Cavaliers outscored them by 70-40 in the second half winning the game by 119-114 and took a 3-0 lead in the series. They surpassed the record of 21 points by the Baltimore Bullets in 1948 and became the biggest halftime comeback in NBA playoff history. 

6. Dallas Mavericks vs Minnesota Timberwolves (2008)


The Dallas Mavericks played against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Dallas American Airlines Center and trailed by 29 points early in the third quarter. The Mavericks outdid the opposition by 66-30 in the final half and took the lead to eventually win the game by 107-100. 

7. Los Angeles Lakers vs Dallas Mavericks (2002)


The Lakers rallied behind their superstar duo of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal who scored a combined 50 points. The Lakers were spectacular in the game and dominated the Mavericks by 64-32 in the second half, taking the first lead with only 1:29 left on a 3-pointer by Devean George. The Lakers eventually won the game by 105-103 and stunned the Mavericks. It was the biggest comeback in NBA history since 1996 and tied for the third-largest ever. 

Biggest Comeback in NBA History

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