Five Unbelievable Comeback Wins in the NBA That Proved Nothing is Impossible

Published 02/21/2021, 9:19 PM EST
Feb 12, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the second quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


Last second turnarounds are perhaps the most exciting aspects of the NBA. A team with a double-figure deficit in clutch time has all the possibilities to make a comeback, and there are enough historic examples to inspire them. Most recently, the Pelicans pulled one such stunt against the Celtics.

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As a result of the Pelicans’ surprising 120-115 victory, the C’s now face the threat of losing their hold in the Top 8 of the EC rankings. But including this one, which are the other great comeback victories that the NBA has witnessed?

The Pelicans’ record-setting NBA comeback

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At one point, the Pelicans were trailing 55-79 with six minutes left in the third quarter. By this time, everyone hoped of a blowout victory for the Greens, but the Pelicans turned it from there.

Zion Williamson had six points until that moment and then closed the game with a 28-point double-double. Brandon Ingram also added 16 points to close that gap and reached 33 in total. This was special because it was the greatest comeback in the franchise’s history.

Denver Nuggets vs Utah Jazz (36 Points)

On November 27, 1996, Utah Jazz played the underdogs in Nuggets. However, the Nuggets scared them with a 36-point lead by the beginning of Q3.

However, what appeared like an upset soon turned into one of the most insane comebacks as the Jazz won the game 107-103. Karl Malone played the spoiler in Nuggets’ dreams as he dropped 31 points, 17 rebs, 6 assists, and 2 steals. That year, the Jazz topped the table with a 64-18 record and lost the NBA Finals to Michael Jordan’s Bulls.

Sacramento Kings vs Chicago Bulls (35 Points)

On December 21, 2009, the Kings stunned the Bulls with their resilience. That night, the Kings trailed right from the 4th minute in the game until the 47th minute.

They were 44-79 when Tyreke Evans came from nowhere to stun the duo of young Derrick Rose and Luol Deng. The Kings won the game 102-98 in this memorable away game. 

LA Clippers vs Golden State Warriors (Playoff – 31 Points)

The world knows how robust and unforgiving the Warriors were from 2015 to 2019. So, on April 15, 2019, when the Warriors were leading heavily until the half of Q3, it was extremely obvious for the GSW to win.

However, the Clippers’ bench led by the duo of Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams pulled a great comeback and took the trio of Splash brothers and Kevin Durant by surprise. Later in the series, the Warriors won the first round 4-2

Lakers vs Mavericks: The greatest clutch play in NBA (30 Points)

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That the Lakers were trailing 36-66 at the beginning of Q3 was still alright. But that they were 27 points behind the Mavs in the fourth quarter and still pulled a W was crazy.

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal stunned the duo of Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash in a game where the Black Mamba dropped 21 points in Q4. The Lakers enjoyed a 44-point last quarter to pull a clutch win. 

So which of these comeback victories became your absolute favorite? Help us know in the comments.

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Sourabh Singh

1405 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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