NBA regular seasons and playoff series are often best remembered for times when teams and star players refused to accept defeat; overturning seemingly insurmountable odds to defeat opponents who had been on the verge of victory.
Of course, if you can top your stunning comeback off with a buzzer beating three-pointer or a highlight reel dunk then that is even better.
With the NBA playoffs in full swing, and players and franchises alike looking for inspiration before having to admit defeat, here are some of the greatest comebacks ever seen on NBA parquet.
Utah vs. Denver, 1998
We start with this game because it is officially the greatest single game comeback ever seen in the NBA and perhaps in any basketball league or competition.
Slumping so far as to be 36 points down, the Jazz suddenly found their rhythm, coming from behind to claim an impossible win.
Sacramento vs. Chicago, 2009
It is one thing making a comeback against a team full of inexperienced players, but do it against a roster that includes the likes of Derrick Rose and Luol Deng, and people sit up and take note.
That is exactly what the Kings managed in 2009 when they overcame a whopping 35-point deficit to reign supreme over Chicago’s big names.
LA Clippers vs. Warriors, 2019
While the two games above highlighted the resilience of the teams involved (at least those that won), they did happen in regular season games, when the pressure was off and caution could be more readily thrown to the wind.
However, making such a come-from-behind victory happen in a playoff situation as an altogether different ball game, with the NBA odds always stacked against the team that is languishing behind, be it in a game or series.
That is exactly what the Clippers managed in 2019, overturning a 31-point deficit and tying the playoff series against the Warriors in the process.
Sometimes an umpire’s call can be the difference between a team completing a comeback or not
Boston vs. LA Lakers, 2008
Of course, the ultimate type of comeback is one made on the biggest stage of them all, the NBA Championship Finals.
No one will ever forget the one made by the Celtics in 2008, when they dragged themselves all the way back out of a 24-point hole to grab the game 4 spoils.
It remains to be seen if any of the teams in this year’s playoffs have what it takes to achieve the same sort of feat.