By BRIAN MAHONEY
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Thursday, April 18, 2019
The Golden State Warriors are trying to regain the lead in a series they probably still can't believe is tied.
Same with the San Antonio Spurs, who, like the Warriors, know they are facing an opponent that won't stay down, no matter how far it falls.
The Clippers' historic comeback against the Warriors, followed by Denver's potentially season-saving surge against the Spurs, made that clear.
So things are all even in those two Western Conference firstround series, which resume with a pair of Game 3s on Thursday night.
Philadelphia and Brooklyn play the other Game 3 of the night in an Eastern Conference series that also is tied at a game apiece.
Golden State would be up 2-0 if not for the Clippers' colossal comeback - or the Warriors' colossal collapse - on Monday night in Game 2. The Warriors led by 31 in the third quarter before Los Angeles charged back to win 135-131 after the biggest rally in NBA postseason history.
The Warriors won Game 1 by 17, appeared headed toward an even easier win in Game 2 and yet go into Game 3 basically starting from scratch.
"If you were up 30 with a quarter and a half to go, you just lose out of nowhere, it's like somebody ran up to you and punched you in the gut and ran away," Kevin Durant said. "It's a shock. I don't even know how to explain it."
The seventh-seeded Spurs took the series opener against a Denver team that was an NBA-best 34-7 at home during the regular season.
San Antonio then was up 78-59 late in the third quarter of Game 2 before Jamal Murray's 21-point fourth quarter carried the Nuggets to a 114-105 victory.
At least the Spurs, unlike the Warriors, can regroup in their home building, where the Nuggets haven't won since 2012.
"It's definitely not ideal to have a lead and then blow it like that," Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge said. "We came in and definitely played a pretty good first half, but you know when you come on the road in the playoffs and you win one game on the road, that's great. So we've got to go home and try to take care of business."