The Los Angeles Clippers on Friday reached their first ever conference finals. They did so by truly earning it through an impressive comeback.
The Clippers began their Western Conference semifinals series against the Utah Jazz down 2-0. They came back to Staples Center and won two in a row to tie the series. Then they won Game 5 in Utah despite not having Kawhi Leonard. And on Friday, they closed out the series with a 131-119 win in Game 6.
But it’s not just that they won Game 6, it’s how they did it.
The game was very close through the first 18 or so minutes of the game. Then Jordan Clarkson got hot and helped the Jazz go up by 22 at halftime. Utah was up by as many as 25 early in the third, but the Clippers were not deterred.
Reggie Jackson and Terance Mann started to make everything and turned it into a 3-point game by the end of the third quarter. By a few minutes into the fourth quarter, the Clippers had taken the lead. Paul George added some key buckets late and even Patrick Beverley contributed.
Mann finished with a career-high 39 points, George had 28, and Jackson had 27 in the Clippers’ historic win. Now they will face Phoenix in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Sunday, with their first trip to the NBA Finals on the line in the series.