For a sport that’s so end to end, it’s amazing how many huge deficits basketball teams can lose by. It can be demoralizing to see your opponents score with every basket attempted while your offense has gone ice cold. These are the biggest turnarounds ever seen on a basketball court as these teams went from guaranteed losers to winners. They are the biggest comebacks in NBA history.
Los Angeles Lakers beat Dallas Mavericks, 30 points down
In 2002 the Lakers were trailing the Mavericks by 30 at the Staples Center. This scoreline was not pleasing for the fans, but they helped turn the tide. They were 30 points down at one stage and were trailing by 27 at the beginning of the fourth. One of the most devastating offensive displays in basketball occurred as the Lakers were inspired by Kobe Bryant. With just 8.8 seconds to go the Lakers took the lead and sealed the amazing comeback.
Cleveland Cavaliers beat Indiana Pacers, 26 points down
It’s one thing making an amazing comeback when there’s less pressure during the regular season, but what about during the playoffs? The Cavaliers were 26 points down to the Pacers in 2017 and somehow came back to seal victory in their series. It was a must-win for the Pacers after they lost the first two games in the series and they had a comfortable 26 point lead in the first half.
When they came out for the second half, the game was completely different, and the Cavs had LeBron inspiring them. After the third quarter, Indiana had only made five scores and the game was getting close. LeBron turned up the heat in the fourth and overwhelmed the Pacers’ defense, leading the Cavaliers to a 119-114 victory.
Sacramento Kings beat Chicago Bulls, 35 points down
The Kings came into their game with the Bulls unimpressively and had a 12-14 record. The Bulls raced to a 35-point lead, and it looked like it was going to be another ‘L’ for the Kings. At the beginning of the third quarter, the Bulls had their lead and couldn’t lose. The Kings went on a 52-17 run and finished the game the winners by 102-98 in 2009. Ime Udoka scored 15 points in the fourth quarter alone, which was more than any Bulls player managed in the entire game.
Utah Jazz beat Denver Nuggets, 36 points down
There was no shortage of drama in the 1996 regular season game between the Jazz and the Nuggets. The Jazz were looking at a heavy defeat after being 36 points down just seconds before half time. Trailing 70-34, there looked to be no way back for the Jazz, but Karl Malone turned it on in the second and finished the game with 31 points. Somehow the Jazz reached down inside themselves to pull off a 107-103 victory and complete the biggest NBA comeback in history.
These teams just didn’t know when to quit. Instead of rolling over, they rolled their sleeves up and got to work digging themselves out of the holes they were in.