Down, But Not Out

The Warriors trailed by 13 points at halftime and by as many as 16 in the second half of Game 3 before mounting a comeback to beat the Trail Blazers on Saturday. The only other time Golden State won a postseason game after trailing by more than a dozen at the half was on May 18, 1975 in the first game of their NBA Finals sweep of the Washington Bullets. The Warriors had lost their previous 11 postseason games with halftime deficits like that in the decades since that 1975 Championship.

And yet, if you were thinking the events of Saturday night looked familiar, well, you weren’t wrong. It was the Warriors fifth win when trailing by 15-or-more over the last three postseasons, while the rest of the NBA has combined for six in that time. The Dubs have certainly exhibited a penchant for impressive comeback victories in recent years, and particularly so throughout the 2016-17 campaign.

The Warriors won 15 games after trailing by double digits in the regular season, second to only to the Spurs for the most such wins in the Western Conference. In six of those eventual victories, Golden State trailed by at least 15 points.

WARRIORS DOUBLE-DIGIT COMEBACK WINS
2016-17 Season

GAME

3/29 at SAS
2/23 vs LAC
3/14 vs PHI
1/8 at SAC
12/22 at BKN
3/6 at ATL
3/18 vs MIL
3/31 vs HOU
10/30 at PHX
1/22 at ORL
1/25 at CHA
1/10 vs MIA
12/11 at MIN
11/16 at TOR
11/3 vs OKC

DEFICIT
22
16
16
16
16
15
14
13
13
11
10
10
10
10
10

They trailed entering the fourth quarter 14 times in the regular season, and on five of those occasions the Dubs came back to win. Golden State overcame a 12-point deficit (78-90) to start the fourth quarter against the 76ers on March 14, marking their largest come-from-behind win when trailing to start the fourth quarter this season.

The 17-point comeback in Game 3 on Saturday was the Warriors’ second largest comeback victory this season. The only instance in which they came back from a greater deficit was their 110-98 win in San Antonio on March 29, in which they trailed by as many as 22 points in the first quarter.

That win over the Spurs marked Golden State’s fourth 20-point comeback victory over the last three seasons, tying the Pacers for the most such wins in the NBA during that span. Additionally, it was one of three instances in the last three seasons when Golden State trailed by more than 15 points at the end of the first frame, and amazingly, the Warriors came back to win all three of those contests. Over the same span, the rest of the NBA is 14-163 (.079) in that same situation.

WARRIORS 20-POINT COMEBACK WINS
Last 3 Seasons

GAME

3/29/17 at SAS
11/19/15 at LAC
3/1/15 at BOS
2/14/15 vs DAL

DEFICIT
22
23
26
22

So, whether regular season or playoffs, first quarter or fourth, the Warriors have rarely been out of the game. Are more thrilling comebacks in store for the Dubs this season? Don’t count it out.

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