On a night full of upsets, the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder were determined not to join the list, with both teams pulling off monster comebacks after trailing by 25+ points.
The Rockets trailed by as many as 25 points against the San Antonio Spurs, before a second-half rally helped them escape with the biggest comeback in franchise history, winning 109-107.
Meanwhile, in Oklahoma City, the Thunder trailed by 26 points, before an epic fourth-quarter performance from Chris Paul steered them to a 109-106 win over the Chicago Bulls.
Rockets rally for franchise-best comeback
After letting a 22-point lead slip against the Spurs in their last meeting, the Rockets found themselves in another precarious situation, down 25 points against the Spurs, who were coming off four-straight overtime games.
The Spurs brought the energy from the jump, racing out to an early 16-2 lead and they kept their foot on the gas, extending the lead to as many as 25 points in the second quarter on their way to a season-high 72 points in the first half.
Bryn Forbes was automatic from deep, going 6-of-6 from beyond the arc for his 18 first-half points, tying the franchise record for three-pointers in a half.
With James Harden struggling to find his rhythm, shooting 4-of-17 for nine points at the half, Houston entered the locker room down 19 points.
Over a six-minute stretch to end the first half and open the second, Houston went on a 24-6 run, lifting their defensive intensity to cut the deficit to just seven points and with momentum starting to shift in their direction, Houston found an extra gear down the stretch after limiting the Spurs to just 17 third-quarter points.
Harden's stepback three with 5:36 remaining tied things up at 97-97, before he got out in transition to throw down a dunk and make it 101-96.
🚀 CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF 🚀 pic.twitter.com/TWvt5useq7- Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 17, 2019
San Antonio had plenty of opportunities down the stretch, but just couldn't execute, missing four of five shots in the final 2:10 of the game.
Harden finished with 19 of his 28 points in the second half, adding eight rebounds and seven assists. while Russell Westbrook finished with 31 points and 10 rebounds, doing most of his work in the first half.
Ben McLemore provided a much-needed spark off the bench with 17 points, while PJ Tucker added nine points and 11 rebounds and Clint Capela 15 points and 15 rebounds.
Clutch CP3 sparks Thunder
Chris Paul scored 19 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Thunder to a 109-106 win over the Chicago Bulls after trailing by as many as 26 points.
The win matched their biggest comeback in franchise history, with their previous 26-point comeback coming last season against the Houston Rockets.
The Thunder looked like they were in for a long night after the Bulls led 37-16 after the first quarter, but they slowly chipped away thanks to big nights from Paul, Dennis Schroder and Danilo Gallinari, who combined for 70 points in the win.
Gallinari's three-pointer tied things up at 97-97 with 5:22 remaining in the game, as Paul caught fire down the stretch to set up the blockbuster finish.
Zach LaVine's layup with 25.9 seconds remaining squared things up at 106-106, before Steven Adams held his nerves and knocked down the clutch free throw to give OKC the lead for good.
Steven! 🤐😬 You're on TV!- OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) December 17, 2019
🎤 after the WIN. pic.twitter.com/OsBurCyUwk
Paul finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, while Gallinari added 22 points and Schroder 18.
LaVine led the charge for the Bulls with a game-high 39 points, but it wasn't enough as they slumped to their fifth loss from their past seven games.
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