Tyronn Lue and the LA Clippers have overcome many deficits in their 2021 playoff run.
Not just double-digit halftime deficits but also multiple 0-2 series deficits but they couldn't pull it off in Game 4 against the Phoenix Suns.
"We just couldn't get over the hump," Lue said postgame after the 84-80 loss.
LA came back from as many as 16 down in the first half courtesy of a 30-19 third quarter, however despite being close throughout, they could never cease control of the game in the final period.
The Clippers shot 0-12 in the 4th quarter on shots that could've tied the game or taken the lead.- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 27, 2021
That's the most such attempts without a make in the 4th quarter of a game over the last 25 postseasons. pic.twitter.com/lIpSx7FRKU
Lue indicated that not being able to take over late in the game could be fatigue. This was Clippers' 17th game in the past 36 days, having said that, the head coach quickly pivoted to not giving excuses and liking the team's effort on the floor.
"I'm proud of the way the guys competed," Lue continued. "Every single guy on the floor gave us what they had. Offensively, we just didn't have it tonight."
Paul George led all scorers on the Clippers with 23 while Reggie Jackson put up 20 but the team failed to knock down their shots. They shot 27-of-83 (32.5 percent) from the field and just 5-of-31 (16.1 percent from beyond the arc).
MORE: Takeaways - Suns outlast Clippers in grind-out Game 4
The five 3-pointers and 16.1 percent efficiency are lows from this postseason for the Clippers, a team that ranked at the top of the league for 3-pointe efficiency at 41.1 percent averaging 14.3 makes.
The loss has the Clippers facing the uphill task of needing the overcome a 3-1 series deficit if they want to defeat the Phoenix Suns and make their way to their first-ever Finals.
Historically, the franchise has been on the wrong end of 3-1 series deficits, having given up two in the past six years [2015, 2020]. They are one of only three teams to give up two 3-1 series leads but this team, if not any other, led by Lue could pull off the unthinkable.
"It's very doable," Lue talks about overcoming the 3-1 deficit. "Just got to take it one game at a time. Focus on Monday's game, that's it."
One game at a time. pic.twitter.com/rOlZXqNjHQ- LA Clippers (@LAClippers) June 27, 2021
"We just got to make sure we are locked-in, understand what we are doing offensively. I think we have got to be a lot better offensively to beat this team."
Lue was the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers when they made history and clinched the 2016 NBA title by becoming the only team ever to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the Finals.
Can the Clippers make the comeback? Only time will tell but they've certainly shown in these playoffs that they are more than capable of doing so and with Lue at the helm, it is possible.
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