In the wake of the Miami Heat’s 115-111 double-overtime victory over the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night, the Internet has been exploding with — we’ll call it (strong) opinions on the Heat’s stunning late-game comeback that earned them a first-round playoff home game against the Brooklyn Nets — with both sides providing emotional responses to the win.
The Heat had to overcome a 20-point deficit in the final 2:31 of regulation.
We say “sudden” here, though the game was actually tied with 47 seconds left and so was the overtime.
And so was the 35-point deficit after the regulation game-tying layup.
The Clippers’ second-round exit to the Heat in last year’s playoffs only serves to remind us how unlikely that comeback was, and so does the Golden State Warriors losing to the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday. Both teams trailed by 21 points. Both teams shocked their fans (perhaps temporarily, but still) when they crawled back into the game with 3:24 left in the game.
The Kings are 10-34 and the Heat are 20-29, so they’re both in a good position to, well, recover from losing everything. Or at least think they’re in a good position.
On Thursday night, fans — NBA fans, that is — both expressed bewilderment about how in the world things could have gone this far for this team, and how completely in control Sacramento was down two points with 22 seconds left.
How did we get here? — Whatacka Mamba () February 14, 2019
Marcus Smart went insane. — Will Prater () February 14, 2019
Marcus Smart is going off out there..😂😂😂🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮 — Will Rinaldi () February 14, 2019
They were down 10+ at halftime — Jason Hale () February 14, 2019
That's insane. — Alex Capehart () February 14, 2019
Patrick Peterson had more moments like that pic.twitter.com/i18tm8cJ0A — SportsCenter () February 14, 2019
Me: Really? Talk about the comeback parade. Because this shit is absurd, isn't it?
Dana B () — Brent Roske () February 14, 2019
Patrick Peterson just got his heart ripped out of his chest. And what a slam dunk it was… Gotta. Root. For. Them. This. — Sam Drago () February 14, 2019
That’s unbelievable! Man, this is really sick. — Bryce Montgomery () February 14, 2019
But, the sense of euphoria is also based on the fact that the Kings were 34-16 a year ago, and so this could be the low point for the team, at least at the point in this current season.
Meanwhile, for the first time, the Kings have been called the NBA’s most winnable team.
Like the Heat, they’re in position to avoid an early trip to the lottery, but are in prime position to finish at least 15th in the Western Conference.
The Kings’ 24-point deficit last year against the Heat was the largest in a playoff series in league history. So forgive it if you don’t think this is a recipe for baseball.
Put aside the record for a moment. It doesn’t really matter. The teams have a history of overcoming huge deficits, and this year’s comeback in Miami might not be the end, but it may represent another step in the Mavericks’ and Shockers’ recovery from histories of failing.