Best comeback in NBA history: Ranking the 10 biggest comebacks in basketball

Best comeback in NBA history: Ranking the 10 biggest comebacks in basketball

Sospeter Itolondo
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:09 PM

One aspect of sports that makes them more thrilling is comebacks. Everyone loves a good comeback story, especially when the underdog defies all odds to win a game or a trophy sending shrills down our spine. So, which is the best comeback in NBA history? Come with us as we unveil facts about the greatest comebacks in sports history.

Best comebacks in NBA history
Nemanja Bjelica (left) and Tony Bradly battle it out for the ball during a game between the Warriors and the Bulls on January 14th, 2022. Photo: Stacy Revere
Source: UGC

The NBA has seen some of the most astonishing recoveries in sports history, for example, the LA Clippers in the 2019 playoffs, Utah Jazz in 1996, among others. Some of the most interesting rebounds happened in the playoffs. Most of the recoveries are inspired by the star players in the teams, carrying them to victory.

The 10 best comebacks in NBA history

The best NBA comebacks are truly a spectacle to watch. It is even better when a star player inspires the recovery in the dying minutes of a game. Here are some of the 10 best comebacks in basketball history

10. Utah Jazz Vs Blazers (25)

In June 2011, Deron Williams led the Utah Jazz to one of the most formidable comebacks in the history of the NBA. He scored 18 points and had 12 assists to make sure the team got a win.

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Best comeback in NBA finals history
Jordan Clarkson of the Utah Jazz in action in a game against the Thunders on the 6th of April 2022. Photo: Alex Goodlett
Source: UGC

9. LA Clippers vs Denver Nuggets (25)

The Clippers became the first team to overturn a 25-point lead in the NBA while winning a game with less than 90 points. Nikola Jokic was not happy about this, and he was quoted saying,

"I don't know. Some guys maybe already forgot. Who knows. Maybe that's the best thing to do."

The Clippers scored only 28 points in the first half, being 25 points down, and had to do all the work in the third and fourth quarter.

The best comeback in NBA playoff history
Eric Bledsoe (left) celebrates scoring a goal during a match against the LA Lakers on 3rd February, 2022. Photo: Meg Oliphant
Source: Getty Images

8. Dallas Mavericks Vs Timberwolves (29)

Jason Terry inspired the Dallas Mavericks to a 29-point overturn by scoring 24 of the 29 points to beat the Timberwolves 108-100 in the last quarter. This fantastic match inspired the Mavericks to have one of the best NBA comebacks.

Best NBA comeback
Luka Doncic rips his jersey in anger after their loss to the LA Clippers on 12th of February, 2022. Photo: Richard Rodriguez
Source: UGC

7. LA Lakers Vs Dallas Mavericks (30)

The Lakers are known to have iconic names in their teams, and in this case, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal turned up when the team needed them the most.

In the 2002/2003 season, the Mavericks had had a near-perfect run, whereas the defending champs struggled due to O'Neal's injury. Nevertheless, the Lakers were able to overturn their 30-point lead in the last quarter to win the game.

The best comebacks in basketball history
Lebron James in action for the Lakers against the Clippers on 3rd March, 2022. Photo: Ronald Martinez.
Source: UGC

6. Toronto Raptors Vs Dallas Mavericks (30)

In December 2019, Kyle Lowry inspired a 30-point comeback for the Raptors against the Mavericks by scoring 23 points in the fourth quarter to beat them 110-107. It is regarded as the best comeback in the franchise's history.

What was the biggest comeback in NBA history?
Fred VanVleet (left) guards James Harden in a game on 18th April, 2022. Photo: Tim Nwachukwu
Source: Getty Images

5. Golden State Warriors Vs Milwaukee Bucks (31)

This was one star-studded game with some of the best names in the NBA with exceptional athletes such as Giannis, Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, among others.

Klay Thompson recorded his season-high 38 points for the 2021/2022 season. The match was highly contested, and was one of the best games in 2022. It is regarded as the best comeback in NBA playoff history.

The best comeback in NBA history all time
Steph Curry celebrates after beating the Mavericks on 26th May, 2022. Photo: Ezra Shaw
Source: UGC

4. Boston Celtics Vs San Antonio Spurs (32)

On 30th April 2021, Murray and White inspired the Celtics to a 143-140 win over the Spurs. The fantastic team overturned a 91-88 lead by the Spurs in the last 47 seconds to secure the win. The 32-point overturn is among the best comebacks in NBA history.

What is the greatest comeback in sports history?
Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors tries to defend Al Horford (front) on 16th June, 2022 at the TD Garden. Photo: Elsa
Source: Getty Images

3. LA Clipper Vs Washington Wizards 35

The LA Clippers pulled off one of the best comebacks in basketball history in January 2022. The team was trailing the Washington Wizards by 35 points before pulling a fantastic comeback in the last seconds to win the game 116-115.

Kennard's last-minute 3-pointer inspired the measly point difference with a second on the clock. The three-pointer levelled the game, and the foul on Kennard while making the shot led to a free throw that won the Clippers the game.

2. Sacramento Kings Vs Chicago Bulls (35)

In December 2009, Tyreke Evans led the Kings to a stunning 102-98 victory against the Bulls. The Kings trailed the Bulls till the third quarter when they took charge and won the game. Their coach Vinny Del Negra was quoted saying,

"This one stings. We stopped being aggressive, got a little complacent there, and they jumped on it. We're not good enough to take a minute off, never mind a half."

Ime Udoka scored 15 of the first 22 points in the fourth quarter to put the Kings ahead.

1. Utah Jazz against Nuggets (36)

So, what was the biggest comeback in NBA history? This is regarded as the best comeback in NBA history of all time. It has never been repeated ever in the basketball world.

It took place in November 1996, where Jazz trailed the Nuggets by 36 points in the final minute of the second quarter. The team led by Karl Malone and Jeff Hornacek came back 71-33 down to a historic 107-103 win.

The best comeback in NBA finals history

The 2008 finals saw one of the best comebacks in an NBA finals as the Celtics came back from 24 points down to stun the Lakers. This pushed them to a 3-1 advantage in the series. The game ended 97-91, with the Celtics taking the lead in the last four minutes.

What is the greatest comeback in sports history?

The breaking of ''The Curse of the Bambino", where the Boston Red Sox overturned a 0-3 loss in the series to win 10-3, is regarded as the greatest comeback in sports history. How many years did it take before the Boston Red Sox broke "The Curse of the Bambino"? They had not won the World Series in 86 years when they won it again in 2003.

The best comebacks in the history of the NBA were when the teams needed them most. Most comebacks are inspired by star athletes who can help their teams overturn the huge deficits their teams suffer, and save the day.

READ ALSO: Most MVP awards: Who is the most decorated player in the NBA? also published a list of the most decorated players in the NBA. These are players who have won the most MVP awards and other accolades. Players who earn these awards are some of the best in the league and the world, leading their teams to victory.

Is your favorite player on the list? How many awards does the player with the most accolades have? Read more by clicking on the link above!

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Sospeter Itolondo
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