Monday night’s game between the Nuggets and Clippers came down to the wire and ended in thrilling fashion. Once down by 16, the Clips rallied to make their biggest comeback of the season, but it wouldn’t have been possible without reigning Sixth Man of the Year, Jamal Crawford. In the fourth quarter Crawford scored 21 of his 23 points and the Clippers escaped with a 102-98 victory to extend their winning streak to five.
Crawford’s a streaky shooter, and he had been struggling with his shot in the previous five games, only connecting on 20 of his 62 attempts in that time. In the final session, Crawford’s teammates recognized he was entering video game mode, and correctly kept fed him the ball as the deficit grew smaller late in regulation.
However, the biggest play Crawford made in the Clips’ late surge didn’t stem from his shooting prowess. It come off a remarkable showcase of hustle to save the ball from going out of bounds when the game was all knotted up with a minute-and-a-half remaining.
It started when Blake Griffin came up with a clutch block on J.J. Hickson, sparking a fastbreak. Chris Paul was able to get his hands on the loose ball, but his pass up the court to a streaking Crawford was too long. However, Crawford somehow managed to save the ball before it fell out of bounds by dishing a behind-the-back-pass to Matt Barnes, who finished with an easy layup to give the Clippers a 96-94 lead.
The Staples Center was rocking throughout the fourth quarter and during some signature alley-oops, but the noise decimal reached its highest level after Crawford’s unbelievable effort to save the ball with the game on the line.
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