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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Why You Can Never Count A Playoff Team Out. (The Greatest Comebacks)

·         1995 NBA Eastern Conference Semis: Indiana 107, NY 105
Arguably the craziest 16.4 seconds in sports history, Reggie Miller helped his Pacers, who were down by 6 with 16.4 seconds left, come back against the rival NY Knicks. Down by 6, Reggie drained a three only to instantaneously steal the inbound pass, retreat behind the line, and knock down another one. After John Starks missed two potential go-ahead free throws, Miller got fouled after pulling the rebound. He hit the two shots as the Pacer comeback was complete. Spike Lee still cries about it.
·         2000 NBA Western Conference Finals: Lakers 89, Portland 84
With elimination at stake and the strong but troubled Trail Blazers up 15 points in the 4th quarter, the Lakers mounted a remarkable comeback. Led by Kobe and Shaq, the Lakers went on a 25-4 run to end the game. The comeback was highlighted by the now classic highlight of an Alley-oop from Kobe to Shaq. The Lakers went on to sweep the Pacers and the newest dynasty was born.
·         2002 NBA Eastern Conference Finals: Boston 94, New Jersey 90
Before the big three, Paul Pierce was the lone star for the Celtics who made the largest 4th quarter comeback ever. Down 21 points to start the fourth, the Celtics outscored the Nets 41-16 in the final quarter for the 4 point win.

·         1993 NFL AFC Wildcard: Buffalo 41, Houston 38
In what many call the greatest comeback in sports history; the Buffalo Bills overcame a 32 point deficit to beat the Houston Oilers. Down 35-3 in the third quarter, the Bills were down and out, especially with star QB Jim Kelly being knocked out early in the game. But with backup QB Frank Reich at the helm, the Bills led a remarkable comeback to defeat the oilers in overtime.
·         1992 NHL Divisional Semifinal: Kings 6, Oilers 5
With the best player of all time, Wayne Gretzky, the Oilers led 5-0 before the Kings amazingly scored 6 unanswered goals to win 6-5 in overtime. The win is all the more stunning considering who was on the heavily favored Oilers. LA took a 2-1 series lead and paved the way for their first round upset of the Oilers. The game became known as the “Miracle on Manchester.”
·         2011 NHL Divisional Round: Sharks 6, Kings 5
The kings were not lucky this time as they blew a 4-0 lead against the Sharks who came back to force overtime before winning the game 6-5. The Sharks were able to use the momentum and take the series 4-2.
·         1972 NFL NFC Divisional Round: Cowboys 30, 49ers 28
After falling behind 28-13 going into the fourth quarter, starting QB Craig Morton was benched for backup Roger Staubach who led a 17 unanswered point comeback to shock the 49ers. With less than two minutes left, Staubach threw a 20 yard touchdown. After recovering the onside kick, Staubach hit Ron Sellers for the game winning score with 52 seconds left.
·         2002 NFL AFC Divisional Round: Steelers 36, Browns 33
With a seventeen point lead in the second half, the Browns were poised for a playoff win over the rival Steelers. But QB Tommy Maddox led the Steelers to 29 second half points including the go ahead TD with 54 seconds left in the game. Maddox’s 367 yards and 3 touchdowns surprised everyone but no one more than the Browns who suffered another franchise devastating loss.

·         2002 NFL NFC Divisional Round: 49ers 39, Giants 38
The 49ers scored 25 unanswered second half points to top the NY Giants. Led by Jeff Garcia and T.O., the 49ers mounted an awesome comeback with a go ahead TD pass from Garcia to T.O. The Giants did have a chance when they lined up for a 41 yard game winning field goal. Unfortunately, the newly acquired long snapper botched the snap and the kicker attempted a down field pass but it fell incomplete. There was plenty of controversy as it appeared there was interference on the lineman down field but it was ruled that there was an illegal man downfield, thus capping the 49er comeback.

·         2003 MLB NLCS: Marlins 8, Cubs 3
The curse of the Billy Goat lives on. In game 6 of the NLCS, with the Cubs needing only one more win to make the World Series, the Cubs were ahead 3-0 with one out in the 8th when Marlin Luis Castillo lofted a foul ball down the left field line. Cubs outfielder, Moises Alou appeared to have room for the catch but a fan interfered causing Alou to drop the ball. Castillo then walked and two batters later, the Cubs shortstop bobbled a potential double play ball. The Marlins went on to score 8 runs to win game 6. The Marlins ending up winning game 7 by a score of 9-6 as the Cubs were once again left wondering what could have been.
·         2004 MLB ALCS: Red Sox 6, Yankees 4
Not only was this the greatest series comeback ever, game 4 was also one of the greatest single game comebacks ever. The Yankees had dominated the Redsox in the first three games of the series by a combined score of 32-16. The Yankees were leaded Boston 4-3 going into the 9th with the series in the hands of the invincible Mariano Rivera. But the Sox staged a comeback when after pinch runner David Roberts stole second, Bill Mueller singled off Rivera to tie the game. David Ortiz than finished the comeback with a two run walk off in the 12th.

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