Last night’s 4th quarter collapse by the Bulls in game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat naturally had me thinking of the greatest collapses/ comebacks in NBA playoff history. I wanted to post “The Top Ten 4th Quarter Collapses in NBA History”, but then I went on the internet and saw the hundreds of other blogs that did the same thing. So I will spare you another top 10 list of greatest comebacks in NBA playoff history. Instead, I will just share the 3 games in particular that I kick myself for turning off too early. These are all games that I did sit down and watch majority of, but either turned the channel or turned the TV completely off a wee bit too early. I will admit that posting these are a little painful for me because I missed all of these historic endings by choice.
3. Nets vs Celtics 2002 Eastern Conference FInals Game 3:
I remember watching this game at home when my wife and I had some friends over. We were all planning to go out and eat together. My wife and her friend were making the plans in the dining room while her friend’s husband and I were sitting on the couch watching the Nets blowout the Celtics. He wasn’t really that big of an NBA fan at the time. Neither were my wife or her friend. Since I felt that I was the only person in the room really watching this blowout, I turned off the TV as the game went to commercial break at the end of the 3rd quarter and said, “Ok, let’s go (get something to eat)”. Because of this, I happened to miss the 41-16 4th quarter run by the Celtics as they came back and won the game 94-90. Not only that, but our waitress sucked, my food wasn’t that good, and I was still hungry when we got home. Peachy.
Note: I wasn’t able to find a shortened video, but here is the last 5:35 seconds of the game broken into 2 parts.
2. Blazers vs Lakers 2000 Western Conference Finals Game 7:
This was the game that started it all for Phil Jackson in L.A.. I don’t believe Portland has ever quite recovered from the 4th quarter meltdown they experienced in this game. I also can’t believe that I turned the channel thinking the game was over in the 4th quarter when the Blazers went up by 15 points. I can’t recall exactly which movie I ended up watching, but I remember turning the channel to a movie, watching it in its entirety, and turning the channel to ESPNews later that night. I turned it to ESPNnews expecting a breakdown of a Portland vs Indiana NBA Finals matchup. I was in complete shock when I saw that the Lakers came back to win the game. I was also very upset that I missed it all.
1. Reggie Miller’s 8 points in 9 seconds vs the Knicks – Game 1 Eastern Conference Semifinals:
Yes, I turned the game off to watch America’s Funniest Home Videos. That is all I have to say. Instead of watching one of the most miraculous moments in NBA history, I was sitting on my couch watching Bob ‘freaking’ Saget. I did not even find out that the Pacers had won until the next morning when I saw it lead Sportscenter. Yeah, needless to say, this one hurt pretty bad.
Tracy McGrady’s 13 points in 33 seconds vs the Spurs 2004
Just throwing this one in there because I was actually watching this game and turned it off to go to bed. But I’m sure the only people who actually watched it live were the few hundred people who actually decided to stay in the arena as Tracy McGrady suddenly flipped on his switch. It was just a regular season game, so the drama wasn’t too high, but the finish was unbelievable. It’s just a little more comforting to know that I wasn’t the only one in the world this time who missed it.