Starting 5: Don’t call it a comback


Every morning, we will give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.

1: I never went anywhere

Rick Bowmer/AP/Artesia NewsThe Clippers have the best record in the NBA and are on a 16-game win streak. Is there any more proof necessary to say that the Clippers are the best team in the NBA right now?

Not a statement about where the Clippers might be in May or June, but this team is just figuring out how to win and doing it in amazing ways.

No win during this streak may have been as impressive as the come-from-behind victory the Clippers pulled out against the Jazz. Los Angeles erased a 16-point deficit in the third quarter in a very tough building to win at in Salt Lake City. Sure, there was some help. A very ticky tack foul on Al Jefferson as he hedged on Chris Paul as he whizzed on by enabled L.A. to go to the foul line and take the lead for good.

Kyle Lowry's forced 3-pointer to win the game was no good as he tried desperately to get the foul call in return.

The Clippers had pulled one out of nowhere and come together for a win. So how did they do it?

Chris Paul had 29 points and Blake Griffin had 22 points on 7-for-11 shooting. This was the first game in a while that the Clippers did not rely on their bench to gain separation. The problem is you just cannot forget about the starters. All five starters scored in double figures and saved the day for the Clippers.

2: Not all the way back

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/ZimbioThe Kings are in disarray with DeMarcus Cousins dominating the headlines. He is back in the lineup and finally focused on basketball. That seemed to make things better for Sacramento. A 27-point lead at home against a good New York team (even without Carmelo Anthony).

But there came the Knicks. Storming back from a 27-point deficit and taking the lead late. New York seemed to have the young Kings on the brink. How tough would it be for Sacramento to come back?

It was a broken play and a rough possession. Eventually though Isaiah Thomas found James Johnson who hit his first 3-pointer of the season to give Sacramento a 106-105 win in one of the year's most exciting games.

Sacramento had its problems as one might expect. The Kings scored 71 points in the first half, but managed only 35 points in the second. They scored more in the second quarter (39 points) alone. Sacramento is obviously still learning how to win.

New York struggled without Carmelo Anthony though and needed a very strong effort from its bench. J.R. Smith had 28 points and Chris Copeland scored 23 points. Sacramento's balance — including 15 points and 10 rebounds from Cousins — proved to be enough.


David Lee denies the 360

Jordan Crawford finds Bradley Beal

Lance Stephenson with the nice bounce pass

4: Line of the Night: Will Bynum — 25 points, 10 assists

Will Bynum has been in and out of the Pistons' rotation for most of his career. When he plays like he did against Miami, you wonder what more he can do and whether he can be consistent. Bynum was the key for the Pistons in their 109-99 upset of the Heat.

5:  You can quote me on that

It was a good example of youth versus experience. If you don’t know what I mean, the last three minutes of the game the Hawks did a heck of a job running their offense and getting the ball into the paint and we just settled for bad jump shots.

Cavaliers coach Byron Scott describing the difference in his team's 102-94 loss

It was a gut check. I told them right before we went to overtime: ‘We’re going to win this game.’ And everybody’s eyes were locked in. They were focused. I knew right then we had a good chance.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey after Toronto's 104-97 win

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily