FRIDAY FIVE: JAMAL CRAWFORD 3-POINTERS OF THE PLAYOFFS
Eric Patten, Clippers.com
Following his record 161 3-pointers in the regular season and second Sixth Man of the Year award of his career, Jamal Crawford nursed his way back from a calf injury to make 27 more during 13 postseason games. Seemingly half of them were dramatic, including two 4-point plays, giving him four in the Playoffs in his career, and another half-court bomb.
Here are the best five 3-pointers from Crawford’s run in the 2014 Playoffs:
5. Game 6 at Golden State, May 1, 2014. After a stellar opening quarter, the Clippers trailed for most of the second half in Oakland. But they came roaring back to come within a possession of the lead thanks in large part to Crawford. He had 19 points in the game, including four 3-pointers. The best of the bunch came in the second quarter when he danced around, got Klay Thompson on his heels and drilled a long ball over him that banked home.
4. Game 5 at Oklahoma City, May 13, 2014. He is the 4-point play king, and in the penultimate game of the season, Crawford made another one. In one of the best 43-minute stretches of the season for the Clippers, they took a commanding lead over the Thunder in what looked to be a series-defining win. Crawford had three and-1 plays in the stretch including a rainbow 3-pointer through contact from Reggie Jackson in the third quarter.
3. Game 7 vs. Golden State, May 3, 2014. His first of two 4-point plays in the postseason was his most significant. The Clippers were reeling early in their comeback victory in Game 7, but Crawford, who had 22 points in the game, got hot in the second quarter. He made two 3-pointers in a brief flurry, including this one where he gets bumped by Draymond Green, who had just made a 3-pointer of his own on the other end, and drops the shot through the net as he crumbled to the floor.
2. Game 1 vs. Golden State, April 19, 2014. The opening quarter of the 2014 Playoffs was capped with Crawford’s brilliance from long distance. After playing nearly the duration of the Clippers’ regular season finale to try and get a rhythm after sitting out with a strained left calf, Crawford started the postseason quietly in terms of points. However, he made his entrance felt with a shot from a step beyond halfcourt as the first quarter expired.
1. Game 4 vs. Oklahoma City, May 11, 2014. Playoff comebacks have been kind of the Clippers’ thing in the last three seasons. While their 27-point rally in Memphis in 2012 was arguably the best, it would be hard-pressed for any other comeback to top Game 4 on Mother’s Day. They trailed by 17 points, and looked doomed even in the fourth quarter. But Crawford’s 3-pointer with less than two minutes remaining game the Clippers their first lead, 97-95, and helped spur a 101-99 victory to send the series back to Oklahoma City tied at two games apiece.