As the Clippers embraced one another and jumped for joy at center court like they had just won the NBA Finals, 20,000 dumbstruck fans, and the millions of people still watching around the world simultaneously asked each other the same question: Did that just happen?
It was a legitimate question. Only a half hour ago, the game was a laugher. It wasn’t even a game anymore, so much as a party, and everyone in Memphis was celebrating.
The Grizzlies led by a score of 95-71 with 8 minutes left in the game. That’s right – they had a 24-point lead.
For Vinny Del Negro and the Clippers, it had come to that point in a blowout when you call it a night and empty your bench for the remainder of the game. They had been beaten badly and it was time to just accept defeat. No sense in leaving your starters out there and risking a pointless injury.
At around the 8-minute mark, Chris Paul approached Del Negro during a timeout, and asked for one more shot at it.
“Give us a chance,” Pau...