The San Antonio Spurs erased a 22-point deficit at the end of the first quarter to beat the Los Angeles Clippers, 96-86, in Game 3 of the 2012 NBA Playoffs Western Conference semifinal. The first-quarter deficit was the largest ever overcome to win an playoff game in league history. With the win, San Antonio becomes 3-0 in the series.
At one point the Spurs were down 24 before using a 15-5 run to end the first half down just 10 points, 53-43. They scored just 11 points in the first quarter, while the Clippers poured on 33. Blake Griffin scored 20 points on 10-for-13 shooting with seven rebounds in the first half. He scored just eight points the rest of the way, shooting 3-for-11 in an anemic second half.
San Antonio came out of the locker room fired up, at one point holding the Clippers at 57 points for almost eight minutes in third quarter. They scored 24 points over that span to build a 12-point lead. Los Angeles was kept at arm's length the rest of the game. Tony Parker finished with 23 points and 10 assists to lead the Spurs. Tim Duncan scored 11 points in the second half to finish with 19 total and 13 rebounds.
Chris Paul scored just 12 points on 5-for-17 from the floor. He had just three assists in the second half after racking up eight in the first. The loss puts the Clippers just one loss away from ending their season. Game 4 will take place at the Staples Center on Sunday, May 20, at 10:30 p.m. ET.
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