There is no shortage of candidates for the worst loss of the Kawhi Leonard-Paul George era in Clippers history. This team blew a 3-1 lead in the bubble. It suffered a 51-point home loss to the Dallas Mavericks months later, proceeded to lose three straight home playoff games to those same Mavericks, and this season, managed to blow a 14-point lead and allow 176 points in a loss to the Sacramento Kings. There are plenty of bad losses on this team's resume, but Sunday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies almost took the cake.
The Clippers took a bold step by not only signing Russell Westbrook after the trade deadline, but immediately breaking up a thriving lineup to insert him into the starting five. That decision yielded five straight losses. A sixth would have not only knocked the Clippers below .500, but tied them in the loss column with the hated Lakers, who got rid of Westbrook in the first place. They were at home playing a Memphis team missing four of its best players, including All-NBA guard Ja Morant. They led by double digits in the second quarter. And then they allowed 51 points in the third.
With roughly nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Clippers trailed the Grizzlies by 14. In a desperation measure, they removed Mason Plumlee from the game and played the remainder of the fourth quarter without a big man. They proceeded to outscore the Grizzlies by 20 points in the final nine minutes to win the game, 135-129.