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Did the Clippers have the worst loss in history?

Luka Doncic, Marcus Morris
Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Pool, via AP

On Sunday night, 27th December, the Los Angeles Clippers faced the Dallas Mavericks and lost by incredible 51 points. By halftime, the Mavericks were already up 77-27 and many fans, myself included, were absolutely stunned. Although the Clippers were missing Kawhi Leonard, I still expected this to be a close game, as they have a solid supporting cast. They still had Paul George, who is a Top 20 player in the NBA, and the Mavericks aren’t the best team in the league by quite a large margin.

When you look at the stats for this game, it’s clear to see why they lost by such a huge margin. The Clippers only shot 34.2% from the field, while the Mavericks shot 49.4%, and attempted 11 more shots. From three, the Clippers also shot an appalling 12.1%, only converting 4 shots from 33 attempts. The Mavericks shot 34.1% from downtown, which is actually below average as last season, the average 3 point percentage was 35.8%. The Clippers didn’t lose this game by such a large margin because the Mavericks were shooting better than usual. It was because the Clippers couldn’t score themselves.

The Mavericks scored 124 points in this game, which is more than the 111.8 points averaged by teams last year, but not a crazy amount. The Clippers also had trouble rebounding, only grabbing 36 to the Mavericks 54, and they had 12 turnovers too. So is this the worst loss in NBA history?

Well, it’s actually quite far off the worst loss in NBA history, with the biggest margin being in 1991 when the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Miami Heat 148-80. This game does rank as the 29th biggest margin in NBA history, which is a very impressive feat non the less. And this is certainly a loss that the Clippers will want to forget.

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