Chris Paul Hits A Huge 3 To Cut The Lead To 42
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Chris Paul Hits A Huge 3 To Cut The Lead To 42 refers to a copypasta and reaction image popular among basketball fans. The phrase comes from a YouTube video that joked about Phoenix Suns player Chris Paul hitting a three-pointer in Game 7 of the 2022 Western Conference semifinals with his team down 45 points in the 4th quarter, making the shot essentially meaningless. The phrase and a screenshot of the video have been used to joke about basketball players and others contributing to a cause that's already well out of reach.
On May 15th, 2022, Redditor stephzh posted to /r/nba a clip from Game 7 of the 2022 Western Conference semifinals in which Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns hits a three-point shot in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks. However, the Suns were down 45 points at the time, making the shot essentially meaningless. stephzh jokingly titled the clip, "Chris Paul hits a huge three to cut the lead down to 42." The post gained over 53,000 points in one year.
The following day, YouTuber Sport and Things uploaded the same clip with the same title, gaining over 1.6 million views in one year (shown below). Screenshots of this post would be used as a reaction image over the following year.
Over the following months, a screenshot of the YouTube video's thumbnail began spreading online as a way to joke about Chris Paul. On June 20th, 2022, Twitter users @ervinciao and @jairepicksix posted the joke in response to the prompt "Describe Chris Paul in the most disrespectful but respectful tweet" (shown below, left). On July 5th, the meme was reposted to Facebook's NBA Memes with the caption, "Chris Paul always shows up when his team needs him the least" gaining over 31,000 likes and reactions (shown below, right).
The phrase itself began being used to describe situations where something positive happens for one side in a game or event when that side is all but guaranteed to lose. On December 16th, 2022, Twitter user @el_budget used the phrase to joke about Young Thug getting a small victory in a RICO case, gaining over 3,900 retweets and 47,000 likes in five months (shown below, left). On March 13th, 2023, the Barstool Sports Twitter account referenced the meme to joke about a Team USA baseball player hitting a solo home run late in the game with his team down 7-1, gaining over 90 retweets and 4,100 likes in two months (shown below, right).
On May 11th, 2023, the Phoenix Suns were again blown out and eliminated in the Western Conference Semifinals, leading to a resurgence of the meme. @LegionHoops joked they wanted to see the meme "one more time" as the game ended, gaining over 500 retweets and 5,600 likes in one day (shown below).
 Twitter – Jairepicksix
 Twitter – barstoolsports
 Twitter – LegionHoops
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