Oklahoma City wins series 4-2 (Game 5 of 6)

Oklahoma City wins series 4-2

Game 1: Monday, May 5th
Game 2: Wednesday, May 7th
Game 3: Friday, May 9th
Game 4: Sunday, May 11th
Game 5: Tuesday, May 13th
Game 6: Thursday, May 15th

Clippers 104

(57-25, 23-18 away)

Thunder 105

(59-23, 34-7 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    9:30 PM ET, May 13, 2014

    Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAC 34 24 28 18104
    OKC 25 27 28 25105

    Top Performers

    LAC: B. Griffin 24 Pts, 17 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Okc: R. Westbrook 38 Pts, 5 Reb, 6 Ast, 3 Stl

    Clippers-Thunder Preview

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Kevin Durant says the Clippers are hanging all over him.

    Russell Westbrook says they are flopping.

    Clippers coach Doc Rivers believes the Thunder made a dirty play against Blake Griffin in Game 4.

    Indeed, Game 5 of a Western Conference semifinal series that already has included 15 individual technical fouls ought to be interesting.

    Oklahoma City appeared ready to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series on Sunday, but instead the Thunder squandered a 16-point lead in the final 10 minutes of a 101-99 loss that evened things up at 2-2. Control will be at stake on Tuesday, and the team that keeps its emotions in check could come out with the advantage.

    Durant is frustrated with the way the Clippers are defending him. The Clippers had success with the 6-foot point guard Chris Paul guarding the 6-foot-9 Durant at times in the second half on Sunday. Though Durant made 7 of 10 field goals after the break, he also committed seven turnovers. Durant said Paul played him well, but he had a lot of help, some from 6-foot Darren Collison.

    "Little guys get up under you, but they're not just going to play me one-on-one," Durant said. "Basically, they've got three guys watching me. They've got one behind me, so when I caught it, they double-teamed as soon as I caught it. And when they didn't double team, I scored. People always have something to say about the 1-on-1 matchup, which never happens in this league, especially with me."

    Durant said there's more than good defense going on.

    "Every time I pass the ball, there's a guy on my arm," the league MVP said. "I'm 6-9. There's no way two six-footers are going to get the ball. You do the math."

    When asked about the chippiness between the teams, Westbrook said the Clippers were creating some of it with their actions.

    "There's a lot of flopping going on, I can tell you that much," Westbrook said.

    The Clippers are not thrilled with some of Oklahoma City's tactics, either. Thunder forward Serge Ibaka caught Blake Griffin with a shot to the groin in Game 4.

    A league spokesman confirmed Monday that Ibaka will not be punished, and a Thunder spokesman said both teams were informed Monday the contact was deemed inadvertent. Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who said the league should review Ibaka's punch, is unhappy with the way Griffin has been treated all season and in this series. The Thunder have left the star forward bloodied more than once.

    "It is hard to keep your cool," Rivers said. "You're getting hit -- I think at times, illegal hits. I think he's been taking them all year and he's been doing a great job of (dealing with) it. I don't know if anyone has taken more punishment this year than Blake. In my opinion, some of them have been aboveboard and some of them have not been. People keep getting away with it."

    The Thunder need to stay focused and deal with those issues while moving on from the disappointment of Game 4.

    "We've got to turn the page," Durant said. "We gave it away. It's unfortunate, but we come back home 2-2, and we're looking forward to playing another game."

    If the Clippers win Tuesday, they will host Game 6 on Thursday with a chance to close out the series.

    "At the end of the day, we're going to start that game (Game 5) off 0-0," Paul said. "We're going into their place. I think we've got to bring that same energy and mindset -- not the one we started off with -- but just understanding that sometimes, you've just got to impose your will. Just play hard."

    Durant and Westbrook have been outstanding in the series, but the Thunder have lost when others haven't produced. In Sunday's game, Durant scored 40 points and Westbrook added 27, but no other player scored more than 10 points. It was a similar story in the Game 1 loss.

    Durant said he needs to keep the ball moving so his teammates can be in better position to be involved.

    "They can't do it on their own, I've got to help them," Durant said. "I've got to do a better job of catching the balls and passing the ball out of double teams better and being stronger with the ball. So it's not on them."

    Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he is confident that Durant and his teammates will make the right decisions in Game 5.

    "They did some double teams that we were out of position on looking back," Brooks said. "We have to be able to react quickly off of those double teams, and we will tomorrow night."

    The Clippers' small lineup helped them outscore the Thunder 38-24 in the fourth quarter Sunday. Rivers isn't sure how much he'll use that lineup going forward.

    "It's not something you can bank on, it's not something you're going to do full-time or anything like that," he said. "They've gone small at times as well and been successful. It really is going to be a game time and game situational thing for us. Having those three guards on the floor makes it very difficult to guard us. We know that. But it also puts us in a bind defensively."


    Research Notes

    The Thunder trailed 101-88 with just over four minutes remaining in Game 5 but went on a 17-3 run to close out the game and take a 3-2 series lead.
    Chris Paul turned the ball over five times Tuesday, including twice in the final 13 seconds. In 138 minutes in clutch time this season, Paul turned the ball over seven times.
    - Clutch time is defined as last five minutes of the game with the score within 5 points.
    Five of the Clippers' six field goal attempts in the last four minutes were pull-up jump shots. They were 1-of-5 on such shots, which led to long rebounds.
    Seven of Thunder's 17 points in the last four minutes came in transition, five of which came straight from Clippers' misses on pull-up jumpers.
    Kevin Durant scored 10 of his 27 points in the final four minutes and had as many field goals as he did in the first 44 minutes.

    - Durant was 2-of-4 on jump shots in the last four minutes, compared to 1-of-11 in the first 44 minutes.
    Thunder's effective field goal percentage during the 17-3 run was 66.7%, compared to 44.9% in the first 44 minutes of the game. In the last four minutes, the Thunder scored 17 points in nine possessions with an offensive efficiency of 191.4, compared to the Clippers' 33.8
    The Thunder overcame a 13-point 4th quarter deficit with 4-plus minutes to play, turning the tables in Game 5 after the Clippers had overcome a 16-points 4th-quarter deficit in Game 4 to beat Oklahoma City.
    The Thunder trailed by 13 points with four minutes remaining in Game 5, after leading by seven points with four minutes left in Game 5. After losing the lead on Sunday, Oklahoma City came back to win Tuesday in Game 5.
    Up until the four minute mark of the fourth quarter, Russell Westbrook had scored 18 of Thunder's 36 points in the second half. He was especially aggressive when guarded by Chris Paul. He drove four times against Paul and scored on every one of his drives.
    Of his 18 points during that time, 12 came when Westbrook did not defer to his teammates. He had nine possessions in which he initiated and finished the offense, compared to six possessions where there were passes involved in the play.
    Overall, he was 7-of-12 on "one-man offense," compared to 4-of-11 playing within "team offense."
    Russell Westbrook's 38 points in Game 5 were the third most in his playoff career, and he has now scored at least 30 points four times in the 2014 postseason.

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