Oklahoma City wins series 4-2
|Game 1: Monday, May 5th|
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|Game 2: Wednesday, May 7th|
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|Game 3: Friday, May 9th|
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|Game 4: Sunday, May 11th|
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|Game 5: Tuesday, May 13th|
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|Game 6: Thursday, May 15th|
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9:30 PM ET, May 13, 2014
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook finished off Oklahoma City's stunning comeback.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers believes he never should have had the chance.
Westbrook scored 38 points and made three free throws with 6.4 seconds remaining, and the Thunder overcame a seven-point deficit in the final 50 seconds to beat Los Angeles 105-104 on Tuesday night and go up 3-2 in the Western Conference semifinals.
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In the biggest game of his career, the Clippers' Chris Paul experienced his worst 45-second stretch ever, and he was at a loss for words in trying to explain it, Arash Markazi writes. Story
"I think when you get a win like this, it brings everybody closer," Westbrook said. "It lets you know you can't mess around. You have to take every moment, every play, and go out and win the game."
The play that led to Westbrook's free throws is in dispute.
Kevin Durant made a 3-pointer, then Los Angeles' Jamal Crawford missed in close before Durant made a layup with 17 seconds left. Westbrook stole the ball, and in a scramble, the Thunder got possession with 11.3 seconds to play, setting up Westbrook's play. The Clippers believed the ball went out of bounds off Oklahoma City's Reggie Jackson, but the officials awarded the ball to the Thunder. After review, the play stood.
"Everybody knows it was our ball," Rivers said. "The bottom line is they thought it was a foul and they made up for it. Let's take away the replay. We were robbed. It was our ball, whether it was a foul or not."
NBA crew chief Tony Brothers explained the call after the game.
"When the ball goes out of bounds, the ball was awarded to Oklahoma City," he said. "We go to review the play. We saw two replays. The two replays we saw were from the overhead camera showing down and the one from under the basket showing the same angle but from a different view. And from those two replays, it was inconclusive as to who the ball went out of bounds off of. When it's inconclusive, we have to go with the call that was on the floor."
The Thunder were more focused on what they did after the call. They can clinch the series Thursday in Los Angeles.
"I've never seen a game like this with us," Durant said. "It just shows that you can never keep us down. We're going to fight until the end no matter what happens. We fought through it all and persevered through it all."
After the Thunder got possession, Westbrook was fouled by Chris Paul while shooting a 3-pointer with the Thunder trailing by two. Westbrook, who had missed a 3-pointer that would have won Game 4 in the closing seconds, welcomed the chance for redemption.
"I'm still upset about that shot that I missed in L.A. for the game, so tonight, I just tried to take my time, take a deep breath and knock 'em down," he said.
After the free throws, Paul drove to the hoop, but Jackson stole the ball from him and time expired.
"Probably the toughest thing I've been through, basketball-wise," Paul said. "Everything that happened there at the end is on me. It was just bad basketball."
Durant scored 10 of his 27 points in the final 3:23 after shooting 3-for-17 through three quarters.
"Great players can have a bad shooting night, have a great three minutes and be the superstars that they are," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "He hung in there, and there were times where he thought nothing would go right. They stuck together and fought through a lot of tough situations."
Blake Griffin had 24 points and 17 rebounds, Crawford scored 19 points, and Paul had 17 points and 14 assists for the Clippers.
It was the latest in a string of spectacular games for Westbrook. He is averaging 29.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game in the series.
"He's fierce and he's fearless," Brooks said. "He's a winner. The guy competes for his team every single night, and he practices the way he plays. He makes basketball plays to put our team in a winning position."
The Clippers took a 101-88 lead in the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer by Crawford with 4:13 to play before Durant finally got involved. He hit a 3-pointer with 3:23 remaining on his first shot of the quarter, then drained two free throws to cut the Clippers' lead to 101-95.
A layup by Jackson cut Los Angeles' lead to four.
Griffin made the first of two free throws, and Glen Davis grabbed the rebound of the second. Paul's midrange jumper on the extra possession gave the Clippers a 104-97 edge with 49 seconds to play.
The Clippers appeared to be on their way to taking control of the series. Now, they are on the brink of elimination.
"We've been regrouping all year," Rivers said. "We'll be ready to play when we get to L.A. This one's going to hurt. None of this would have happened if we'd taken care of business. That didn't happen. We'll be ready."
Thunder F Serge Ibaka played after the league reviewed his punch to Griffin's groin in Game 4. . ... Westbrook was called for a flagrant foul 1 in the first quarter after trying to stop Griffin on a breakaway drive to the hoop. ... The Clippers were called for a clear path foul when Darren Collison barreled into Jackson, who was passing to a wide-open Westbrook with 2.3 seconds left in the first quarter.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 13: Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers arrives at the Chesapeake Energy Arena...(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Around The Association
MVP: Russell Westbrook scored 23 of his 38 points in the second half, including the go-ahead free throws with less than 7 seconds left. On a night when Kevin Durant couldn't find his shot (6-of-22 FGs), his much-maligned sidekick willed his way to the rim and put his team on his back.
Defining moment: Which one? There were several controversial plays in the final 11 seconds alone. Reggie Jackson losing the ball out of bounds and OKC getting the ball back sticks out, but Chris Paul's phantom foul on Westbrook's 3-pointer and the non-call on the final play also were contentious.
X factor: Fouls. The Clippers committed 28 of them, compared to just 21 by the Thunder. That led to a big disparity in free throw attempts (36 for OKC, 20 for L.A.), which kept the Thunder in the game despite shooting so poorly (42.9 percent). The Clippers need to do a better job of corralling the Thunder's pick-and-roll attack and limiting penetration.
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.[+]
Final 4:00 of Game 5
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.
Kevin Durant Offense, Tuesday
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[+]
Four Factors Analysis
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.[+]
Thunder in Last 4:00 of 4th Quarter - Last 2 Games
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.[+]
Russell Westbrook Most Points Postseason Career
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