The Oklahoma City Thunder were on the verge of falling in Game 5 of their series against the Los Angeles Clippers, but a miracle comeback has the Clippers on the ropes instead as the teams head back to Los Angeles for Game 6 with the Thunder up 3-2 in the series.
The Thunder trailed by seven points with 49 seconds left in Game 5 after Chris Paul buried a jumper. But the next 49 seconds wouldn't be so kind to Paul. Kevin Durant hit a three on the other end to trim the margin to four, and after a stop Durant scored again to make it a two-point game. Paul then committed a ghastly turnover, leading to a Thunder fast-break opportunity.
The play resulted in a controversial call that left Doc Rivers fuming after the game. On the fast break, Reggie Jackson went up for a layup, but he lost the ball out of bounds after Matt Barnes swiped at him. The referees gave the Thunder the ball, and the call stood after a video review, to the dismay of the Clippers. The NBA released a statement on Wednesday saying that the correct call was made.
On the ensuing Thunder possession, Paul fouled Russell Westbrook on a three, and Westbrook buried all three free throws to take a one-point lead. Paul then turned the ball over on the other end, sealing the loss for Los Angeles.
Westbrook was a monster in the victory, scoring 38 points and carrying the Thunder while Durant struggled for much of the night. Durant had 27 points, but he shot just 6-of-22.
It could be tough for the Clippers to bounce back after such a demoralizing loss, but teams have done it before in these playoffs, and in this series no less. If the pattern of this series continues, there will be another wild finish and a Game 7 back in Oklahoma City.
Game time: 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles
Radio: KFWB 980AM/KWKW 1330, WWLS 98.1FM OKC