In a game filled with furious runs, fantastic all around play, and controversial officiating the Oklahoma City Thunder emerged with a thrilling 105-104 victory. In the final minute of this thrilling game Kevin Durant made a three pointer (after struggling all night long) to cut the Clippers lead to 4. After Jamal Crawford missed a shot from close range the Thunder pushed the ball up court and Kevin Durant converted another basket to cut the lead to 2. Russell Westbrook was then able to come up with a steal that led to a Reggie Jackson fast break in which the ball was knocked out of his hands. The ruling on the court was that the Clippers last touched it and that it was OKC possession. After review the call on the court stood despite obvious evidence that the ball did go out of bounds off Jackson. On the ensuing possession Chris Paul was called for a foul while defending a Russell Westbrook 3 point attempt and Westbrook was awarded 3 free throws. It did not appear to be a foul when it happened live and looked like even less of a foul on replay however foul calls are not reviewable. After he calmly sank all 3 free throws, the Thunder had a 1 point lead. After a Clipper timeout they inbounded the ball to Paul who turned the ball over for the second time in the last 13 seconds and the Thunder came away with the win.
Westbrook scored 23 of his playoff career high 38 points in the second half. He was dominant on a night where Durant struggled. He constantly found his way to the rim and was clutch in the final moments. He also finished with 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Durant had 27 total points on poor shooting, however he did have 10 rebounds and 5 assists. There were no other double figure scorers however Serge Ibaka, Thabo Sefolosha, (who also threw down a vicious dunk over DeAndre Jordan)
Steven Adams, and Jackson all had 8 points or more.
Blake Griffin had another dominant game with 24 points and 17 rebounds. He has been impressive throughout the playoff run. Paul had 17 points and 14 assists however he also had 5 turnovers overall including those 2 late miscues. Matt Barnes had perhaps his first productive gave of the series with 16 points and 10 rebounds to go along with the presence he brings on defense. J.J Redick also had his best game of the series with 16 points including three 3 pointers. Crawford had 19 points off the bench on a terrible 7-22 from the floor.
This series has been wildly entertaining and unpredictable. Game 6 is back in Los Angeles and if there is one Coach that knows how to prepare when his back is against the wall it is Doc Rivers. You can bet that the Clippers will come out ready to force a game 7. For OKC the hope is that they can ride the momentum from those last 50 seconds of game 5 right through game 6.
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