Los Angeles Clippers
Oklahoma City Thunder
MVP: Darren Collison. Chris Paul’s impressive defense on Kevin Durant set him up, but Collison seized the moment in the fourth quarter, scoring 12 of his 18 points in the final frame on 4-for-6 shooting while pulling down three rebounds along the way.
That was … an epic collapse. Yes, the 22-point lead on the Clippers in the first quarter was staggering, but more impressive was the way the Thunder held them at bay for almost the whole game. Not impressive? That last little bit, where Oklahoma City couldn’t put anything together.
X factor: CP3 on Durant. Although Durant was 4-for-5 in the fourth, putting Paul on him and bringing the quick double-team often got the ball out of his hands, and Durant turned the ball over three times in the final quarter. The Clippers offered tempting mismatches in the second half, baiting the Thunder into pressing as they struggled to take advantage without success.
– Steve McPherson
Iblaka This, Serge
The Point God vs. The Slim Reaper
Tweet(s) Of The Game
Thunder 29, Clippers 11 with 2:21 left in the 1st quarter. pic.twitter.com/g7oG4phzoe
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) May 11, 2014
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 11, 2014
Blake Griffin is just going to have to start wearing a cup against the Thunder.
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) May 11, 2014
LAC's momentum has been stifled so many times this game. That Jackson 3 is probably the most important one yet.
— D.J. Foster (@fosterdj) May 11, 2014
For those who contend Paul is somehow failing in this series. he's had to be their best playmaker, 3 pt shooter, PG defender, wing defender.
— Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) May 11, 2014
No better example of our bias toward offense than the narrative surrounding Collison in this game. Destroyed by Russ. Died on every screen.
— charlie widdoes (@charliewiddoes) May 11, 2014
I’d like to thank myself for making it at halftime.
— Andrew Han (@andrewthehan) May 11, 2014
Doc's opening statement: "I want a beer."
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) May 11, 2014
KD on what challenges CP3 poses defensively against him: "He doesn't."
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) May 11, 2014
The Depth Charge
|Ryan Hollins, C||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Hedo Turkoglu, PF||DNP INACTIVE|
|Big Baby, PF||13||2-3||0-0||0-0||1||1||2||3||0||0||1||2||0||4|
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
Jack Winter, Law and Fred rename the show. Welcome to Darren Collison Live.
Check Your Messages
The Clippers’ legitimacy as a title contender has been questioned throughout the season. From a personnel standpoint, they needed another back-up big and perimeter defender. This perspective never seemed more evident than today.
Blake Griffin was in foul trouble yet again, and continued to have trouble scoring on Serge Ibaka in the post. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook looked unstoppable, combining to score 67 points off of 22-of-46 shooting. The Clippers looked completely over-matched, and it looked like this series, much less this game, was probably over.
But the Clippers kept on chipping away, somehow. Chris Paul began guarding Kevin Durant, who may be about a foot taller than Paul, and it stuttered the Thunder offense. Danny Granger replaced Matt Barnes in the fourth as the small-ball 4. Darren Collison had the game of his life. Read those last three sentences again, and understand why I may be skeptical of this success is sustainable.
The Clippers can’t expect Paul to check Durant for long stretches of the game; the Thunder should be ready to react to that next game. The Clippers still don’t have sustainable defensive answers for the Durant/Westbrook match-up or the foul trouble that seems to consistently haunt their bigs. This game was merely a band-aid, a temporarily fix to cover their weaknesses against the Thunder. The Clippers can still win this series, but it may be fair to ask, how many more band-aids do they have?
- Davis Vo
The “P” Word
Doc Rivers’ buzzword this season has been “pace.” Ever since he took over as Clippers head coach back in July, Rivers has called for his team to play an uptempo style of offense.
More often than not, the Clippers have abided by his wishes. They finished seventh in pace in the regular season, and currently rank second in the playoffs.
But every now and then, like in Game 4 on Sunday afternoon, the team reverts to its old habits. They don’t push the ball after opponent made baskets. They throw it inside to Blake Griffin and stand around. They don’t play with any movement or urgency.
“When a ball sticks, we’re not very good,” Rivers said. “When a ball moves, I think we become almost unguardable. It’s reared its head in the playoffs as well, but it was basically ball movement.”
- Jovan Buha at FOX Sports West