Los Angeles Clippers
Oklahoma City Thunder
MVP: Russell Westbrook scored 23 of his 38 points in the second half, including the go-ahead free throws with less than seven 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 free throw disparity in 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.
— Jovan Buha
Tweet(s) Of The Game
4-point plays should just be referred to as #Crawfording
— SportsNation (@SportsNation) May 14, 2014
— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) May 14, 2014
— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) May 14, 2014
I can’t say what I want to say right now, I’mma keep my money! Bus that was a joke
— Austin Rivers (@AustinRivers25) May 14, 2014
“Let’s take away the replay system. Because that’s our ball, we win the game. And we got robbed because of that call.” – Doc Rivers
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 14, 2014
That’s a bunch of crap y’all know it – Doc said
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) May 14, 2014
Rivers isn’t awaiting a memo from NBA: “I don’t need it. I’ll release the memo: They blew the call. That’s the memo.”
— J.A. Adande (@jadande) May 14, 2014
Chris Paul: “Probably the toughest thing I’ve been through basketball wise.”
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) May 14, 2014
The Depth Charge
|Ryan Hollins, C||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Hedo Turkoglu, PF||DNP INACTIVE|
|Big Baby, PF||18||2-4||0-0||0-0||3||4||7||0||0||0||1||5||-2||4|
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
Fred, Seth and Patrick wallow in Clippers depression and offer some happy moments to think about at the end of the show.
Check Your Messages
I can’t be the only one who gets frustrated watching Chris Paul consistently let the shot clock drip down to 10 or nine seconds in the last two minutes, whenever the Clippers have a single-digit lead. The “play” that then begins is often a desperation heave. Through the regular season, it worked out for the best — the lead went from 10 points to one or two, and they eked out a win.
But tonight, for instance, the Clippers were rolling on offense. Then, with a few minutes left, everything came to a standstill; two bigs at the horns, Paul at the top, wings in the corners, all standing still, for four or five consecutive possessions. And then, when they needed a good offensive set, they couldn’t come up with one. There were other issues — foul trouble, late turnovers, late fouls. But the slow-it-down plays were a big part of the loss, and the Clippers have to understand that, in Game 6, prevent offensive sets won’t get it done.
– J.D. Evans
Flashbacks To Raja Bell
Eight years ago, a Clippers squad with none of the same players as this year’s edition, and of course a different coach and GM, pushed the Suns as far as they could but failed to close out in a Game 5 on the road. Raja Bell hit a game-tying 3-pointer to force a second overtime, and the Suns eventually prevailed. The Clippers would win Game 6 at home and ultimately lose the decisive Game 7, but it was their failure to defend Bell — and why was Daniel Ewing in the game anyway? — that cost them the game.
Tonight, in another crucial road Game 5, the Clippers failed to finish in quite a different way. They blew a 13-point lead with 3:54 remaining, grew stagnant on offense, turned the ball over in key stretches and were the recipients of some poor calls. The bad late officiating is not a valid excuse, however. The Clippers did plenty to blow the game on their own. Oh, and by the way, the Thunder broke Lawler’s Law. Call the authorities.
– Aaron Fischman
Why Chris Paul?
Chris Paul has been known to get away with a lot of things in the basketball world. Spectators and players around the league roll their eyes at his flopping and at his manipulation of the referees. Nobody faulted him for wanting to leave New Orleans. Critics have long been softer on Paul’s legacy, and the need for him to “be a superstar” and finally take one of his teams to the Western Conference Finals.
Paul has always gotten away with it all, perhaps because he’s been a wonderful decision-maker, on-and-off the court. In deciding when and how to use his voice, and purely as a basketball wizard (through the first four games against the Thunder, Paul had a 47:6 assist to turnover ratio!). So in watching Game 5, we will be disgusted by the referee calling, but people aren’t perfect. Neither the Point God, nor the people writing about him, so I can’t help but ask, whether fairly or not:
Why did Chris Paul, the turnover-obsessive point guard, have five silly turnovers throughout the game? Why did Paul, the maestro of the pick-and-roll, rush to illegally use DeAndre Jordan’s screen in the fourth quarter, which was ended up being called as Jordan’s sixth foul? Why did Paul, the great time-manager, let Jamal Crawford run the offense (and chuck up an inexcusable deep 3-pointer at 1:31 left, up 6) when the ball should’ve been safely in his hands, as he tried to figure out how to best deliver the final dagger? Why did Paul, the great defensive player, get called for a foul as Westbrook shot his 3-pointer in the final minute of the game? Why did Paul, Mr. Basketball IQ, try to get a ridiculous, continuation shooting foul — yet again, to no avail, and instead, a turnover this time — for an extra, useless point in the back-court when all he had to do was take the regular foul and drain two free throws?
Why did the Clippers have to lose? Why, Chris Paul?
– Davis Vo
Times Like These Call For Masochism
This was worse.
– Fred Katz