The Oklahoma City Thunder remembered what the Clippers did to them at the end of Game 4. It was probably the only thing on their minds for the last two days. They had a Game 4 win at Staples Center in their back pocket, only to find that it was no longer there by the time the final buzzer had sounded. They’d had their pocket picked by a Clipper team that played all the way up to the final buzzer, and they were left struggling to come up with an explanation for why they didn’t have it secured. Apparently the Thunder weren’t just scratching their heads over it these past couple of days however. They obviously took notes from the Clippers on how to lull a team to sleep in the final 12 minutes and steal victories. The Clippers had last night’s Game 5 victory in their back pocket, ready to take it back to Staples to seal the series, only for the Thunder to pick their pocket at the last minute. A questionable out-of-bounds call made the Thunder’s victory last night possible to begin with. It’s a call that Doc Rivers most likely still disagrees with today, but it’s one that he even admits they never should have put themselves in position for, saying:
“It was our ball, we got robbed. We made our own mistakes but we have a replay system and to say you couldn’t see it on the angles you had, that’s a bunch of crap. There were a lot of errors, most of them by us, but then there was one huge error (by the officials), on that call they got it wrong. That could be a series-defining call … a horrendous call. But we put ourselves in that position with a comedy of errors.”
Honestly, whether it was the right or the wrong call is a moot point. The call has been made, and they’re not going to go back and change it now. Hell, had the Clippers played to the final buzzer, and not allowed the Thunder to end the game on a 17-3 run, then the Clippers would be preparing to eliminate us at Staples Center tomorrow night. Although Lead Official Tony Brothers was on hand to explain why they made the call that they made:
“We saw two replays 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 on the floor.”
The call on the floor at the time was OKC ball, so that’s what they went with.
To be honest though, OKC should consider themselves very lucky they were able to steal the win with only Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook scoring in double-figures. If other players don’t step up their games, I don’t see how they expect to bring a championship to Oklahoma City. Five Clippers scored in double figures last night, and Jamal Crawford dropped 19 off of the Clippers bench, compared to 22 total bench points for the Thunder. As a matter of fact all but 40 of OKC’s points were scored by either Durant or Westbrook. A third Thunder player needs to step up and score consistently, or this postseason won’t end well for them.
Game 6 is at Staples Center tomorrow night, and will be tipping off at 9:30 CST. Do they finish the Clippers in LA, or can the Clips extend the series for one final game? Tomorrow night will provide the answer to that question.