Thunder down Clippers with last-minute rally
(The Sports Xchange) - The Oklahoma City Thunder staged a remarkable last-minute rally to defeat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-104 in Game Five of their Western Conference semi-final series on Tuesday.
Trailing by seven points with just 49 seconds remaining, Oklahoma City's two leading players scored the game's last eight points to steal victory in front of a raucous home crowd and take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Forward Kevin Durant hit a three-pointer and a layup, and guard Russell Westbrook, who led all scorers with 38 points, nailed three clutch free throws to guide the second-seeded Thunder to victory.
"Faith," Westbrook told reporters of a game the Thunder trailed for most of the night. "We just did a good job of staying together. We kept chipping away and playing together."
Despite forward Durant's off night by his lofty standards, 27 points on just 6-for-22 shooting, the Thunder kept fighting back with chances to take the lead in the fourth.
"There was definitely frustration," Durant said. "I just tried to stick with it. Russ carried us the whole game. Put me in position to go out there and hit those shots and to win the game."
For a long time a home victory appeared unlikely as each time the Thunder got within range, it seemed like Clippers reserve guard Jamal Crawford had an answer.
Whether it was a jump shot or drive to the basket, the shot maker became a momentum stopper. That included draining a three-pointer to push the lead to 101-88 with less than four minutes remaining.
Westbrook and Durant made back-to-back jumpers to cut lead to eight points with 3:19 on the clock. Durant then sank a pair of free throws and guard Reggie Jackson got a breakaway layup to get Oklahoma City within four. Continued...