|Date of game: 5/13/2014
Recap: Oklahoma City vs. LA Clippers
Oklahoma City, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - Doc Rivers said his team was "robbed."
Scott Brooks said he looked at several replays and couldn't tell who touched the ball last.
One thing's for sure: The game-ending run that gave Brooks' Oklahoma City Thunder a one-point win over Rivers' Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night hinged on an out-of-bounds call that will be hotly debated until the teams meet again, and perhaps for long after that.
A replay review went Oklahoma City's way and Russell Westbrook scored the last of his 38 points on three foul shots with 6.4 seconds remaining to lift the Thunder to a 105-104 win in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Down 13 with four minutes remaining, the Thunder outscored the Clippers 8-0 in the last 49 seconds to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Kevin Durant added 27 points in the win despite struggling to find his shot for most of the game.
The league MVP scored five in a row during a frantic series near the end that was punctuated by the controversial out-of-bounds call.
After Durant made a 3-pointer, then a layup in transition, Westbrook poked the ball loose from Clippers point guard Chris Paul near the sideline and Thunder guard Reggie Jackson ended up with it.
He dribbled into the paint and ran into Matt Barnes, losing the ball out of bounds.
Officials awarded the ball to the Thunder, Paul fouled Westbrook on a 3-point attempt on the high left side, and Westbrook made all three shots for the Thunder's first lead since midway through the second quarter.
Paul tried to split Jackson and Serge Ibaka with a dribble at the other end and lost the ball in the paint on the final possession of the game.
Rivers conceded Jackson was fouled by Barnes on the out-of-bounds play, but said it doesn't matter.
"Everybody knows it was our ball. I think the bottom line is they thought it was a foul and made up for it," said Rivers. "We got robbed."
"We did a lot of stuff ourselves to lose the game," Rivers said, "but at the end of the day, we have a replay system to look at plays. And I don't want to hear they didn't have (a good enough) replay. That's a bunch of crap and you know it."
Rivers was so sure the call would go his team's way, he was already drawing up an inbounds play.
"That could be a series-defining call," he said, "and that's not right."
Brooks said the replays he watched weren't conclusive enough to overturn the call on the floor, which was Thunder ball.
"One thing I know is Reggie did get fouled," said Brooks. "I couldn't tell on my replays (who the ball went off of). Maybe they have different replays than I have. On the four or five I saw I couldn't tell."
Game 6 is Thursday in Los Angeles.
Westbrook finished 11-of-23 from the field and missed just two of his 16 foul shots, picking up the slack for Durant, who was 6-for-22 shooting, including 3-for-17 in the first three quarters as the Thunder mostly played from behind.
Blake Griffin had 24 points and 17 rebounds to lead Los Angeles and Paul added 17 points and 14 assists. Jamal Crawford scored 19 points off the bench and J.J. Redick had 16.
Paul put the blame on himself, saying he put the game in the officials' hands when he challenged Westbrook's 3-pointer. He said it doesn't matter if the NBA looks at the out-of-bounds play and determines the officials were wrong.
"The league can issue a statement tomorrow but who gives ..." he said, trailing off. "We lost."
The Clippers led 58-52 at halftime and stayed in front by six to take an 86-80 edge into the fourth quarter. Westbrook kept the Thunder in it, scoring half of their 28 points in the third as Durant missed seven of his eight shots.
The Clippers' lead was 101-88 after Crawford's 3-pointer with 4:13 remaining and 104-97 following Paul's jumper with 49.2 seconds left.
Earlier, Griffin, Redick and Barnes combined to score 29 of the Clippers' 34 points in the first quarter. Redick and Barnes each made two 3-pointers and the Clippers led by as many as 15.
The Thunder cut their deficit to nine going into the second and used an 18-4 run spanning the quarters to take a one-point lead. Durant scored seven in the flurry, but Paul had seven in a 17-6 burst that put the Clippers on top by 10.Game Notes
Crawford, the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year, scored 16 of his 19 points in the
second half after going 1-for-7 in the first ... The Thunder scored 23 points
off 17 Clippers turnovers, including five by Paul, who also had 14 assists.