The Clippers trailed by 16 points in the fourth quarter against a Kevin Durant playing at his All-Star, MVP best and a team that was flowing and getting its job done.
Then the offensive flow stopped. The Clippers porous defense was able to hone in on Durant and Westbrook as they went one-on-one and convert the misses into fast break opportunities. The 3-point shooting started to come around and Darren Collison, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford turned the game around for the Clippers.
Los Angeles came storming back for a 101-99 win. The Thunder were left frustrated and pointing their fingers at each other a bit as the Clippers turned the series on its head. Los Angeles gave up 40 points to Durant and 27 points to Westbrook. But no one else on Oklahoma City was able to do much more.
The Clippers took those misses right back at the Thunder. Paul had 23 points and 10 assists. Blake Griffin had 25 points. But it was Darren Collison scoring 12 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and Jamal Crawford adding 18 off the bench. They had the energy and the will to push their way back into the game. That was what it ultimately takes to win playoff games. The Clippers fed off of every mistake and had the patience and confidence and, most importantly, trust to come back together.
Los Angeles should count itself fortunate to be tied in this series. Oklahoma City should be frustrated that it is not up 3-1. This feels like a whole new series. Oklahoma City is capable of dominating for nearly 40 minutes. But the Clippers can stay within striking distance and put on an onslaught of points and stops if the Thunder are not careful and focused.
This is a series again.