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Wild Finish to Clippers-Thunder Game 5 Includes Crazy Comeback, Botched Call, and Angry Doc Rivers (Video)
Behind every great comeback is an epic collapse.
On Sunday night it was the Clippers who staged the comeback and the Thunder who collapsed. Last night the roles were reversed. And this time the referees factored in as well.
Here’s what happened. After being down 13 points in the fourth quarter, the Thunder whittle LA’s lead down to seven. Then, in the final minute, Kevin Durant did his MVP thing and hit a three-pointer and a layup, cutting the lead to two with 12 seconds left. And that’s when things got crazy.
While bringing the ball up the court, fully expecting to get fouled, Chris Paul let his guard down and Russell Westbrook knocked the ball away. The ball then made its way into the hands of OKC’s Reggie Jackson, who took the ball to the hoop for a layup. He was eventually fouled by Paul and the ball went out of bounds.
The referees didn’t call the foul, though, and they knew right away that they should have. However, you can’t review fouls (or non-fouls) on replay, so they rectified the situation by saying the ball went off the Clippers’ Matt Barnes. Then they used replay to uphold the ridiculous call on the floor.
Take a look:
After that, the Thunder got the ball in the hands of Westbrook. He was fouled on a three-point attempt, hit all three free throws, and OKC won the game.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers? Yeah, he was frustrated. In fact, he was so frustrated that he wasn’t making any damn sense at the postgame press conference:
Well fine, maybe he was making a little sense. The officials definitely blew it. They did. But replay certainly isn’t the problem.
In the end, what Doc is really saying is that the refs screwed the Thunder by not calling a foul on Barnes and his team should have benefited from that. But the refs then bent the rules to unscrew the Thunder, and that cost them.
Stupid? Yes. But hardly “unjust” in the larger scheme of things. If they did the same thing for the Clippers, Doc would be singing a different tune.
Besides, if Chris Paul didn’t have two turnovers and a foul in the last minute of the game, none of this even matters.