The Oklahoma City Thunder scored the final eight points of the game to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-104 Tuesday night at Chesapeake Arena in Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference Semifinals to take a 3-2 series lead.
OKC appeared to be on their way to falling down 3-2 in the series until the final minute.
When Chris Paul hit a jumper with 49 seconds to play, the Clippers led 104-97 and looked to be in control.
Kevin Durant sparked the rally, after a tough night from the field, knocking down a 3-pointer to cut the L.A. lead to 104-100.
After Jamal Crawford missed a layup, the Thunder quickly moved the ball up court, with Durant scoring on a fast break layup to make it 104-102 Clippers.
Russell Westbrook swiped the ball from Paul and the Thunder had a chance to score on a break, but Reggie Jackson had the ball knocked out of his hands by the Clippers’ Matt Barnes.
The officials went to a replay review, which appeared to show the ball went out of bounds off Jackson.
Officials gave it to OKC instead, and with 6 seconds left, Westbrook was fouled on a three-point shot by Paul.
Westbrook hit all three free throws to put OKC up 105-104.
The Clippers had a final chance to win it, but Paul turned the ball over driving to the basket, and the Thunder had escaped with an unlikely victory that puts them one win away from the Western Conference Finals.
It was a game full of runs, and the Thunder had the final two runs to clinch it.
The Clippers looked like they were on their way to the win when Crawford hit a three-pointer to put L.A. up 101-88 with 4:13 to play.
The Thunder went on a 9-0 run, with a Durant 3-pointer sandwiched between layups from Westbrook and Jackson, cutting the margin to four at 101-97.
Paul’s jumper to make it a seven-point Clippers lead with just under a minute to play looked to be the dagger, but the Thunder rallied to win it.
The only reason OKC was even within striking distance was the play of Westbrook, who led all scorers with 38 points and made 14 of 16 free throws.
Durant struggled mightily with his shooting until making some key baskets late and finishing with 27 points, but Durant was just 6 for 22 from the floor.
Westbrook and Durant were the only Thunder players to score in double figures.
The Clippers’ offense was much more balanced, with former Sooner Blake Griffin leading L.A. with 24 points and 17 rebounds.
Paul had 17 points and 14 assists.
The Clippers made 12 of 27 from three-point range, with Matt Barnes making four three’s and J.J. Redick and Crawford making three each.
OKC was fantastic at the free throw line, making 32 of 36.
Rebounds finished in a dead heat at 44 apiece, but the Thunder dominated the points in the paint, doubling up L.A. 44-22.
The series now moves back to Los Angeles for Game 6 on Thursday night at 9:30 central time at the Staples Center.
If Game 7 is necessary, it will be played Sunday night at Chesapeake Arena.