LOS ANGELES —
L.A.’s Jamal Crawford and the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook exchanged buckets and the game was tied at 97-97 with 1:12 left in the game.
Collison came up with a layup to give L.A. it’s first lead of the game. Westbrook tried to answer, but his shot was off and Griffin got the rebound. Collison snuck behind the Thunder defense and Griffin hit him with a long pass that led to an uncontested layup.
“They shot the easiest shot in basketball and they shot it uncontested,” Reggie Jackson said. “They got a bunch of layups. That’s it, whether it was transition layups or halfcourt layups. Layups, for us, that’s uncalled for. We’d rather put somebody in the ground than have that.”
Westbrook scored and got the Thunder back within two before Griffin missed a layup on the other end. Thabo Sefolosha got the rebound and passed it to Westbrook who drive up court and threw up a 25-foot 3-pointer, attempting to salvage a last second win. However, it was off.
Ibaka looked to have had a chance at a last second put back, but not only was it too late, he missed it.
“We’ve got to have a better sense of urgency down the stretch, mentally,” Kendrick Perkins said. “We didn’t get any stops down the stretch in the fourth quarter. I still don’t know how we had a lot of careless turnovers in the fourth. We’ve just got to do better closing out games. It’s a golden opportunity we had in our hands and we’re supposed to make it happen.”
Instead, it was the Clippers who made it happen. With Rivers at the helm this year, they have found a way to make stunning comebacks with regularity.
“Hopefully, we kind of remember what got us this win,” Griffin said. “It was our rotations defensively. It was the way we were talking, the way we believed, the way we moved the ball. Hopefully, we carry that momentum, not necessarily just the excitement, but just the momentum of how we were playing and things that made us successful.”