The Clippers and Thunder don't feel like closing out games cleanly as of late, but we all benefit from it. Comebacks for everyone! Tonight's OKC rally couldn't have happened without a questionable decision by the officials on an out-of-bounds call, though.
The Oklahoma City Thunder were down by seven with about 50 seconds left, looking out of it as the game wound down. Then, Kevin Durant—who finished his mediocre night by shooting 6-22 from the field—sank a contested three to cut the deficit to four. Following Jamal Crawford's miss, the Thunder's fast break ended with a Durant layup. Now, Los Angeles was up by just two. The Clips inbounded the ball, Russell Westbrook stripped Chris Paul, Reggie Jackson ended up with possession, and then...
Matt Barnes challenged Jackson, Jackson acted like he got hit in the back of the head with a tire iron, and the ball went out of bounds. The officials went to review, and ruled that Barnes had touched it last. OKC possession. Look for yourself in the GIF.
Update: The officials released a statement on the call.
Referee explanation pic.twitter.com/BOgBCA4pJQ
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) May 14, 2014
With that call, the Thunder had a chance to tie or possibly win. Westbrook attempted a contested three—no surprise there—and Chris Paul fouled him. Or, if you're a Clippers fan, the officials called a foul on Paul.
Westbrook sank all three free throws, and the Clips' last shot fell apart. Game 6 should be fun.