Kevin Durant hit a tough jumper over Luc Mbah a Moute with 5.8 seconds left to help the Thunder top the Clippers, 100-99. And just for good measure, he blocked Chris Paul’s attempted game-winner too.
The ending of this battle for third place in the West was bonkers. Russell Westbrook hit two shots within the final minute to take the lead, and then stole the ball away from JJ Redick and was fouled. The Thunder only had to inbound the ball (Redick’s foul was the first under two minutes) successfully to get fouled and be put on the free throw line, but Chris Paul stole Dion Waiters’s pass and laid the ball in. That set the stage of Durant’s heroics.
It was another brutal loss for the Clippers in a season full of them. They’re now 0-4 on the season against the three teams ahead of them in the West—the Warriors, Spurs, and Thunder—despite leading all four in the fourth quarter. In each of the past two seasons they’ve been bounced from the playoffs in the second round: they’ll have to figure something else out to avoid that fate again this year. Maybe the solution is giving more minutes to Cole Aldrich, who was +7 and had five points, four rebounds, three steals, and two blocks in just 12 minutes?