The San Antonio Spurs beat the Clippers in Game 5, 111-107, to take a 3-2 lead in the team's best-of-seven, first-round playoff series.
The Clippers now face potential elimination in Game 6 on Thursday in San Antonio. If the Clippers win, Game 7 will be Saturday in Los Angeles.
The game featured 17 lead changes and 11 ties, with the Clippers leading by 14 points in the first quarter and the Spurs leading by seven points in the fourth quarter.
With just over five seconds left, and the Spurs up, 108-107, Blake Griffin attempted a contested layup but it rolled off the rim. DeAndre Jordan then tipped it in with 4.9 seconds left, but the referees called offensive goaltending and waived off the bucket.
The Spurs got possession and the Clippers immediately fouled Danny Green with 4.1 seconds left. Green made made his first free throw, and missed his second. Kawhi Leonard then grabbed the rebound and was immediately fouled. Leonard made two more free throws with 1.2 seconds left to give the Spurs the three-point win.
The Spurs outshot the Clippers from beyond the three-point line, 47.8% to 7.1%, the Spurs making 11 of their 23 shots while the Clippers made only one of their 14 attempts.
Blake Griffin led all scorers with 30 points on 10-of-25 shooting, 14 rebounds and seven assists. DeAndre Jordan had 21 points and 14 rebounds, though he was a liability from the free-throw line, making only seven of his 16 shots. Chris Paul had 19 points and 10 assists.
Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 21 points on eight-of-13 shooting, 11 rebounds and four assists.
The Spurs used an 8-2 run to take their biggest lead of the game, 103-96, after Boris Diaw made a three-pointer with 3 minutes and 35 seconds left.
The Clippers then went on a 5-0 run to cut the Clippers' deficit to two after Chris Paul was fouled on a layup and made his free throw, followed immediately by a dunk from Jordan with 1 minute and 31 seconds left to bring the Clippers within, 107-105.
The Spurs have won two of their three games against the Clippers at Staples Center in this series.
The Spurs have now pulled ahead by three points, 93-90, with 7 minutes and 50 seconds left after a Tim Duncan layup and a Tony Parker jumper.
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers calls a timeout.
The Clippers opened the fourth quarter with a 6-3 run, including a pullup jumper from Jamal Crawford and back-to-back baskets by Chris Paul.
Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich has called a timeout with 10 minutes and 9 seconds left, and the Clippers up, 88-85.
The crowd is chanting "C-P-3, C-P-3."
Spurs 82, Clippers 82 (end of third quarter)
The Clippers went on a 12-5 run to close the third quarter, capped off by a bank shot by Austin Rivers at the buzzer to tie the game.
The Spurs earlier overcame a six-point deficit with a 7-0 run to take a 63-62 lead with 5 minutes and 36 seconds left.
Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich then went with the hack-a-Jordan strategy, prompting boos from the crowd.
DeAndre Jordan made five of his 10 attempts over a two-minute stretch before Clippers Coach Doc Rivers subbed him out with 3 minutes and 26 seconds left. The Clippers center is seven- for-16 from the free-throw line on the game.
The strategy worked for the Spurs, who pulled ahead by six points, their biggest lead of the game, after Tim Duncan made a pair of free throws with 2 minutes and 27 seconds left.
The Clippers then retook control.
Blake Griffin leads all scorers with 28 points on nine-for-16 shooting, nine rebounds and four assists. Jordan has 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Tim Duncan leads the Spurs with 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
The Spurs used a 7-0 run to take a 63-62 lead with 5 minutes and 36 seconds left in the third quarter after Tony Parker made a 13-foot jumper.
The Clippers scored the first four points of the third quarter, extending their lead to five, 58-53, with 11 minutes remaining in the quarter.
Clippers 54, San Antonio Spurs 53 (halftime)
The Clippers led by as much as 14 points in the first quarter before the Spurs answered with a 15-0 run, capped off by back-to-back three-pointers from Patty Mills and Manu Ginobili at the top of the second quarter to give the Spurs their first lead of the game, 28-27, with 11 minutes left in the first half.
The Clippers then went back up by eight points before the Spurs used another run, this time 15-2, to take their biggest lead of the game at four points, 48-44, with just under four minutes left.
Chris Paul made a pair of free throws with 50 seconds left to give the Clippers the one-point halftime lead.
Blake Griffin has 21 points, more than twice what any other player has scored. He's made seven of his 10 shots from the field, has a game-high eight rebounds and three assists.
Kawhi Leonard and Mills lead the Spurs with 10 points apiece.
The Spurs are outshooting the Clippers from beyond the three-point line, 50% to 10%. The Clippers have only made one of their 10 attempts.
The Spurs, however, have 10 turnovers, twice as many as the Clippers.
Patty Mills opened the second quarter by making a three-pointer for the Spurs, who are now on an 12-0 run, extending back to the last minute and a half of the first quarter.
The Clippers' lead has been cut to two, 27-25, with 11 minutes and 45 seconds left in the first half.
Clippers 27, Spurs 22 (end of first quarter)
Blake Griffin opened Game 5 on fire, making five of his six field goal attempts to help the Clippers lead by as many as 14 points in the first quarter.
The Spurs then went on a 9-0 run over the last minute and a half of the quarter to cut the Clippers' lead to five, 27-22.
Griffin leads all scorers with 13 points. The next highest scoring Clipper is DeAndre Jordan, who has four points. Griffin also leads all players in rebounds with six.
The Clippers are outshooting the Spurs from the field, 47.8% to 40%. The Spurs also have four turnovers while the Clippers only have two.
Oh and the first quarter included to big jams -- one from Griffin and one from Jordan.
Blake Griffin is now five-for-five from the field and leads all scorers with 11 points. The Clippers are up, 16-11, with just under five minutes left.
Blake Griffin makes a jumper to give the Clippers a 12-5 advantage over the Spurs with 7 minutes and 45 seconds left in the first quarter. The Clippers outshooting the Spurs from the field, 71.4% to 14.3%.
Griffin leads all scorers with seven points.
Before Game 5 on Tuesday, Clippers Coach Doc Rivers was asked if the Clippers needed to treat tonight's game as though it were a game 7.
"I think both teams do," Rivers said.
The Clippers and the Spurs are tied 2-2 in their first-round best-of-seven playoff series.
The teams split both of their games in Los Angeles and in San Antonio. In Game 3 in San Antonio, the Spurs routed the Clippers, 100-73.
Then in Game 4 in San Antonio, the Clippers won, 114-15, behind Chris Paul's 34 points on 11-for-19 shooting, seven assists and only two turnovers. It was a big turnaround for Paul, who had more turnovers (six) than assists (four) for the first time this season in Game 3, while only making three of his 11 shots.
Paul recently said that it shouldn't take the Clippers getting blown out by nearly 30 points to fire them up, referring to their strong Game 4 that followed their Game 3 embarrassment.
Tuesday evening, Rivers echoed Paul's sentiments.
"We have to be ready from the onset," Rivers said. "We have to understand that they're going to be ready."
Follow Melissa Rohlin on Twitter @melissarohlin