How did it happen? Could it really have happened?
A 13-point lead with 4 minutes 13 seconds to play. A six-point lead with 2:31 left. A two-point lead and the ball with 17.8 seconds left.
All gone after an agonizing sequence that included two turnovers and a pair of questionable calls in the final 13.9 seconds.
The Clippers seemed most upset about an out-of-bounds call with 11.3 seconds left while holding a 104-102 lead. After Oklahoma City's
As officials gathered to look at the replays, the Clippers pointed at scoreboard replays.
"There's no question," Barnes said. "I'm willing to put my kids on it that that ball went off him. But they watched the replay and didn't think so. It's tough when you see [Thunder players] putting their heads down and the crowd starts booing, I mean everyone saw that the ball went of Jackson. We didn't get it."
The Thunder then benefited from another controversial call when Paul was whistled for a foul on Westbrook on a three-point attempt with 6.4 seconds left.
Westbrook made all three free throws to give the Thunder a 105-104 lead.
The Clippers had one final chance but Paul lost the ball driving toward the basket with less than a second to go and the game was over.
“We had that game won regardless of what happened,” Clippers guard
Barnes wasn't willing to accept that this defeat was the opposite of what happened Sunday, when the Clippers rallied from a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win.
"I think we earned that win," Barnes said of Game 4. "Tonight was a little different."
The Thunder outscored the Clippers, 17-3, after
“A lot of things happened,” Collison said. There were some defensive errors. We kind of turned the ball over. They made that big three [by
Barnes said the officials didn't give him any explanation on the out-of-bounds play other than to say the ball was off him.
In a statement issued by crew chief Tony Brothers, the officials watched two replays and "it was inconclusive as to who the ball went out of bounds off of. When it's inconclusive, we have to go with the call that was on the floor" that the ball was off Barnes.
Would there be anything the
"What are they going to say?" Barnes said. "They made a mistake, but that's still a loss for us, so it doesn't really matter."
The Clippers now return home for Game 6 on Thursday needing to win to force a Game 7 on Sunday in Oklahoma City. They will need to get their emotions in check first.