The Clippers survived a challenging week, overcoming a huge deficit in Game 4 on Sunday to tie their second-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder 2-2.
Led by Chris Paul with 32 points and 10 assists, the team opened the week with an impressive 122-105 win on the road over the Thunder in Game 1.
Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were tremendous in Wednesday’s Game 2, a lopsided 112-101 win in favor of Oklahoma City -- that wasn’t as close as the final score.
The Clippers needed more out of Blake Griffin, and a better effort on the boards to challenge the Thunder. The franchise also needed additional bench support and depth, with players such as Danny Granger struggling to hit shots.
With the series shifting to Staples Center, Griffin gave the Clippers a strong performance in Game 3, but the Clippers still fell short, 98-96.
The Thunder’s offense improved through the first three games of the series, while the Clippers’ defense struggled. Former Clippers forward Caron Butler came up big in Game 3 for the Thunder, scoring a damaging 14 points off the bench.
The Clippers were awful to start Game 4, falling behind by 22 points. A furious comeback and finish, led by Darren Collison’s 12 fourth-quarter points, helped them even the series with a 101-99 victory.
After the win, Paul credited Collison as the spark. Coach Doc Rivers made a desperate move in the game, having Paul guard the much taller Durant. Somehow it worked, despite 40 points from the NBA’s most valuable player.
Game 6 is set of Tuesday night in Oklahoma City.
Meanwhile, the Clippers appointed Richard Parsons as interim CEO, as the NBA worked to resolve ownership issues with the Sterling family.