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Sunday, May 11, 2014
Keys to comeback: Clippers 101, Thunder 99

By ESPN Stats & Information


The Clippers were the longest of longshots to win on Sunday.
The Los Angeles Clippers staged one of the most remarkable comebacks in NBA playoff history, coming back from a 29-7 deficit and a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 101-99, and even their series, 2-2.

The Clippers have been involved in each of the three comebacks from 20-point deficits in postseason play and have won two of them.

The Spurs have the other win-- they rallied to beat the Clippers in 2012.

The final quarter
The Clippers trailed by 12 points at the start of the fourth quarter but outscored the Thunder by 14 to win. How did they do it?

They made as many shots in the restricted area in the fourth quarter (12 out of 14 attempts) as they did in the first three (12 of 25).

Instead of settling for jump shots, they attacked the lane in the fourth quarter, scoring eight points on drives and an additional 14 in transition.

Blake Griffin replaced DeAndre Jordan with 8:44 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Clippers down by 14 points, joining Chris Paul, Darren Collison, Jamal Crawford and Danny Granger. During that time, the Clippers scored 33 points, shot 12 of 15 and outscored the Thunder by 16 points.

To try to combat this, the Thunder also went with a small lineup of Russell Westbrook, Reggie Jackson, Caron Butler, Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka. In the 5:47 they were on the court together, they were outscored 21-8, shooting 2 of 7 and committing three turnovers.

Durant scored five points in the fourth when guarded by Chris Paul, but also had three of his eight turnovers as the Clippers mounted their comeback.

Paint, bench scoring key
The Clippers outscored the Thunder 52 to 32 in the paint. The 20-point differential was the biggest of the series.

The Clippers' bench scored 40 points, the most it has scored in the series.

Clippers reserve Darren Collison scored 12 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. The 18 points was his second-highest total of postseason career.

Another way in which this was an unlikely win
The Clippers won despite making only 3 of 21 three-point shots.

In the last 25 seasons, teams that shot less than 14.5 percent from three-point range have won only three of 19 games.

The final shot
Westbrook missed the game-winning three-point attempt as time expired in Game 4.

Should Durant have had the ball in his hands in the final seconds?

Westbrook is now 1 for 8 on game-tying/go-ahead shots in the final 24 seconds of playoff games, while Durant is 5 of 15 on those shots.

Kevin Durant had one touch in the final 90 seconds of the game.

He had the ball for a total of one second in the final 90 seconds -- he was double-teamed as soon as he caught it and passed it right back out.