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Keys to victory: Thunder 105, Clippers 104

5/14/2014

With each game in this series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers, the storylines get more and more remarkable.

This time, it was the Thunder’s turn. They capped their comeback win with a 17-3 game-ending run, scoring those points on nine memorable possessions.

There was controversy with regards to questions about the officiating, but it was an amazing triumph for the Thunder nonetheless.

How the heck did that happen?

What were the keys to the Thunder’s comeback?

Thunder in Last 4:00 of 4th Quarter
Last 2 Games

Kevin Durant scored 10 of his 27 points in the final four minutes and had as many field goals (3) on five shots as he did on the 17 shots he attempted in the first 44 minutes of the game.

Five of the Clippers' six field goal attempts in the last four minutes were pull-up jump shots. They were 1 of 5 on such shots, which led to long rebounds.

Seven of Thunder's 17 points in the last four minutes came in transition, five of which came straight from Clippers' misses on pull-up jumpers.

Chris Paul turned the ball over five times in the game, including twice in the final 13 seconds. In 138 minutes in clutch time this season (less than five minutes left, and the score within five points), Paul turned the ball over only seven times.

Westbrook’s big game

Russell Westbrook finished with 38 points, his most in a game this postseason, including three free throws in the final seconds to put the Thunder ahead.

That Westbrook made all three was not that surprising. Westbrook is an 85 percent free-throw shooter in clutch-time situatons.

Up until the four minute mark of the fourth quarter, Westbrook had scored 18 of Thunder's 36 points in the second half. He was especially aggressive when guarded by Paul. Westbrook drove four times against Paul and scored on every one of his drives.

Of Westbrook’s 18 points during that time, 12 came when he did not defer to his teammates. He had nine possessions in which he initiated and finished the offense, compared to six possessions where there were passes involved in the play.

Overall, he was 7 of 12 in what we’ll call "one-man offense" compared to 4 of 11 playing within "team offense."