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Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook's 38 points help OKC to Game 5 win over Clippers

On a night that Kevin Durant struggled and Serge Ibaka struggled more, it was Russell Westbrook who kept the Thunder in the game until his buddies joined the party. The Thunder point guard scored a game-high 38 points and Oklahoma City took a 3-2 lead in this Western Conference semifinal.
by Jenni Carlson Published: May 13, 2014
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/articleid/4815215/1/pictures/2642683">Photo - Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (0) goes up for a basket as Los Angeles' Blake Griffin (32) defends during Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 13, 2014. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (0) goes up for a basket as Los Angeles' Blake Griffin (32) defends during Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 13, 2014. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Over the final 85 seconds of the game, the Thunder outscored the Clippers 10-3.

But the craziest moments of all were reserved for the final 20 seconds or so. Durant scored a basket, then Westbrook came up with a steal, and after a referee’s review kept possession with the Thunder, Westbrook was fouled by Paul while shooting a three.

He hit all three free-throws with 6.4 seconds left to give the Thunder a one-point lead.

But the Clippers still had plenty of time to score. After a timeout, Paul took the inbounds pass and dribbled toward the goal, but as he approached the lane, Reggie Jackson helped a bit off of Jamal Crawford and got a fingertip on the ball.

It came out of Paul’s hand and was scooped up by Ibaka.

He gathered it in as the final buzzer sounded.

How did the Thunder do it? How did the Thunder win on a night that Durant was 6 of 22 and Ibaka managed only eight points?

“Faith, man,” Westbrook said during his postgame interview on TNT. “We did a good job of just staying together, kept chipping away and staying together.”

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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