Clippers roll over Thunder to even series 2-2
Darren Collison scored 12 of 18 points in the fourth quarter as the Los Angeles Clippers rallied for a 101-99 win over Oklahoma City in game four of their NBA playoff series.
The unheralded Collinson shot seven-of-12 from the field in Sunday`s victory, which knotted the best-of-seven Western Conference second-round series at two games apiece.
Oklahoma City led by 22 points in the first quarter and by 16 points in the final period, but they couldn`t contain the hard-charging Clippers when it mattered the most.
"We had to score and get stops, and we did that," Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. "It`s now a three-game series."
The Clippers outscored the Thunder 52-32 in the paint during the Mother`s Day matinee in front of a crowd of 19,365 at Staples Center arena.
Blake Griffin scored 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Clippers, who are beginning to look like a battle-tested playoff team.
The Los Angeles team has never gone past the second round of the post-season.
The series now heads to Oklahoma City for game five on Tuesday.
Leads have been hard to hold onto in this series. The Thunder rallied to win game three, marking the first time in this regular season and playoffs that the Clippers lost a game at home when leading going into the fourth quarter.
The Thunder must now rebound at their Chesapeake Energy Arena.
They made the NBA finals two years ago but didn`t advance past the second round last season after Russell Westbrook went down with a knee injury. Westbrook missed a three-point attempt at the buzzer Sunday.
Griffin played the final 8:44 with five fouls and scored 10 of his points down the stretch for the Clippers.
Chris Paul finished with 23 points, 10 assists and just one turnover for Los Angeles.
"We finally made a lot of defensive plays that got our offence going," Collison said.
NBA Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant scored 40 points but also committed eight of the Thunder`s 16 turnovers.
Westbrook finished with 27 points and eight assists for the Thunder, who appeared to be cruising to victory with a 16-point lead with 9:19 remaining before allowing the Clippers to hit 13 of their last 16 shots.
Westbrook scored a basket out of a timeout in the final moments. That was followed by a Griffin miss that gave the Thunder one last shot, but Westbrook`s try from several feet behind the three-point line hit the rim as the horn sounded.
"I had a good look, but it didn`t go in," Westbrook said. "It`s a tough loss, but its a series. We`ll go back home and take care of business."