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Clippers go small for big win against Thunder

KD vs CP3
Andrew D. Bernstein

The Los Angeles Clippers overcame a 16 point deficit, while containing Kevin Durant to just five points in the fourth quarter for the 101-99 victory at Staples Center.

The Clippers in a must win situation, tied the series with the Oklahoma City Thunder at two games a piece. The Clippers defense on Durant with Chris Paul who led the charge was crucial in the final quarter.

A disappointed Durant was asked what the Clippers did to prevent him from scoring in the final minutes.
"They didn't do nothing. They tried to double team. It was our defense that lacked," said Durant.

After a sluggish and lack luster first half, Doc Rivers made some key adjustment that were bold, yet strategic. Rivers put Paul on Durant, while keeping Danny Granger, Jamal Crawford, and Darren Collison in the line up for the final quarter.

Fighting five fouls, Blake Griffin returned and later explained what his mentality was while on the floor.
"Going back in the fourth quarter, I tried to be aggressive and not avoid foul trouble. I really kept playing the same way, it turned out to work."
Griffin finished with 25 points in 40 minutes.

They could not go to Oklahoma down 3-1 to a team that plays physical, yet tenacious defense.

None of the Clippers gave up, and continued to fight on both ends of the floor, even forcing Russell Westbrook to shoot 40% from the field. Darren Collison was the true X-factor with 12 points in the glorious Clippers comeback.

They have fought back before during the season from bigger deficits, but this victory was indeed the biggest of this team's season on Sunday.

"It was a must-win for us, and somehow we won that game," J.J. Redick. "I mean, you’re walking back in the tunnel afterward. You’re obviously elated, and you’re slapping [high-]fives, but you’re also thinking, 'What just happened?"

After a victory of this magnitude, a elated Doc Rivers joking said after the game he could use a beer.

Durant finished with 40 points in the loss and Westbrook with 27 points, the both knew they let Game 4 slip through their fingers.

"We have two games at home, but we are now focused on Game 5. We'll make adjustments," said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks.

Last season, the Clippers would given several times throughout the season and playoffs, but it's evident that all of the players have bought in to Rivers system and mentality when approaching games especially in the playoffs.

"We’re resilient. This is our year," Matt Barnes said. "It shows our growth. I don’t know if we win a game like this last year, honestly."

Chris Paul finished with 23 points, and 10 rebounds described their reason for victory.
"We got off to a slow start. Even in the fourth quarter, we could've relaxed you know and gave in at any point." Paul continued, "I think we willed this one, and we found a way."

Now the Clippers travel to Oklahoma City for a pivotal Game 5 against the Thunder on Tuesday night.

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