Collison leads the late charge as Clippers overcome double-digit deficit.
The Los Angeles Clippers fought back brilliantly in the fourth quarter of Game 4 against the Oklahoma City Thunder to level the series at 2-2.
Despite being outplayed for 40 minutes and still trailing with 1:23 remaining, the Clippers staged a remarkable comeback in front of their fans at the Staples Center on Sunday night to keep their hopes alive.
Darren Collison isn’t known for his clutch play but he scored eight of his 18 points in the final 2:58 to rally the Clippers past the Thunder who had led by double-digits for significant periods of the game.
Russell Westbrook had 27 points but missed a 3-pointer to win the game at the buzzer while Serge Ibaka was late with his tip-in effort which missed anyway. Kevin Durant scored 40 points but it wasn’t enough for the visitors who will be bewildered as to how they let this game slip.
Despite falling into foul trouble, Blake Griffin had 25 points in a very heated and physical contest, Jamal Crawford added 18 points while DeAndre Jordan had 14 rebounds as he helped win the battle on the boards.
Point guard Chris Paul conceded that they just “willed this one and found a way” after scoring 23 points and adding 10 assists, while Durant was left to rue the fact his team let the game slip away despite dominating and forcing the Clippers to struggle on the offensive end.
Game 5 is on Tuesday night in Oklahoma City.
Over in the Eastern Conference, the Indiana Pacers took a significant step towards making the Conference Finals after defeating the Washington Wizards in Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead.
Paul George scored 39 points and added 12 rebounds to his night’s work as the Pacers rallied from a 19-point deficit to win a significant game on the road.
They will have the opportunity to close it out on Tuesday night when they host the Wizards in Game 5, and with Roy Hibbert back dominating inside with 17 points and nine rebounds, they will feel relatively confident of ending the series at the first time of asking.
Washington’s bench outscored their rivals 32-2 and led by 17 at half-time, but George willed his team to victory as coach Frank Vogel conceded that he wanted to rest his star player but he refused to come off and continued to make big shots.
Oklahoma City Thunder 99-101 Los Angeles Clippers
Indiana Pacers 95-92 Washington Wizards