Game Five of the Los Angeles Clippers-Oklahoma City Thunder second-round series played as a classic, highlighted by a controversial call and a 13-point come back by the Thunder in the last four minutes of the game.
This playoff run, unfortunately, plays as a secondary story for the Clips as their beleaguered owner, Donald Sterling, remains center of attention after his derogatory remarks about Magic Johnson during a CNN interview with Anderson Cooper.
After the disheartening loss, the Clippers now have an uphill battle, trailing 3-2 in the best of seven series. ESPN reported that Coach Doc Rivers believes that the game should have gone the other way based on a referee’s call, which gave the Thunder the ball with 11.3 seconds left. Rivers claims that they were “robbed” because he insists that the instant replay clearly showed the ball going off of Thunder’s guard Reggie Jackson’s right hand before it went out of bounds.
“It was our ball,” Rivers said in a post game interview. “Everybody knows it was our ball. I think the bottom line is they thought it was a foul and they made up for it. Then, in my opinion, let’s take away replay. Let’s take away the replay system because that’s our ball, we win the game, and we got robbed because of that call. It’s clear.
“Everyone in the arena saw it. That’s why everybody was shocked when they said Oklahoma City. That was our ball. Whether it was a foul or not and it was, but they didn’t call it.”
Rivers, who led the Boston Celtics to an NBA championship in 2008, admitted that the Clippers play was a “comedy of errors” characterized by turnovers and a colossal three-point foul by Chris Paul on Russell Westbrook in which he made all three, shoring up the Thunder victory.
Nevertheless, the Los Angeles Times reported that Rivers was adamant that the game should have been theirs. Moreover, he doesn’t believe that the referees didn’t have the controversial call to review on instant replay. “But at the end of the day, we have a replay system that you’re supposed to look at. And I don’t want to hear that they didn’t have that replay. That’s a bunch of crap. That’s what I heard [from the officials].