Chris Paul on Losing Game 5 to OKC: "That was probably the biggest heartbreak ever"
May 13, 2014 - One of the worst days in Clipper history. Every Clipper fan still remembers losing game 5 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and so does Chris Paul.
Paul looked back at what he considers his most heartbreaking moment, in the Quibi documentary series "Blackballed."
"That was probably the biggest heartbreak ever," Paul said. "I knew that we were right there, and I felt like I let us down."
To rewind the clock, the Clippers were up 104-97 with 49 seconds left against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and somehow lost the game. What transpired was a mix of bad turnovers and bad calls. The most egregious call was an out of bounds call in which Reggie Jackson clearly lost the ball off himself. It's a possession that still haunts DeAndre Jordan.
Matt Barnes, and the rest of the Clipper fanbase, truly believed the Clippers would win the series had they won that game. The team would have been up 3-2 returning home, after two huge wins. It was truly the best championship opportunity the Clippers ever had, because it was the only playoff run without a single injury.
"That was a dagger to us, because we really felt like we had the momentum," Matt Barnes said. "We take care of OKC, we are definitely gonna get them back at the crib. They come back and steal that game, we really let a championship opportunity out of our hands."
For those on Lob City, game 5 will forever be remembered as the most emotional they've ever seen Chris Paul after a game. The turnover Paul committed is still etched in his mind.
"That was as emotional as I’ve ever seen Chris," JJ Redick said. "I’ve never seen him like that. He took that hard. Sh*t happens. He’s the best player I’ve ever played with. So sh*t happens."
While it's not an excuse, one thing to remember is that Donald Sterling resurfaced during that series. The Clippers thought they put him behind the team, but he reappeared in an Anderson Cooper interview. Around the same time, all of the Sterling trials began.
"We’re in the biggest part of the season, the most important part of the season, and our owner wanted to show the world what kind of idiot he was," Matt Barnes said.
The 2014 Clippers may have had their season end in disappointment, but they're still a team to be forever proud of. It's remarkable to think a team went as far as they did, while dealing with all of the drama they did. Doc Rivers remains proud of the team, to this day.
"That was the most proud I’ve ever been of one group of how to handle a crisis," Doc Rivers said. "It just wasn’t enough."