What went wrong for Chris Paul, Clippers on final possession of crushing Game 5 loss
The last possession of a tight playoff game is often given too much attention. The opposite might be true, though, in the case of Game 5 between the Thunder and Clippers, as Oklahoma City's furious comeback and the referees' controversial calls (and Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers' angry reaction to one in particular) overshadowed the final sequence.
Let's table the outrage and parsing of NBA rules for a moment to review the game's last play, which came after Russell Westbrook made three free throws to put the Thunder ahead 105-104 with 6.4 seconds remaining.
Rivers called a timeout to advance the ball to half court and set up a play, but his design ended in a worst-case scenario for the Clippers: Chris Paul, one of the surest superstars in the league, committed a game-ending turnover that prevented L.A. from even attempting a shot.
What went wrong after the initial pick-and-roll between Paul and Blake Griffin? Did Paul miss an opportunity to pull up for a jumper? Was he fouled on the drive? Let's examine the components of that final, fateful possession from the baseline angle. Hover over the image below for dynamic captions and video playback: