For most of game 4, the Los Angeles Clippers found themselves in a hole. They were down 22 in the first quarter and by 16 at one point in the fourth quarter. After switching to a lineup with three guards, the Clippers were able to force multiple turnovers that they turned into easy buckets. It was practically a win-or-go-home situation and the Clippers did what they had to. Winning game 4 ensured another game back at Staples, regardless of the outcome in game 5.
Game 5, often referred to as the swing game when a series is tied 2-2, has historically been a strong indicator of who wins the series. The winner of game 5 goes on to win the series nearly 86 percent of the time after a series is tied 2-2. The winners of game 5 only win game 6 about 57 percent of the time, but the home court advantage plays a huge factor come game 7.
AccuScore has the Thunder as slight 54.7 percent favorites to win Tuesday night’s game 5 against the Clippers. The average score after 10,000 simulations is 104-103, with the Clippers having nearly a 61 percent chance of covering the +5.5 spread. There is a 59.7 percent chance the total combined score stays under 212.5.
- The Clippers are 1-5 against the spread (ATS) in their last 6 games.
- The total has gone OVER in 10 of the Clippers’ last 14 games.
- The Clippers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games on the road.
- The Clippers are 2-4 straight up (SU) in their last 6 games on the road.
- The Thunder are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games.
- The Thunder are 4-2 SU in their last 6 games.
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of the Thunder’s last 7 games.
- The Thunder are 14-4 SU in their last 18 games at home.
Blake Griffin: 20 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal
Chris Paul: 20 points, 12 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 3 TOs
Kevin Durant: 30 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 TOs
Russell Westbrook: 23 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, 4 TOs
What to Watch For
Keep an eye on the Clippers role players to contribute more in game 5. J.J. Redick and Matt Barnes combined to score just six points in game 5 on 2-14 shooting, 1-7 from beyond the arc. L.A. still got the win, but will need much more production if they want the same result on the road.
Will Chris Paul once again guard Kevin Durant? Clippers coach Doc Rivers was forced to put Paul on KD after Barnes wasn’t able to do much to contain the MVP. Paul and the subsequent double teams forced multiple turnovers late in the game, but the matchup is not a suitable option long-term. If the Clippers do try the same strategy again, expect Durant to read the double team much quicker and more efficiently than he did in the previous game.
The Clippers shot just 3-21 from the three-point line in game 4. Law of averages would indicate L.A. being more accurate in game 5, especially given that OKC gives up about 24 points per game from beyond the arc. AccuScore projects the Clippers shoot 8-22 from three point range in game 5.
Photo Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times
All projection data provided by AccuScore