Sports

With a Split-Second Decision Gone Wrong, Clippers Succumb to Spurs

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, left, grabs a rebound away from San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan during the first half of Game 5 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, left, grabs a rebound away from San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan during the first half of Game 5 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

 

LOS ANGELES (CBS Sports) – DeAndre Jordan sat at his locker, looking straight down at the floor and slowly running his left hand through his spongy hair.

His right hand — the one that had just become part of San Antonio Spurs’ lore — was clasped around his left knee. His right foot was half-in, half-out of a black flip-flop.

Yep. Halfway in.

Blake Griffin’s driving layup off the inbounds play with 6.9 seconds left, with the Clippers trailing by one, had grazed the right-front of the rim, caromed off the backboard and was dancing tantalizing over the left side of the rim. And there it was — the possession, the game, and maybe, the series and the season for both teams — suspended in mid-air.

Jamal Crawford had tried to get the ball to Chris Paul, but the Clippers’ All-Star was tangled up with defensive player of the year Kawhi Leonard out of the break. Griffin, exhausted and laboring through a 1-for-9 fourth quarter on an otherwise brilliant night, lured Boris Diaw to the 3-point line, sealed him off and then wheeled toward the paint. Crawford lobbed him the ball.

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