For the second time this series, the LA Clippers shocked the Golden State Warriors at the Oracle Arena.
While Game 2 was a historic 31-point comeback, Game 5 was all about will and fight. The Clippers had no intention of going home and it showed.
Outscoring the Warriors 34-22 in the second quarter and holding a 7-point lead at halftime, the visitors never let go. They withstood all of the Warriors' runs and courtesy of some late-game heroics from Lou Williams, eventually clinched Game 5 to force this series back to Los Angeles for Game 6.
For more on the epic Game 5 win, here's four key takeaways:
Lou Williams takes over fourth quarter
Lou Williams was not ready to go home!
The Clippers bench dynamo took over down the stretch after it looked like the Warriors had made their move, cutting a 15-point deficit to take the lead late in the fourth.
After a Durant dunk put the Warriors up 118-117 with 2:40 remaining, Williams answered immmediately with this four-point play, part of a personal 9-0 run to give the Clippers a seven-point lead,
Oh so SWEET, Lou! :sweat_drops:#ClipperNation | #NBAPlaypffs pic.twitter.com/V3sIBnPFep- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 25, 2019
"It's a little mix of arrogance and just hard work," Williams said post-game. "You know, we have a lot of young guys, we have a lot of veterans, guys that want to prove their names. We were wrote off earlier on in the year, people saying we weren't a good team.
"You know, we take all of those things. We digested it and we try to make as much as we can out of it. It's shown in this series."
Sweet Lou scored 11 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, adding 10 assists and four rebounds on the night, forcing a Game 6 back in LA.
Kevin Durant's playoff career-high
In the loss, Kevin Durant had one of the most efficient playoff performances of his career.
Scoring a playoff career-high 45, Durant also recorded 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and a block on 14-of-26 shooting (53.8%) from the field and 12-of-12 from the free-throw line while only committing one turnover in 42 minutes of action.
.@KDTrey5 drops a #NBAPlayoffs career-high 45 PTS in Game 5 at home. #StrengthInNumbers- NBA (@NBA) April 25, 2019
Game 6: Friday (4/26), 10pm/et, ESPN pic.twitter.com/XWPRZB0Pvf
He was the only starter with a positive +/- at the end of the game: +2.
After the first couple of games of this series, plagued by turnovers and an ejection, KD has let his game do the talking over the past three - 38.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 6.4 assists on 57.1% shooting from the field.
It wasn't just Williams going to work, his second unit sidekick Montrezl Harrell was unstoppable in the paint, scoring 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting, throwing down dunk after dunk as he and Williams tore apart the Warriors in the pick-and-roll.
Shake and b̶a̶k̶e̶ score. @TeamLou23 → @MONSTATREZZ pic.twitter.com/oa3tRr4Cpk- LA Clippers (@LAClippers) April 25, 2019
The Clippers second unit outscored the Warriors reserves 59-17 on the night, whihc will likely see a tighter trotation from Steve Kerr in Game 6. The Warriors reserves just don't have an answer for these two.
In the two Clippers' two wins in the series, their bench is averaging 71 points per game on a ridiculous 68% shooting.
Clippers bring the hustle
While the final margin of victory was just eight points, the eighth-seeded Clippers outplayed the Warriors across multiple aspects of the game.
They outshot the Warriors from the field, making 54.1% (46-of-85) from the field, while the Warriors went 43-of-96 (44.8%). After the Warriors had made 10 of their 16 three-point shot attempts in the first half, the Clippers' defence held them to just 5-of-23 from deep in the second half.
The visitors dominated the paint, outscoring the two-time champs 54-38, with Montrezl Harrell dominating inside and the Clippers outrebounded the Warriors 42-39 with Patrick Beverley having a career-high 14, the playoff franchise record for rebounds by a guard.