This is Kevin Durant’s world and we’re all just living in it. Kevin Durant dropped 32 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 24 of that was in the second half. Oklahoma City Thunder led by as many as 17 before the Los Angeles Clippers made a wild run to get back in the game. At the end though, Oklahoma City drained an Oklahoma City franchise record, not Seattle, 15 made three-pointers to win 109-97 over the Clippers. The win pushed Oklahoma City’s league best record to 33-9 on the season.
First two quarters of the game were opposites, for the most part. The Los Angeles Clippers were able to jump on the Thunder early. Los Angeles jumped up 12-4 on Oklahoma City before the Thunder decided to play basketball. Oklahoma City slowely clawed back in the game, but early on it seemed the Clippers had an answer. Teams traded buckets heading into the final minute of the quarter, That’s where Kevin Martin started to heat up. He nailed back-to-back threes to tie the game up at 22 at the end of the first quarter.
Second quarter continued the K-Mart show. Martin scored five quick points in the quarter, as Oklahoma City went on a 19-4 run, spanning back to the first quarter. The bench just helped the Thunder really stay ahead of the Clippers in the quarter and the half. Bench accounted for 21 first half points. Oklahoma City pushed their lead to as much as eight points, numerous times. Oklahoma City led 49-45 at halftime.
It was very balanced scoring, Russell Westbrook dropped 12 at half, Martin 11. Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison all had eight points.
As it has been all week, the second half was the KD for three show. Oklahoma City and Durant came out in the second half, and just went nuts from three-point range. Thabo Sefolosha nailed his first three of the quarter, giving Oklahoma City the 62-49 lead midway into the quarter. Oklahoma City outscored the Clippers by 10 points in the quarter. The Thunder dropped six Thunder money balls in the quarter, and led by as many 16 in the quarter.
Like most NBA games. The team trailing tried to make a run at the deficit. Los Angeles did that. They came out down 16, but scored seven quick points, cutting the lead to 77-68 with 1:26 left in the quarter. Oklahoma City did score five points to close the quarter, but the come back wasn’t over.
The Clippers came out and took advantage of line up mismatches, and used a 7-0 run to start the quarter. It pushed the Clippers run to 16-8 over a six minutes. As the Clippers pushed within single digits. Then some guy named Durant continued his blistering game.
Durant was just obliterating the Clippers in the fourth quarter. It was really capped off by this dunk:
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While he was punishing them at the rim. He was nailing threes. Durant was 5-of-6 from three-point range night. He drained all three of his attempts in the quarter, and it was key in Oklahoma City jumped up 99-82 with 5:21 left in the game.
Once again, Los Angeles tried to get back in the game. Clippers did get within eight points late in the game at 105-97 with 1:30 remaining. Oklahoma City figured out how to close the game, and won by double digits tonight.
Oklahoma City was sharing the scoring load tonight. Yeah, Westbrook got his. We know Durant got his. However, Four players reached double figures. Collison had eight points to add as well. Ibaka had 17 points, 9 rebounds. Had he not fouled on in the fourth quarter, he may have grabbed a double-double.
Keys to the Game
While Oklahoma City turned it over more than the Clippers, the Thunder scored more points off turnovers than the Clippers. Oklahoma City scored 19 points off 11 turnovers. Los Angeles scored 15 points off 16 turnovers by the Thunder. So, they did good getting back on defense, and I’m okay with that.
Three-Point Shooting: A+
The Oklahoma City Thunder set an Oklahoma City, not Seattle, franchise record by nailing 15 three-pointers. Oklahoma City was 15-of-27 from deep for the game. They were 11-of-17 in the second half. Five different players took turns nailing them from deep. On the other side, they really shut down the Clippers from deep. Los Angeles just hit 4-of-16 from behind the arc. So, A’s all around for the Thunder here.
Pick-n-Roll Defense: A
With Chris Paul out of the line up, I figured I should have changed this. Yet, I left it. Sue me. Oklahoma City though, did a very solid job defending the pick and roll. Oklahoma City forced the Clippers to shoot just 2-of-9 off the P-n-R. I’m sure it may have been a little different. Yet, they did what they had to, and that’s all that was asked tonight.