By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
In a battle of the NBA’s best, Oklahoma City came out on top, beating the Clippers 109-97 in Los Angeles Tuesday night. Here’s some rapid reaction:
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Clippers were down 14. Two minutes in, they had cut the Thunder lead to seven and looked primed for a late push. But then the OKC threes started raining in, with the help of some fortunate bounces. Kevin Durant banked one from straight away, Russell Westbrook dropped one in off front rim and then the floodgates opened. KD drilled two more and even Serge Ibaka got into the act, spiking that seven-point lead to 17 in a matter of minutes and essentially clinching it.
It was over when…
…KD Clutch put a powerful exclamation point on the fourth quarter shooting barrage
Star of the game – Kevin Durant
Durant struggled early in this one, continuing his recent shooting woes (despite big numbers) with a 1-5 opening. But it’s fair to say he heated up in the second half. KD went 9/11 shooting (including a scorching 5/5 from three) in the second half for 24 points. He was lethal and cold-blooded, draining daggers and mean-mugging fans. He’s scored 30+ points in six of the past seven games.
Stats of note
-The Thunder made a franchise-record (OKC era) 15 threes on Tuesday night, outscoring the Clippers 45-12 from deep.
-The Thunder is 29-0 this season when leading after three quarters.
Line of the night
Blake Griffin – 31 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 1 block in 37 minutes.
Dud of the night
Kendick Perkins – 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist and 4 fouls in 7 minutes.
At 33-9, the Thunder is now one game up on the Spurs (33-11) and 1.5 games up on the Clippers (32-11) for the league’s best record.
Another tough road test comes tomorrow night in Oakland, when the Thunder complete a challenging back-t0-back against the upstart Warriors, who own a 13-6 home record this season.