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OKC Thunder: Thunder takes wild Game 3, beats Clips 118-112

Oklahoma City takes a 2-1 lead in the series by winning a big game on the road.
by Darnell Mayberry Modified: May 10, 2014 at 12:59 am •  Published: May 10, 2014

— Tempers flared, technical fouls were tossed and blood was drawn.

Buckle up, folks.

This was only Game 3.

An already thrilling Western Conference semifinal between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers ramped up even more in a swing game that historically has drastically shifted the odds in one team’s favor.

In an ultra-competitive game that featured 13 ties, 19 lead changes and neither team leading by more than eight points, the Thunder survived and regained home-court advantage with a 118-112 win Friday night at Staples Center.

It was the first Game 3 victory in Thunder history when the series is tied 1-1. Oklahoma City was 0-for-5 in its previous attempts.

And this win couldn’t have come at a better time.

Teams that win Game 3 have gone on to win the series 75.9 percent of the time.

With a 2-1 series lead, the Thunder now has a chance to do just that.

Kevin Durant scored a game-high 36 points with eight rebounds and six assists to lead the Thunder, and Russell Westbrook was again sensational with 23 points, eight rebounds and a team-high 13 assists. Serge Ibaka added 20 points on 9-for-10 shooting in 29 minutes for OKC.

Blake Griffin paced the Clippers with 34 points, and Chris Paul finished with 21 points and 16 assists. Jamal Crawford, who was presented with the Sixth Man Award before tip-off, scored 20 points off the Clippers’ bench.

For the second straight game, five players were hit with technical fouls. Durant and Paul received double technicals late in the second quarter for jawing after Durant attempted to swipe the ball from Paul after the whistle. Kendrick Perkins and Matt Barnes also were assessed double technical fouls for staring each other down after briefly being tangled up in the third quarter. And Reggie Jackson was slapped with a technical foul with 30 seconds left in the same period for arguing a call.

Each illustrated how emotional this series has become.

A bloodied Griffin showed how physical things have gotten.

Ibaka inadvertently blooded Griffin’s nose with 5:50 remaining in the third quarter while defending Griffin on a post-up from the right block. No foul was called despite Griffin needing to change into a clean jersey and play the next several minutes with gauze in his left nostril.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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