Durant, fan make big shots, Thunder beats Clippers

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 21, 2013 at 11:22 pm •  Published: November 21, 2013
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder put on one of their best shooting displays of the season Thursday night — and their fans seem to be following the team's cue.

Durant scored 28 points and the Thunder made 51.9 percent in beating the Los Angeles Clippers 105-91. But that pales in comparison to what Oklahoma City fans are shooting this week during a second-quarter promotion at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

For the second straight game, and the fifth time during the 2013 calendar year, a Thunder fan hit a half-court heave to win $20,000 in a contest sponsored by MidFirst Bank.

Brad Brucker, a 33-year-old business teacher at Piedmont High School, made the money shot two days after another fan, Cameron Rodriguez, hit from midcourt in a win over Denver.

As Brucker left the floor, he was greeted and congratulated by recording stars Beyonce and Jay-Z, who watched from courtside seats next to Durant's family.

Brucker said the experience "didn't feel real."

Durant joked after the game that "we might go broke after these guys, they're hitting every half-court shot." But he added it was fun watching fans hit those shots.

Durant also enjoyed watching the Thunder post their second-best shooting outing of the season and lead all the way against Los Angeles in a matchup of Western Conference powers.

Oklahoma City has won its first five home games of the season for the first time since 2004-05, when the franchise was in Seattle.

Durant also had eight assists. Serge Ibaka added 17 points and three blocked shots.

"I thought that was probably as well as we can execute a game plan and execute on both ends of the floor, on offense and defense in the second half," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "Seventeen assists and five turnovers in the second half, and we made them miss a lot of shots. I thought we played good throughout the game, but really did a great job in the second half."

The Clippers beat the Thunder 111-103 in Los Angeles on Nov. 8. But they missed their first seven shots in the rematch, fell into a quick 10-point hole and never dug themselves out of it.

Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers noticed early that something was amiss.

"In the first quarter, you could see we didn't have it offensively," Rivers said. "Everybody was kind of missing shots. We didn't have any rhythm, no speed. When we don't have any pace by anybody, you know that's not a good sign. We didn't tonight."

There were a couple of bright spots for the Clippers. In his return to his hometown, Blake Griffin scored 27 points on 12-for-23 shooting and also had 10 rebounds. He's had a 20-10 double in 10 of the last 12 games, and has posted an NBA-high 100 such games since the start of the 2010-11 season.

The Clippers' Chris Paul also extended his NBA-record streak while finishing with 17 points and 12 assists. He has opened the season with 13 straight games in which he's had at least 10 points and 10 assists. Magic Johnson held the previous record of 11 such games to open the 1990-91 season.



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