Share “OKC Thunder: Thunder takes down Clippers”

OKC Thunder: Thunder takes down Clippers

Oklahoma City moved closer to locking up the No. 2 seed by winning at Los Angeles.
by Darnell Mayberry Modified: April 10, 2014 at 9:35 am •  Published: April 10, 2014


photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, right, celebrates after dunking the ball as Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, rear, reacts during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Wednesday, April 9, 2014. The Thunder won 107-101. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, right, celebrates after dunking the ball as Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, rear, reacts during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Wednesday, April 9, 2014. The Thunder won 107-101. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

Clippers guard Chris Paul cut the deficit back to two on a pull-up jumper, but Kevin Durant supplied an answer with an improbable and contested stepback 3 as the shot clock wound down. He gave the Thunder a 102-97 lead with 1:32 left to play. Prior to draining that basket, Durant was just 7-for-25 from the field.

“I’m one of those guys that no matter what happens my team needs me to be aggressive late in the games,” Durant said. “They need me to shoot the ball and make the right play. So they trust me to take those shots. I’m going to keep shooting no matter what. I could be 0-for-100 and it’s the end of the game but I’m going to let it fly and not going to care if I miss. That’s a part of my growth. I’ve missed so many of those shots late in games, but I’ve learned from them. And when the opportunity’s there I just try to take advantage of it. And tonight I was able to hit one.”

A 3-pointer by Clippers guard Darren Collison again trimmed the deficit to two, but Durant was fouled on a drive and made both foul shots to bump the lead back to four. Paul split a pair of foul shots at the other end, providing the Thunder with a chance to slam the door inside the final 30 seconds.

Ibaka missed a baseline jumper, but Westbrook soared in to secure the offensive rebound. He was fouled and made one of two at the line to put the Thunder ahead, 105-101 with 15.2 seconds remaining.

“I try to do whatever it is to help us win,” Westbrook said. “I seen all night they were just kind of watching, and I was just waiting on my time to go to the glass because they’re an aggressive team in transition. So I wasn’t trying to go to the glass today. They lead the league in offense. I just tried to find the right time to do it.”

Westbrook scored a team-high 30 points with 11 rebounds and six assists. He made 12 of 24 shots in 33 minutes and helped hold Paul in check for much of the night.

Paul’s biggest flurry came in the fourth quarter, when he scored nine points and hit back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the period to ignite the Clippers’ come back. He finished with 25 points on 8-for-17 shooting with five rebounds and eight assists.

Durant scored 27 points on 26 shots, and Ibaka added 15 points, seven rebounds, four blocked shots and a critical late contest on J.J. Redick’s 3-point try that could have again brought the Clippers within one inside the final 11 seconds. Ibaka’s presence forced Redick into coming up well short on his attempt.

“We just simply played hard,” Durant said. “It’s no schemes. It’s no techniques. We just made the championship type of play, which is rebounding the basketball, Serge (Ibaka) contesting a shot. That’s what wins you games. And where we’re trying to go, that’s what you have to do to win the big games.”

After a hard-nosed road win late Wednesday night, the Thunder’s road looks like it’ll be a little bit less bumpy.

 

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...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Carmelo Anthony likely will miss Friday's game against Thunder
  2. 2
    Marcus Smart could play this weekend for Boston Celtics
  3. 3
    Creed's Scott Stapp Reveals He's Homeless in Jarring New Video
  4. 4
    Injury could mean Xavier Henry gets cut from Lakers
  5. 5
    Couple suing famous Little League team over bad throw
+ show more