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Oklahoma City Thunder: Clippers beat Thunder despite 42 points from Kevin Durant

Jamal Crawford scored 36 points to help the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 125-117 on Sunday afternoon.
by Anthony Slater Published: February 23, 2014

Kevin Durant had 42 points and 10 assists.

Serge Ibaka dropped 20 points in the first three quarters.

The Thunder offense returned to form on Sunday, scoring 117 points a game after it tied a season-low with 81.

But Oklahoma City’s defense lingered as a trouble spot, yielding a season-high in points during its 125-117 loss to the sharpshooting Los Angeles Clippers.

And because of that, the Thunder finds itself in a sudden rut coming out of the All-Star break, losers of two straight for only the fourth time this season.

Both of the defeats came at home. And both came because the opposing team shot above 50 percent, a clip the Thunder only allowed to happen three times in 55 pre-All Star break games.

“We are a very good defensive team,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “But we didn’t play like that tonight.”

The Clippers scored at least 26 points in every quarter. They had 44 in the second quarter alone. All five of their starters had at least 18 points.

Some of it was a matter of difficult shot-making, particularly from Jamal Crawford. The Clippers’ talented two-guard had 36 points on a variety of contested jumpers and off-balance floaters.

“When Jamal Crawford is coming across half court shooting it with confidence,” Kevin Durant said, “you are going to see the ball go in the rim.”

But a bulk of the Clippers production came on defensive breakdowns from OKC. DeAndre Jordan had 18 points without missing a shot, consistently finding easy looks in transition.

And Matt Barnes, who was averaging 7.5 per game coming in, had 24 points in 32 minutes. He hit six of his 10 3-pointers, most of the wide-open variety.

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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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