After all the hoopla surrounding All-Star Weekend and all the hype hovering over Blake Griffin's homecoming, Tuesday night's game between the Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers boiled down to a bunch of role players.
While the Thunder's All-Stars, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, labored through sour shooting nights, the team's supporting cast carried it to a 111-88 win.
Jeff Green shook off early foul trouble to score a team-high 22 points to lead the Thunder, while reserve guard James Harden added 19 points off the bench. Nick Collison and Serge Ibaka, meanwhile, joined forces with Green to make things tough on Griffin, the former OU and Oklahoma Christian School star who is so good his final line — 28 points on 9-for-15 shooting with 11 rebounds and eight assists — still read like he dominated.
Durant and Westbrook combined to score 34 points on 32 shots. But they helped break open the game and turn it into a blowout.
Led by its All-Star duo, the Thunder closed the second quarter on a 15-0 run to turn a one-point lead into a 62-46 margin at the half. Five players scored during the decisive run. Durant had four points. Westbrook had two points and assisted on another three baskets.
The Clippers never got closer than nine. They would trail by as many as 26.
“Our bench did a good job of helping us win tonight,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “That's how we play. That's what we have to continue to do, focus on all guys participating in our wins.”
Oddly enough, other than the cold shooting by the All-Star tandem, the Thunder was as sharp as it has been all season despite a weeklong respite. OKC tied its season low with just seven turnovers, which the Clippers turned into just two points.