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Thunder-Clippers: In a battle of the bigs, Oklahoma City's beat Blake Griffin in Game 2

OKC 112, L.A. CLIPPERS 101 — With Serge Ibaka drawing the primary defensive assignment, Oklahoma City harrassed Blake Griffin into his second straight subpar game.
by Anthony Slater Published: May 8, 2014


photo - Blake Griffin (32) backs down against Serge Ibaka (9) during Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, May 7, 2014. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Blake Griffin (32) backs down against Serge Ibaka (9) during Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, May 7, 2014. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

It’s what Adams has done all season, but was only magnified because of Griffin’s theatrical style of play, flailing for foul calls and visibly frustrated with Adams’ physicality.

“He’s a physical player,” Rivers said of Adams. “Red Auerbach used to always tell me, ‘You gotta get agitators.’ And he’s one of those for sure. Red truly believed that. He said you gotta have two or three on the team and they have him and Perk.”

Speaking of Kendrick Perkins, the much-maligned big man continues his strong postseason play.

The Thunder’s neutralization of Griffin has been important. But the slowing of DeAndre Jordan has quietly had a big effect. Jordan finished with seven points and eight rebounds in Game 2 after seven and five in the opener, marking the first time this season he has had back-to-back games with single-digit points and assists.

A lot of that is on Perkins, who has bodied up Jordan, pushed him away from the basket and slowed the alley-oop game – Jordan’s biggest weapon.

“I thought Perk had a major, major impact in the win,” Scott Brooks said.

“They played hard and physical,” Rivers said.

“But you gotta do it back and I didn’t think we did it back. I thought we weren’t very physical tonight. Mentally, I didn’t think we were very tough tonight either.”

And that may have been the most obvious in the paint, where, despite an expected disadvantage, the Thunder mauled L.A. and won the battle of the bigs.

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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