Thunder-Clippers: Oklahoma City shifted gears to turn Game 3 into a track meet

COMMENTARY — Even with Blake Griffin dominating inside, Thunder coach Scott Brooks went with a small lineup that eventually created mismatches that Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and even Caron Butler could exploit to give OKC a 2-1 series lead.
by Berry Tramel Published: May 10, 2014

The Thunder in that fourth quarter made 11 of 18 shots and made the Clippers blink. The inside-outside Clips made just 10 of 26 shots in the final period, despite constantly going inside to Griffin, who finished with a monster 34 points on 13-of-22 shooting.

OKC had done a masterful job of frustrating Griffin in the first two games, but Serge Ibaka got in foul trouble early, Steven Adams lost his magic and Griffin largely had his way. But Ibaka stood strong down the stretch. Griffin made six of eight shots in that final period, but the two misses were big.

And now the Thunder has back control of the series, leading 2-1. The Thunder won with Westbrook dominating at point guard, and now the Thunder has won with offensive mastery. Won by outscoring the jackrabbit Clippers 19-16 in fast-break points. Won by matching the rebounding-strong Clippers in second-chance points 16-16.

Won by sticking close, then asking its stars to win it. Durant and Westbrook complied. And now the Thunder is back in control.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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