Is it just me, or is it a little bit disgusting how easy Kevin Durant makes playing basketball look? If only I had .000001% of his ease past the 3-point line, I would dominate all my games of “Horse.” But enough about me. Durant led the Oklahoma City Thunder past the Los Angeles Clippers tonight 109-97 in the Staples Center.
The Clippers stuck close to the Thunder during the first half of the game, only trailing by 4 points at halftime despite only shooting 38.8% from the field.
But in the third quarter, Durant and Thabo Sefolosha unleashed the 3-point shots, shooting 85.7% from beyond the line in the third quarter. Yeah, you read that right. In fact, the Thunder had a better overall shooting percentage from beyond the 3-point line tonight (55.6%) than from the field in general (52.6%). And the Clippers just didn’t have an answer. They couldn’t buy a 3-point shot if they tried, shooting just 25% from beyond the line.
Without all-star Chris Paul, the Clippers looked a bit…frazzled. They seemed to be playing in a panic, unable to collect themselves enough to run a decent play. The Clippers offense was full of sloppy passes, rash decisions, and cold shooting. Jamal Crawford, who had 24 points yesterday against the Warriors, was silent until the second half. Luckily, Blake Griffin took it upon himself to carry the team on his back tonight, making plays happen out of nothing down low. It was really his effort that even kept the Clippers within a fighting chance.
But then again, the Big 3 of the Thunder are just a tough bunch to face. The triple threat of Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka is the force that has allowed this Thunder team to be the best in the league. Tonight’s game was hard-fought, but ultimately just proved too much for the Clippers.
For the Clippers, Griffin led the team with 31 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists. Jamal Crawford followed with 14 points, and Eric Bledsoe put up 12 points.
For the Thunder, Durant led the team with 32 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. Westbrook followed with 26 points, and Ibaka contributed 17 points and 9 rebounds.
With tonight’s loss, the Clippers drop to 1 and 1/2 games behind the Thunder for the best record in the league. After two games in a row, the Clippers have a bit of a break. They head out on the road again to take on the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.