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NBA Playoffs - Paul wallops Thunder, Clips take 1-0- lead


PhilBoxing.com


CHICAGO -- Chris Paul strutted the stuff All-Stars are made of, scoring 32 points and dishing 10 dimes as the Los Angeles Clippers annihilated the Thunder, 122-105, Monday night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.

Paul drilled 12 of 14 field goals, including 8-for-9 form 3-point range, and the Clippers surged ahead with a 1-0 lead in this best-of-7 Western Conference semifinals. Game 2 stays in OKC Wednesday night (Thursday AM in Manila).

"C.P. really set the tone for us to start the game. His being aggressive at the start really helped us. Tonight, he just looked great and we just had one of those nights when everything was going in," Clippers head coach Doc Rivers told NBA.com.

After trailing briefly, 16-10, the Clippers put the game away by scoring 69 points at the half. The lead would balloon to as many as 29 and the Thunder never got closer than 13 the rest of the way.

Blake Griffin finished with 23 for Los Angeles, Jamal Crawford pitched in 17 off the bench, while Matt Barnes and J.J. Redick combined for 22. The Clippers made 45 of 82 field goals (54.9 percent) and 15 of 29 triples (51.7 percent).

"We have to play better defense. They were making shots, getting to the line, and making 3s. Chris had an unbelievable night. We have to do a better job guarding the 3-point line," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said.

Russell Westbrook paced OKC with 29 points. He also had four rebounds and four assists. Kevin Durant made only 9-of-19 shots for 25 markers while Serge Ibaka turned in 12 points and six rebounds but no other Thunder player finished in double figures in points.

While the Clips shot alarmingly high from the field, OKC converted only 39 of 85 (45.9 percent) and 9 of 28 from 3-point range (32.1 percent). (Homer D. Sayson)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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