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NBA Playoffs - Thunder crush Clippers, tie series at 1-1


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- Kevin Durant showed the stuff MVPs are made of.

On a night when he accepted the 2013-14 MVP trophy from NBA commissioner Adam Silver, the 6-foot-9 gunslinger thanked his hometown fans with an all-around performance that tied the Western Conference semifinals at 1-1.

Durant scored 32 points, collected 12 rebounds and dished 9 dimes as the Oklahoma City Thunder pummeled the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 2 of their best-of-7 series Wednesday night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

After losing Game 1 badly, 122-105, two nights before, the Thunder came out of Game 2 on fire and scored 37 in the opening quarter. The Clippers bounced back with a 28-24 second quarter surge but OKC responded with a 33-point third quarter that left the Clippers 17 points down entering the final 12 minutes.

J.J. Redick swished 18 points to lead six Clippers who finished in double figures in points. Chris Paul had 17 with 11 assists, Blake Griffin tallied 15 and six boards, and Darren Collison pitched in 13. Matt Barnes and Glen "Big Baby" Davis added 11 and 10 points, respectively.

But Los Angeles had no answer for Durant, and his sidekick, Russell Westbrook, who scored his third triple-double in these playoffs and 12th in his career overall --- 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

"They were really aggressive. Russ played harder than all of us combined, we've just gotta be better. It's hard enough to guard him (Westbrook) as it is tonight we didn't play like ourselves, but we'll be ready for Game 3," Paul told NBA.com amid the ruins of Game 2.

Besides Durant and Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha were key for the Thunder, checking in with 14 points each. Sefolosha's defense was especially spectacular in the Thunder's third quarter breakaway.

"Our defense did a good job of competing on every possession. Thabo gave us a good defensive presence in the second half and he hit some shots. But his defense in the third quarter really gave us a spark we need," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said after OKC held the Clippers to just 37 of 83 from the field and 9-of-27 from 3-point range.

Game 3 shits to the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Friday (Saturday AM in Manila). (Homer D. Sayson)

Photo: Kevin Durant weaves through traffic to score 2 of his 32 points as the OKc Thunder beat the LA Clippers, 112-101, tying their series at 1-1.


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


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