Oklahoma City wins series 4-2 (Game 2 of 6)

Oklahoma City wins series 4-2

Game 1: Monday, May 5th
Game 2: Wednesday, May 7th
Game 3: Friday, May 9th
Game 4: Sunday, May 11th
Game 5: Tuesday, May 13th
Game 6: Thursday, May 15th

Clippers 101

(57-25, 23-18 away)

Thunder 112

(59-23, 34-7 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    9:30 PM ET, May 7, 2014

    Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAC 28 28 21 24101
    OKC 37 24 33 18112

    Top Performers

    LAC: C. Paul 17 Pts, 5 Reb, 10 Ast, 3 Stl

    Okc: R. Westbrook 31 Pts, 10 Reb, 10 Ast, 3 Stl

    Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook help Thunder pull even with Clippers

    Associated Press

    OKLAHOMA CITY -- Kevin Durant stood before his adoring home crowd, proudly holding his MVP trophy above his head during a pregame ceremony.

    He spent the next few hours showing how he earned it.

    Durant had 32 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Los Angeles Clippers 112-101 on Wednesday night to tie their Western Conference semifinal series at one game apiece.

    "We wanted to come back and respond," Durant said. "So, I think that's what fueled the team tonight. We just went out there and played extremely well and left it all out there, and came out with a good `W."

    During his emotional MVP acceptance speech on Tuesday, Durant called teammate Russell Westbrook an MVP-caliber player. Westbrook backed up Durant's words with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his third triple-double in his past five playoff games.

    "I think Russ played harder than all of us combined," Clippers guard Chris Paul said. "He was all over the place."

    Thunder coach Scott Brooks took Durant out of the game with 1:21 remaining, costing him a shot at the triple-double. According to information provided to the Thunder by the Elias Sports Bureau, no pair of teammates has had triple-doubles in the same playoff game.

    Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha each scored 14 points for the Thunder, who shot 51 percent from the field and outrebounded the Clippers 52-36.

    "It was the perfect storm," Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said. "They did everything they could to win, and they got everything they wanted tonight. That wasn't the Clippers team we've been and I'm sure we'll get back on track."

    J.J. Redick scored 18 points, Paul had 17 points and 11 assists, and Blake Griffin added 15 points for the Clippers. Los Angeles made 15 of 29 3-pointers in Game 1, but just 9 of 27 in Game 2.

    The Clippers will host Game 3 Friday in Los Angeles.

    Durant scored 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting in the first quarter to help the Thunder take a 37-28 lead. Paul, who scored 17 points in the opening quarter of Game 1, went scoreless in the first quarter of Game 2 and watched most of the period from the bench with two fouls as the Thunder took control early.

    Oklahoma City got an offensive boost from an unlikely source in the third quarter -- Sefolosha, a defensive stopper. He hit a mid-range jumper, then dunked after a steal by Westbrook to give the Thunder a 78-66 lead. Sefolosha dunked again, then got a steal that led to a 3-pointer by Westbrook and gave Oklahoma City a 90-73 advantage.

    Sefolosha, who had averaged just 3.7 points in the playoffs, scored 12 points in the quarter to help the Thunder take a 94-77 lead into the fourth. Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he expected Durant and Westbrook to score, but not Sefolosha.

    "We can win if they (Durant and Westbrook) both have good offensive games," Rivers said. "What we can't do is then give them that plus everything else. And I thought that's what happened tonight."

    Westbrook clinched his triple-double with 1:21 remaining when he was credited with an assist after a pass to Sefolosha, who took two dribbles on his drive to the basket.

    Rivers said the Thunder were the aggressors.

    "Every single possession, you have to have great focus and you have to be locked in, and today we were not," he said. "I thought it was because of all the clutter today. We're upset at the officials, we're upset at everything instead of turning our anger on the opponent and focus. Tonight we just didn't have it."

    Game notes

    A power surge took out much of the arena's lighting with 27.2 seconds left in the first half. The coaches agreed to finish out the half with the limited lighting. The power returned, but halftime was extended briefly to give the lights the necessary 15 minutes to return to full brightness. ... Rapper Jay-Z attended the game. ... 2K Sports has announced that Durant will be the lone player on the cover of NBA 2K15. He shared the cover of 2K13 with Griffin and Chicago's Derrick Rose. Miami's LeBron James was on the cover of 2K14. ... Commissioner Adam Silver presented Durant with the MVP trophy before the game. ... Thunder C Steven Adams was called for a technical foul with 9:17 remaining for falling on Paul after biting on a pump fake and knocking him into the Thunder bench. Crawford was issued a technical with 7:28 to play, and Paul was given one with 2:24 remaining. ... Severe weather affected the area, and fans were told to stay in the arena after the game to allow the weather to pass.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Research Notes

    Kevin Durant was guarded by Matt Barnes on 53% of his plays Wednesday and had better success than he did in Game 1.
    The Thunder held a 17-9 advantage in second-chance points. They have improved to 42-16 when having a better offensive rebounding percentage.
    Russell Westbrook scored 21 of his 31 points when he did not pass the ball during the possession Wednesday, including 17 of his 19 first-half points. In the playoffs, he has been more effective when he has not deferred to his teammates.
    Serge Ibaka continued his defensive excellence against Blake Griffin, who scored 7 points on 3-of-11 shooting when guarded by Ibaka Wednesday. Ibaka has held Griffin to one field goal inside 10 feet this series. Griffin led the league with 6.6 such makes per game during the regular season.
    Durant is the first player since Allen Iverson in 2000-01 to win both the scoring title and MVP award. The last player to win the scoring title, MVP and NBA title in the same season was Shaquille O'Neal in 1999-00.
    Kevin Durant averaged 32.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists this season. He was just the 4th player in NBA history to average at least 32.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in a single season - Wilt Chamberlain (twice), Michael Jordan (once) and Elgin Baylor (once).
    Both the Wizards and Clippers will be on the road tonight trying to go up 2-0. 18 of the previous 21 teams to win the first 2 games of a best-of-7 series on the road went on to advance. The only 3 teams to overcome that deficit were the 1968-69 Lakers, 1993-94 Rockets and 2004-05 Mavericks.
    Durant led the league in total points for the 5th straight season. He's 1 of 3 players in NBA history that has accomplished that feat - Michael Jordan (7 straight) and Wilt Chamberlain (7 straight).
    Game score gives a rough measure of a player's productivity for a single game where 40 is outstanding and 10 is average. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for a 57.5 game score in yesterday's win against the Clippers. Dating back to 2006, it was the 4th time teammates each had a game score of at least 27... Durant has been a part of 3 of them.
    * Durant averaged 32.0 PPG while shooting 50.3 percent from the field. He was the first player to average 30+ PPG and shoot 50.0 percent from the field since Michael Jordan in 1991-92. * Durant's scoring average of 32.0 was the highest by a player since 2005-06 (Kobe Bryant-35.4, Allen Iverson-33.0). * Durant registered 47 30-point games this season, by far the most in the league and tied for his career high (2009-10). LeBron James ranked 2nd in that category with 31 30-point games. * Durant averaged 4.6 more points per game than Carmelo Anthony, who came in 2nd in the scoring title race. It was the 3rd-largest gap between first and second in scoring average dating back to 1969-70 when the champion was first decided by points per game. Only Michael Jordan (8.1 PPG over Dominique Wilkins in 1986-87) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6.6 PPG over Tiny Archibald in 1971-72) finished with larger margins.
    Kevin Durant (OKC): 17 Pts in 1st qtr were his most in a 1st quarter this postseason... Previous high was 14 in Game 6 of 1st round at Memphis
    Derek Fisher has now registered 156 career playoff victories, moving past Robert Horry (155) for the most in NBA history.

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