The Oklahoma City Thunder held on to win in a thriller 108-104 over the Los Angeles Clippers. Led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Thunder maintained their first half lead before a late rally by the Clippers. Outscored in the second half by nine points, Oklahoma City relied on key shots and defensive stops in the fourth quarter to keep Chris Paul and Blake Griffin from stealing the show.
Kevin Durant finished with 35 points and nine rebounds to assist the great play of teammate Russel Westbrook. Westbrook finished with a double-double, including 29 points,10 assists, and six rebounds. It all came down to an aggressive fourth quarter where the Thunder managed to score nine of the last 13 points.
Serge Ibaka connected with Blake Griffin as the game tightened in the fourth, leading to a flagrant foul by Ibaka as the intensity began to build.
“It was a scrum and both were battling for position,” Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said after the game.
By eliminating big play after big play, the Thunder were able to keep possession and moved the ball very well late in the game. Russell Westbrook lead the charge by keeping his teammates focused during timeouts and on the floor.
” It was a good road win for us in a playoff-type atmosphere,” Westbrook said. “We weren’t in a panic mode. We just wanted to win the game.”
The loss didn’t sit well in the Clippers locker room after the game, who suffered their first loss since Feb. 21. The Thunder were coming off a loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday night. Both teams lead their respective divisions in the Western Conference and are expected to contend for the NBA Championship once the playoffs roll around.
The Clippers return to the floor Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks looking to erase Sunday’s loss. The Thunder are going from one key match-up to another, as they take on the surging Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night. All eyes will be on Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant as two of the best in the game square-off.
Another Thunder win will give them 44 on the season, while pushing the Lakers back below .500 basketball. The Thunder currently hold the third best winning percentage in the league, behind the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat.