MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

May 6, 2014

Thunder Chris-tened: Paul scores 32, Clippers down OKC


Associated Press

— OKLAHOMA CITY — Chris Paul made a career-high eight 3-pointers and scored 32 points to help the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 122-105 on Monday night in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal.

Paul, who had never made more than five 3-pointers in a game, had 10 assists. Blake Griffin scored 23 points, Jamal Crawford had 17 and J.J. Redick added 12 for the Clippers, who shot 55 percent from the field and made 15 of 29 3-point attempts.

Russell Westbrook scored 29 points, Kevin Durant had 25 and Serge Ibaka added 12 for the Thunder, who suffered their worst home loss since moving to Oklahoma City.

The Clippers scored 23 points off Oklahoma City’s 18 turnovers.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Oklahoma City.

Both teams were coming off Game 7 wins in the first round on Saturday night.

Oklahoma City opened by taking a 16-10 lead but the Clippers responded with a 24-6 run. Paul hit five 3-pointers in the first quarter, matching his career high for 3s in a playoff game in the first 12 minutes. The Clippers shot 67 percent in the first quarter to take a 39-25 lead.

Los Angeles extended its lead to 24 points in the second quarter and took a 69-52 halftime lead with Paul getting 22 points and six assists.

Durant and Westbrook scored 16 points each in the first half, but the Thunder committed 11 turnovers before halftime.

A quick 3-pointer and a pull-up jumper by Paul pushed the Clippers’ lead to 78-56 in the opening minutes of the third quarter. The Clippers reached 100 points with just over a minute left in the period and led 104-78 heading into the fourth quarter.

NOTES: Oklahoma City G Thabo Sefolosha rejoined the starting lineup after sitting out the final two games against Memphis. Thunder coach Scott Brooks said before Monday’s game that he started Caron Butler in Games 6 and 7 against Memphis because the team needed another offensive weapon.



Thunder summary

L.A. CLIPPERS (122)

Barnes 4-10 0-0 10, Griffin 7-16 9-12 23, Jordan 3-3 1-8 7,  Paul 12-14 0-0 32, Redick 5-8 1-1 12, Granger 1-5 3-4 5,  Crawford 6-11 2-3 17, Davis 3-3 0-0 6, Dudley 1-2 0-0 3,  D.Collison 2-6 1-2 5, Bullock 1-1 0-0 2, Green 0-1 0-0 0,  Hollins 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 45-82 17-30 122.

OKLAHOMA CITY (105)

Durant 9-19 5-8 25, Ibaka 6-9 0-0 12, Perkins 1-1 1-2 3,  Westbrook 9-14 9-10 29, Sefolosha 2-3 0-0 5, N.Collison 2-5 0-0 4,  Butler 1-7 0-0 3, Adams 0-0 0-0 0, Jackson 1-8 2-2 4, Fisher 2-5 0-0 4,  Lamb 3-8 1-1 8, Jones 3-6 0-0 8. Totals 39-85 18-23 105.

L.A. Clippers    39    30    35    18–122

Oklahoma City    25    27    26    27–105

3-Point Goals—L.A. Clippers 15-29 (Paul 8-9, Crawford 3-6, Barnes  2-7, Redick 1-2, Dudley 1-2, Granger 0-3), Oklahoma City 9-28 (Jones  2-4, Durant 2-5, Westbrook 2-5, Sefolosha 1-2, Lamb 1-3, Butler 1-4,  Fisher 0-1, Ibaka 0-1, N.Collison 0-1, Jackson 0-2). Fouled Out—None.  Rebounds—L.A. Clippers 47 (Jordan, Granger, Griffin 5), Oklahoma City 54  (Ibaka, Lamb, Butler 6). Assists—L.A. Clippers 26 (Paul 10), Oklahoma  City 17 (Jackson 5). Total Fouls—L.A. Clippers 24, Oklahoma City 22.  Technicals—Durant, Ibaka. A—18,203 (18,203).