They worked hard to snatch the home-court advantage away, but the
Or maybe the Thunder just took it back from the Clippers by pulling out a 118-112 victory in Game 3 on Friday night at Staples Center.
After winning Game 1 of the best-of-seven playoff series in Oklahoma City on Monday night, the Clippers now have lost the last two games and trail 2-1 in the Western Conference semifinals.
Game 4 is Sunday afternoon at Staples.
"It's the first to four," Thunder Coach
The Clippers didn't play enough defense, allowing the Thunder to shoot 55.7% from the field.
The Clippers were outscored, 32-22, in the decisive fourth quarter.
And though they keep game-planning for Oklahoma City's
Durant had 36 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
Westbrook had 23 points, eight rebounds and 13 assists.
"I thought offensively we played good," Clippers Coach
For the third consecutive game, the Thunder outrebounded the Clippers, this time by 44-33.
After Griffin scored to pull the Clippers to within one point, Westbrook drilled a three-pointer for a 111-107 Thunder lead.
Then after Paul missed a three-point attempt, Durant scored on a turnaround over Paul for a 113-107 Thunder lead with 1:23 left.
Paul missed inside, and
"Down the stretch, they made every big play," Rivers said. "Every shot that they needed, it went in. We had shots too and they didn't go in. But I just thought we put way too much pressure on our offense."
Griffin sustained a bloody nose with 5:50 left in the third quarter. He was upset that no foul was called on Ibaka on the play.
Griffin had to change his jersey during a timeout and had gauze stuffed in his left nostril to stop the bleeding.
It was a physical game and the Thunder was the most physical team.
"I thought both teams played physical," Brooks said. "I don't think one team played more physical than the other."
It only got more physical when
They stopped and glared at each other and then walked away, but both players still were assessed double technical fouls.
"I got a staring technical foul," Barnes said during a stop in the action in the third. "He [referee Scott Foster] said I stared at [Perkins]."