After one of the most gut-wrenching weeks in
But what there was no arguing about was how doiminating the Clippers were Monday night at
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Wednesday in OKC.
Asked to explain his night Paul was less than revealing.
"I don't know," Paul said. "It just felt good tonight."
Also coming up big was
The Clippers finished the game shooting 55% (45 for 82) from the field. The biggest Clipper lead was 29 points.
The Thunder actually led midway through the first quarter, 16-10, but Paul then made five three-pointers en route to a 39-25 lead in the first quarter. In the NBA you're never sure, but at that point the Thunder was done.
The Thunder got some good offense from their two stars.
Did that make Durant "unreliable" as his local paper dubbed him in the Memphis series? We'll leave that up to The Oklahoman to decide.
Midway through the third quarter, Oklahoma City Coach
So, will the Clippers play the traditional lay down game that a team usually endures after winning the first game of the series on the road? Or is there a karma going for a team that was devastated by comments of their owner,
Paul has some insight into what the Clippers have to do.
"We just have to understand that we not are no going into Game 2 with a 17-point lead," Paul said.
If you are the Clippers, how do you protect a 17-point lead? Or, maybe it’s the protecting part that gets you in trouble. But not tonight at
The Clippers not only held the lead but extended it to 26 points, taking a 104-78 lead into the final 12 minutes.
You can probably expect Clippers point guard
Not to be overlooked is
The Thunder have been led by
The quarter opened with a
Baskets by Jordan and Redick upped it to an 11-0 run by the Clippers until
The Clippers just didn't seem to let up, especially Paul, who missed his first three-pointer with 5:21 to play. That after making his first eight.
Blake Griffin gave the Clippers a 25-point lead with 5:02 left in the quarter and it looked as if the Clippers had the game in hand.
With 4:02 to play in the quarter, Brooks went to a different strategy: hack-a-Jordan. It worked for the first four attempts before Jordan made his fifth but missed his sixth. With 2:55 to play, Jordan missed two more free throws.
But it didn't really matter as the Clippers continued to hold a 20-plus point lead.
Lawler’s Law kicked in with 1:44 to play off a
Wow, what a first half by the Clippers.
If there was any hangover from Saturday’s come-from-behind Game 7 win over the
The Clippers came out blistering hot behind
What can you say about Paul? He was eight of nine from the field, including an incredible six of six from three-point range. He finished the half with 22 points and six assists.
He wasn’t the only hot Clipper as the team shot 56.5% (26 of 46) from the field.
One telling stat was turnovers, with OKC committing 10 to the Clippers' three.
It’s no surprise the Thunder was led by
Both Clippers Coach
The Clippers upped it to 18 points with
The lead was at 19 points, 54-35, with 6:11 until halftime when Rivers put Paul and Griffin back in the game. After a slow start, it was a nice run by the second team. The Clippers' reserves had outscored the Thunder group, 17-4.
Back-to-back baskets by Durant and Westbrook forced Rivers into calling a timeout with 5:25 left And, you guess that's why Rivers makes $7 million a season.
Griffin made a basket, then one of two free throws and Paul made his sixth three-pointer to give the Clippers a 21-point lead. Then after Westbrook made a couple free throws, Griffin scored and Barnes made a three to give the Clippers a 24-point lead with less than three minutes to play in the quarter.
The Thunder was able to close it to 17 points by the end of the quarter when Durant made the first of two free throws and
Those expecting a wide-open offensive series were not disappointed in the first quarter Monday night. And if you are a Clippers fan, you really liked it.
After the first 12 minutes, the Clippers had a 39-25 lead.
The Clippers looked strong out of the gate, taking leads of 4-0 and 6-3. But it was clear the
But the Clippers came back after three pointers by
Two three-pointers by Paul sandwiched around a Russell Westbrook jumper gave the Clippers a 24-20 lead with 4:09 left in the quarter. Then Redick,
Things didn't get much better for the Thunder as the Clippers closed the quarter with two more Paul threes and a bucket by Crawford. Durant got three points over the last couple minutes and finished the quarter with 10 points on three-for-five shooting.
The Clippers finished the quarter making 16 of 24 (67%) shots from the field.
They will likely cool off, but the question remains, how much?
Well that wasn’t much of a break. The
But it’s a little tougher for the Clippers, who had to fly to Oklahoma for tonight’s Game 1 in the conference semifinals. Game 2 will be Wednesday in
Games 3 and 4 will be in
The interesting matchups to watch will be the Thunder All-Star point guard
Durant was certainly missing for some of the Memphis series, causing The Oklahoman newspaper to put in big, bold letters a headline that said "Mr. Unreliable." No doubt inundated with complaints, the sports editor of the paper offered up an apology.