NBA Playoffs 2014: Clippers Fall to Durant/Westbrook Domination


May 3, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) slaps hands with forward Kevin Durant (35) after a play in action against the Memphis Grizzlies in game seven of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Results: The Oklahoma City Thunder tie the series 1-1 with a 112-101 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

What Happened: Unlike Game 1, there was not enough Chris Paul to combat the duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook couldn’t be stopped. The two combined for 63 points, 19 assists, and 22 rebounds. Dominance is the only way to describe what they did tonight.

The Turning Point: It’s not often the feel for the game is altered within the first few minutes, but two quick fouls by Chris Paul opened things up for the reigning MVP in Kevin Durant and his second banana in Russell Westbrook to get hot early on, scoring a combined 27 points in the first quarter. With Paul on the bench, Darren Collison posted a +/- of -11 in six minutes of play.

APB on Blake Griffin: The guy that finished third in MVP voting has been nowhere to be found so far this series. Being hounded by the likes of Serge Ibaka and Steven Adams, Griffin finished with a pedestrian 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting and 8 rebounds. It’s no secret that Chris Paul can’t replicate what he did in Game 1 every game throughout this series. Despite being the best point guard in the league, that’s not his role. This means that Blake Griffin will need to get out of this funk immediately before the series takes a turn for the worst.

Number of the Game: 2. Two stands for the number of shots J.J. Redick took in the second half of the game following a fantastic first half where he scored 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting. It’s easy to say the Clippers did a bad job of keeping Redick in the flow of things, but the Thunder must be given credit for how well they cut him off. This lead to a struggling offense by the Clippers, opening the floor for the Thunder to runaway with the game.

J-Craw Had a Bad Day: Sixth Man of the Year in Jamal Crawford didn’t exactly live up to his title tonight, shooting 2-of-13 from the field for a total of 7 points. Six of those misses came from behind the three-point line. The Clippers bench is a bit overrated as they do little to match up with the Clippers needs (defense, defense, and defense), so when they don’t provide offense, they look like one of the worst collectives in the league.

“Today Was A Good Day”: Last night Russell Westbrook messed around and got a triple double. From start to finish, Westbrook imposed his will on the Clippers, burning through defender after defender on his way to 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. When Westbrook has games like this, it makes you realize why many are quick to go to bat over the polarizing point guard. Though Kevin Durant was celebrating his first Most Valuable Player award, Westbrook was the best player on the floor tonight.

Player of the Game: J.J. Redick finished Game 2 with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Him being the most consistent player the Clippers had all night is the perfect imagery needed to summarize tonight’s game.

What’s Next: Luckily for the Clippers, the series heads back to Staples Center for the next two games. It’ll be imperative for them to win AT LEAST one game, two to maintain homecourt advantage.