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Westbrook leads Thunder past Clips
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Russell Westbrook filled the stat sheet with 30 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to carry the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 107-101 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in an entertaining battle between Western Conference playoff teams.
Westbrook came away with a pair of key offensive rebounds down the stretch after the Clippers had trimmed a once 17-point deficit down to one.
"In a big game, you have to do the little things and we did them," Westbrook remarked. "I try to do anything I can to help us win."
The win capped a split of a tough four-game road swing for the Thunder and moved them 2 1/2 games clear of the Clippers for the No. 2 seed in the West.
Kevin Durant, after having his streak of 25-plus points stopped in a win over the Kings on Monday, needed 26 shots to score 27 points in the tight win.
Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 30 points and 12 rebounds while Chris Paul added 25 points and eight assists as the club fell to 1-2 on its five-game homestand.
"We didn't play very well," Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. "We didn't have any kind of rhythm. At the end we had our chances, but we got in the way of ourselves tonight."
A Serge Ibaka dunk two minutes into the fourth made it a 16-point game, but a quick 14-0 Clippers run in the middle stages of the fourth cut LA's deficit to one.
Paul nailed two 3-pointers during the two-minute flurry, and DeAndre Jordan's slam off an offensive rebound made it a 94-93 game with five minutes to play.
The Clippers had two chances to pull even two minutes later, but Griffin missed two free throws and Ibaka forced Paul into a miss at the rim to keep the Thunder in front by a slim 97-95 margin.
Durant missed at the other end, but Westbrook weaved into the lane and skied for an acrobatic putback slam.
After Paul answered with a jumper at the other end and Durant and Darren Collison traded 3-pointers, Durant sank two free throws with 46.9 seconds left for a 104-100 Thunder lead.
Paul was sent to the line and made only 1-of-2, and Westbrook pulled down a huge offensive rebound in traffic before being fouled with 15.2 ticks showing.
He, too, split the pair, and a missed 3-point try by J.J. Redick sealed the outcome.
Westbrook poured in 10 points in the first 6 1/2 minutes, then added four more during a 10-0 run that broke open a 19-19 tie late in the opening frame.
The lead never changed hands from there, even though the Clippers put together several highlight-reel dunks late in the first half. Griffin threw one down in transition after fooling Westbrook with a ball fake, and Jordan had two tomahawk slams down the stretch.
The Thunder, meanwhile, were still scoring regularly and went into the break with a 59-54 advantage.
They began pulling away early in the third, forcing four turnovers in a five- possession span during a 9-0 run that stretched their lead to 73-58.
Los Angeles countered with nine straight points down the stretch to pull within eight, but Reggie Jackson beat the third-quarter buzzer with a 3- pointer to make it a double-digit lead again at 85-73.
Durant has scored 20 or more points in 51 consecutive games ... These teams split the four-game season series ... Ibaka finished with 15 points, while Jordan netted 10 with 12 rebounds ... The Thunder committed just one turnover in the second half after giving it away seven times in the first ... LA turned it over 17 times, leading to 22 points.
04/10 02:22:20 ET