NBA Playoffs 2014 - Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Game 3
In the history of the NBA there have been several times where the NBA MVP gets presented his trophy and then proceeds to play an awful game and/or series from that point on. They once gave David Robinson his MVP award shortly before his team played the Rockets in the playoffs and Hakeem Olajuwon proceeded to destroy Robinson and his team for the remainder of the series. After a game one loss on their home court, the Thunder could ill afford another one. Commissioner Adam Silver presented Durant with his MVP award shortly before game 2, however there would be no trace of what happened to David Robinson as Durant exploded for 32 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 assists in the teams 112-101 game 2 victory.
For the Clippers Blake Griffin looked lost for most of the night and could never seem to get going. He scored a playoff low 15 points on 5-13 from the field. He settled for far too many outside shots and a lot of that credit has to be given to Serge Ibaka and Steven Adams who were able to push him out of the paint wit their strength. The Clippers backcourt of Chris Paul and J.J Redick both showed up to play. Redick had 18 points while Paul had 17 points and 11 assists. Matt Barnes got off to a good start but however cooled off in the second half, he finished with 11 points. Point guard Darren Collison played well off the bench with 13 points as well as Glen Davis who had 10 points and 6 rebounds. With 6 scorers in double figures the offense played well enough to win the game, however they struggled defensively all night. While both teams like to run the Thunder have a one-man fast break in Russell Westbrook and they were unable to get in front of him all night long.
The Thunder used a 37 point first quarter and never looked back. Besides the brilliance of Durant they also received an incredible performance out of Westbrook who had a triple double of 31 points to go with 10 rebounds and 10 assists. If Durant was credited with one more assist they would have been the first teammates to both have triple doubles in the same game. Thabo Sefolosha made the most of his 22 minutes on the court with 14 points. Serge Ibaka also had 14 points as well as 7 rebounds. Ibaka, Sefolosha, and Kendrick Perkins are the other 3 starters who all struggled in game one, they rebounded well to combine for 36 points and they played extremely well during a third quarter run that essentially ended the game.
This sends the series back to Los Angeles with the series tied 1-1. The Clippers will have to decide where their most glaring weaknesses are. Westbrook and Durant are nearly unstoppable when the role players are playing well so its up to the Clippers to find a way to stop one or the other at the bare minimum. The Clippers will be happy to get 2 straight games in front of their home crowd.
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