The Oklahoma City Thunder got their most impressive win of the season last night beating the Los Angeles Clippers 117-111 in overtime.
The Thunder got out to a good start and led for most of the game before being outscored 33-26 in the fourth quarter.
Kevin Durant made a jumper to put the Thunder ahead 100-95 with 1:44 left in the game. The Clippers would answer that with a big three.
Serge Ibaka scored the final bucket for the Thunder in regulation making a jumper from the baseline off a Russell Westbrook assist to put OKC ahead 102-98 with 1:14 remaining.
Two Chris Paul free throws would bring the Clips within two and then following a stop, Paul found a cutting Matt Barnes for a layup to tie the game at 102 with 36 seconds left.
Westbrook missed a jumper to take the lead with 21 seconds left then defended Paul very well on the final possession to force him into a missed jumper and extra period.
Westbrook and Durant each hit big threes to begin the overtime period and get the Thunder into the lead. The two stars would score all of OKC’s 15 points in overtime including the final seven points coming from the free throw line.
Here are the Game Grades:
Kevin Durant – 47 minutes, 35 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists – A
Durant struggled in this one despite finishing with 35. He went just 7-of-19 from the field but was 19-for-21 from the free throw line. The six turnovers were in issue especially in the second half but Durant made up for it being very aggressive down the stretch. He seemed to demand the ball more than usual in the fourth and took a bunch of good shots.
Russell Westbrook – 42 minutes, 23 points, 9 assists, 3 rebounds – B
Westbrook had an overall pretty quiet night. He went 8-of-20 from the field but it didn’t really feel like he struggled that much. He hit a few big shots and went 3-of-5 from 3-point land. The nine assists were again nice and with just three turnovers. It was a tough head-to-head matchup vs. Paul and Westbrook held his own more than usual.
Serge Ibaka – 36 minutes, 15 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks – B+
Ibaka was a big time presence in this game especially with his work on the defensive glass. With Durant not getting a ton of boards it was Ibaka who needed to and he came through. The offense was again there as well as he went 5-of-9 from the field including a 3-point bank shot at the buzzer to end the first half. He did foul out in overtime but the overall effort was a great one from Ibaka last night.
Kevin Martin – 35 minutes, 20 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals – B+
We were waiting for Martin to have a big game against a good team and last night he did just that. He was efficient going 6-of-10 from the field and 3-of-5 from three. Most of his points came in the first half but he did hit a big three in the fourth quarter. He found other ways to get points too getting to the line five times and hitting a driving layup and-1 as well.
Kendrick Perkins – 33 minutes, 0 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks – B-
This was a tough matchup for Perkins trying to guard the super-athletic DeAndre Jordan. He wasn’t terrible and the Thunder even outscored the Clippers with Perkins on the floor. But scoring no points and getting very few rebounds again screams that a replacement for Perkins is always a good idea.
Thabo Sefolosha – 30 minutes, 6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals – B+
Sefolosha again got off to a quick start making two early threes. He was assigned the task of guarding Paul for most of the game and did a very good job. This probably helped take some pressure of Westbrook which was key for OKC as well.
Nick Collison – 19 minutes, 8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists – A+
Collison played a great game finally producing some points and boards while his presence was impossible not to notice. The Thunder needed to match a very good second unit that the Clips had and Collison was a big part in making sure OKC did.
Eric Maynor – 11 minutes, 0 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds – C
Maynor had a tough matchup last night going against mini-LeBron Eric Bledsoe. It made things tough for Maynor to initiate much on offense and he was pretty quiet overall.
Hasheem Thabeet – 12 minutes, 10 points, 4 rebounds – A+
Thabeet gave OKC everything they could have hoped for and then some. He made all four of his field goals in the game, two of which were and-1’s. Thabeet continues to be impressive this season and in a matchup like vs. the Clippers, he will be very valuable.