The Oklahoma City Thunder survived a late rally by the Los Angeles Clippers Sunday afternoon to beat them 108-104 and improve to 43-16 on the year.
The Thunder led by as many as 19 points in the third quarter before the Clippers cut that lead to nine entering the fourth quarter.
The Clippers actually took the lead with 90 seconds left thanks to a 7-point possession capped off by a Jamal Crawford three-pointer.
The Thunder came through late though with a couple of timely buckets by Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka.
The Thunder are off today and will host the Los Angeles Lakers tomorrow night for their next game.
Here are the Game Grades:
Kevin Durant – 45 minutes, 35 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists – A
Durant had a big scoring night but wasn’t as present late for the Thunder as you would expect. The Clippers went to a zone late in the game and Durant admitted that it took him out of his rhythm a little bit. KD was still great shooting 10-for-25 from the field and 12-for-15 from the free throw line.
Russell Westbrook – 40 minutes, 29 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds – A+
Westbrook played the role of closer last night and outplayed Chris Paul for nearly all of the game. Westbrook made his last four shots including some really big baskets in the final minutes. He was great in the pick-and-roll scoring at the rim as well as finding his teammates. This was definitely one of Westbrook’s best games of the year, something he doesn’t have too often when playing on national television.
Serge Ibaka – 30 minutes, 16 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks – B
Ibaka was very crucial to the win emerging as the Thunder’s third scorer. He went 7-for-9 from the field and had a huge and-one layup in the final minutes. He was very aggressive but did not rebound well. He actually had no defensive rebounds which could have been a bigger problem for the Thunder than it ended up being.
Kevin Martin – 24 minutes, 10 points, 1 assist, 3 steals – C+
Martin went just 3-for-12 from the field as he was really trying to find his shot early on. He missed a lot of easy shots and overall did not play too well. The aggression was still good to see from him.
Kendrick Perkins – 27 minutes, 2 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists – B
This was actually a pretty nice game from Perkins. He rebounded and his four dimes are a very good number. He found Ibaka a few times after receiving passes in the paint. The big-to-big passing can sometimes be a big strength for the Thunder and last night was a great example of that.
Thabo Sefolosha – 39 minutes, 9 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals – B+
Sefolosha played a lot of minutes as Scott Brooks did not play Derek Fisher or Ronnie Brewer at all. He scored some which was needed with Martin not giving OKC much. He didn’t guard Paul as much as was expected but when he was on him did a really good job.
Nick Collison – 19 minutes, 2 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist – B
Collison’s lineups were not as successful yesterday and that had a lot to do with Martin being unable to score much. Collison still ended up with two offensive boards but committed four fouls as well.
Reggie Jackson – 8 minutes, 4 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound – B
Jackson had a nice driving layup in the first half but would not play much in this one. Westbrook really had it going and when the Clippers went zone in the second half, it negated what Jackson could bring to the floor.
Hasheem Thabeet – 9 minutes, 1 point, 1 rebound, 3 blocks – B
Thabeet did his job in limited minutes. Blocking three shots is always nice to see from Thabeet. He was a presence.