Westbrook, Durant help Thunder beat Clippers
BY CLIFF BRUNT
AP SPORTS WRITER
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Russell Westbrook had a triple-double, MVP Kevin Durant fell one assist short and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Los Angeles Clippers 112-101 on Wednesday night to tie their Western Conference semifinal series at one game apiece.
Westbrook had 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his third triple-double in his past five playoff games. Durant had 32 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists before leaving the game with 1:21 remaining. According to information provided to the Thunder by the Elias Sports Bureau, no pair of teammates has had triple-doubles in the same playoff game.
J.J. Redick scored 18 points, Chris Paul had 17 points and 11 assists, and Blake Griffin added 15 points for the Clippers.
Game 3 will be Friday in Los Angeles.
Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha each scored 14 points for the Thunder, who shot 51 percent from the field and outrebounded the Clippers 52-36.
The Clippers made 15 of 29 3-pointers in Game 1, but just 9 of 27 in Game 2.
Durant scored 17 points in the first quarter on 7-for-11 shooting to help the Thunder take a 37-28 lead. Paul, who scored 17 points in the opening quarter of Game 1, went scoreless in the first quarter of Game 2 and watched most of the period from the bench with two fouls.
The Thunder led 46-40 when both Westbrook and coach Scott Brooks were called for technical fouls. Westbrook felt he was fouled on a drive against DeAndre Jordan and didn't get the call. The Clippers made both free throws, then Paul made a 3-pointer to cut Oklahoma City's lead to 46-45. The Clippers went ahead when Griffin connected on a mid-range jumper with just over 4 minutes remaining in the first half.
The Thunder closed the half strong and took a 61-56 lead. Durant had 21 points and Westbrook 19 at the break as Oklahoma City shot 53.3 percent from the field.
Oklahoma City got an offensive boost from an unlikely source - Sefolosha, a defensive stopper. He hit a mid-range jumper, then dunked after a steal by Westbrook to give the Thunder a 78-66 lead. Sefolosha dunked again, then got a steal that led to a 3-pointer by Westbrook and gave Oklahoma City a 90-73 advantage.
Sefolosha scored 12 points in the quarter to help the Thunder take a 94-77 advantage into the fourth.
Westbrook clinched his triple-double with 1:21 remaining when he was credited with an assist after a pass to Sefolosha, who took two dribbles on his drive to the basket.
Notes: A power surge took out much of the arena's lighting with 27.2 seconds left in the first half. The coaches agreed to finish out the half with the limited lighting. The power returned, but halftime was extended briefly to give the lights the necessary 15 minutes to return to full brightness. ... Rapper Jay-Z attended the game. ... 2K Sports has announced that Durant will be the lone player on the cover of NBA 2K15. He shared the cover of 2K13 with Griffin and Chicago's Derrick Rose. Miami's LeBron James was on the cover of 2K14. ... Commissioner Adam Silver presented Durant with the MVP trophy before the game, and he held it up for the fans to see. ... Thunder C Steven Adams was called for a technical foul with 9:17 remaining for falling on Paul after a pump fake and knocking him into the Thunder bench. Los Angeles' Jamal Crawford was issued a technical with 7:28 to play, and Paul was given one with 2:24 remaining.