Thunder 108, Clippers 104

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 03, 2013
Kevin Durant scored 35 points, Russell Westbrook had 29 points and 10 assists, and Oklahoma City held off a late rally by the Los Angeles Clippers to win 108-104 on Sunday in a matchup of two of the West's best teams. Serge Ibaka added 16 points as the Thunder ended a three-game road skid, bouncing back less than 48 hours after losing at Denver. They also completed a season sweep of Los Angeles, which is chasing Oklahoma City and NBA-best San Antonio out West. Chris Paul scored 26 points and Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford added 20 points apiece for the Clippers, whose four-game winning streak ended with their third loss to the Thunder this season. Paul made all nine of his free throws to help his team go 19 for 22 from the line. The Clippers had four players in foul trouble in the second half: Griffin, Caron Butler, Lamar Odom and Matt Barnes. Griffin fouled out with 59 seconds left. They went 9 for 24 from 3-point range and had 21 turnovers. Los Angeles came in trailing the Thunder by a half-game for second in the West, but played from behind nearly the entire game. The Clippers trimmed a 19-point deficit to 82-73 at the end of the third. Odom hit a 3-pointer and Paul completed a three-point play to give them the momentum and get the crowd back into the game. They outscored the Thunder 12-5 to open the fourth. Paul had six points, including a driving layup and a floater in the lane over Durant. Griffin then fed Crawford in the right corner for a 3-pointer that left the Clippers trailing 91-90. The Thunder responded with six straight points, but Los Angeles rallied again. Barnes hit back-to-back 3-pointers to get the Clippers within three. Ibaka chopped Griffin in the right hip before Barnes' second 3 went in, with Griffin collapsing to the court and Ibaka receiving a flagrant-1 foul. A video review confirmed the call and Griffin went to the line, missing the first and making the second. The Clippers retained possession and Crawford hit a 3-pointer to give them their first lead of the game at 100-99 with 1:30 to play. But the Thunder scored nine of the final 13 points. The Thunder reached its first double-digit lead in the second during a 12-2 run that made it 53-37. Durant and Thabo Sefolosha hit back-to-back 3-pointers en route to a 54-41 lead at the break. The Clippers committed 16 turnovers - a season high for a half - and were just 2 of 11 from 3-point range, missing four straight to close the second quarter. NOTES: The Thunder improved to 13-3 in games played after a loss. ... The Clippers fell to 23-7 at home. ... Griffin has 10 straight games with 16-plus points, seven-plus rebounds and two-plus assists, the longest such streak in the league this season.
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