Originally written January 23, 2013 on BlackSportsOnline:
In many people’s mind the way to get to the finals in the West is going through the OKC Thunder and/or the LA Clippers. Last night was a preview of what might happened if these two happened to face each other in the Western Conference Finals this season. Only one problem, the Clippers were without Chris Paul, but the game was still competitive and interesting. However without Paul leading the way for the Clippers, OKC was able to withstand their high flying offense and blow past the Clippers 109-97. Kevin Durant threw down a monstrous dunk that made its way to SportsCenters Top 10, and then there was the block by Caron Butler. The block itself wasn’t spectacular; it was what happened after the block that turned a mediocre block into a highlight. The ball smacked the referee, Derek Richardson,  square in the face, knocking him down to the ground. The referee managed to not only recover from the smack down he also was able to make the call of possession while sitting on the floor trying to pick his face up off the court. That takes skills and heart. Priceless.
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