Mar 11, 2015 11:13 PM
Paul has 33, outplays Westbrook as Clippers beat Thunder
The Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Chris Paul had 33 points and nine assists, J.J. Redick added 25 points and the Los Angeles Clippers beat Oklahoma City 120-108 on Wednesday night, ending the Thunder's seven-game home winning streak.
DeAndre Jordan had 18 points and 17 rebounds for the Clippers, who are fighting for a top-four seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Oklahoma City is battling to merely make the field and fell a half-game behind the New Orleans Pelicans in the race for the final playoff spot.
Both teams are playing for extended stretches without their superstar forwards: Kevin Durant for the Thunder, Blake Griffin for the Clippers. In their absence, Paul fared better than his point guard counterpart, Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook, who had recorded triple-doubles in five of Oklahoma City's previous six games, finished with 24 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and a career-high 10 turnovers.
Anthony Morrow came off the bench to score 26 points for the Thunder, who could get Durant back from a foot injury in a week or two, coach Scott Brooks said before the game.
Los Angeles went 15 of 30 from behind the arc and controlled the game throughout. Paul went 5 of 8 from 3-point range while Matt Barnes scored 22 points on 6-of-7 shooting on 3s.
The Clippers jumped to a 28-11 lead during the first seven minutes, but Morrow led a comeback by the Thunder with five first-half 3-pointers. Oklahoma City, which went 10 of 16 from 3-point range in the half, twice pulled even, the latter time at 47-all midway through the second quarter.
Paul hit a pair of 3-pointers in the next two minutes as Los Angeles re-established control and the Clippers led 65-57 at halftime.
The Clippers pushed their lead to 86-66 with 6:53 left in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Paul. The advantage eventually peaked at 22 points.
Oklahoma City came no closer than 13 points the rest of the way.
Clippers: Going for a loose ball in the closing seconds of the first half, Paul dived into Kevin Durant's brother, Tony Durant, who was sitting in a courtside seat. Tony Durant shook his right leg as if he were in pain, but was able to walk around at halftime . Jordan went 5 of 6 from the foul line in the first half after entering the game shooting 40.1 percent for the season. He finished the game 12 of 22 . Paul's 20 first-half points were a season high . Redick and Oklahoma City's Enes Kanter were called for double technical fouls with 4:51 left.
Thunder: For a time in the second quarter, the Thunder experimented with a two-center lineup, playing Kanter and Steven Adams together for the first time to bolster their interior defense. Kanter remained as the starter at the position and scored 18 points . Morrow went 6 of 9 from 3-point range, setting a season high for made 3s . After taking a hard foul from Barnes midway through the first quarter, Westbrook threw down the protective mask he's worn over his face since undergoing surgery for a fractured cheek bone.
Clippers: Visit Dallas on Friday.
Thunder: Host Minnesota on Friday.