League MVP shows his mettle as Thunder even series
WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMI-FINAL GAME TWO
OKLAHOMA CITY 112
LA CLIPPERS 101
- Series level at 1-1
Kevin Durant, who was named league MVP on Tuesday, had 32 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Los Angeles Clippers 112-101 yesterday morning (Singapore time) to even their series at 1-1.
Russell Westbrook registered a triple double with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the Thunder who rebounded from a one-sided loss in game one of the best-of-seven second round series.
"We just played physical, made some adjustments and played hard," said Durant.
Oklahoma City received some timely help yesterday morning from role players such as Thabo Sefolosha, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins.
Ibaka tallied 14 points and seven rebounds while Sefolosha scored all of his 12 points in the third quarter in front of a crowd of 18,203 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Perkins grabbed nine rebounds for the Thunder, who out-rebounded the Clippers 52-36.
Chris Paul finished with 17 points and 11 assists to lead the Clippers, who went just nine-of-27 from three-point range after making 15-of-29 from beyond the arc in Game One.
Paul has been dealing with a sprained left thumb and right hamstring injury.
J.J. Redick scored a team-high 18 points but had just two after half-time, and Blake Griffin shot a disappointing five-of-13 from the field for 15 points.
Griffin finished third in MVP voting on Tuesday behind Durant.
"They were by far the more physical team," said Clippers coach Doc Rivers. "We didn't do it back. We weren't physical or mentally very tough."
The series shifts to Los Angeles' Staples Center Arena for Game Three tomorrow morning.
Durant said that they are looking forward to the challenge of playing the Clippers at home.
"We got to stick together and move the ball," said Durant, who picked up his first career MVP award. "We have won in their building before. We got to go into a hostile environment and get the job done."
Meanwhile, in Indiana, Roy Hibbert woke from his slumber to lead the Pacers to a 86-82 win over the Washington Wizards in Game Two of their second-round NBA play-off series yesterday morning.
Hibbert, who went without a single point or rebound in Game One, scored 28 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Indiana, who levelled their best-of-seven series at 1-1.
Hibbert said that all it took for him to clear his head, and break out of his funk, was to go on a fishing trip with his teammate Paul George.
"Paul took me out on his boat, we fished a long time. We didn't talk about basketball," said Hibbert, who made the All-Star team this season.
Game Three will be in Washington tomorrow morning.
Hibbert scored 17 points in the first half, more than he had in the previous four games combined, leaving in the final minute of the second quarter to cheers.
"I was just trying to be aggressive and make smart decisions," Hibbert said.
"Tonight I just felt like I had one thing on my mind and that was to help this team win." - AFP.
Eastern Conference semi-final, Game Two
Indiana Pacers 86 Washington Wizards 82
- Series level at 1-1.