OKLAHOMA CITY — One of the last things coach Scott Brooks said after Oklahoma City lost Monday was that Los Angeles didn’t feel his team. They had let the Clippers do pretty much anything they wanted en route to giving up 120 points.
Brooks promised that a different Thunder squad would show for Game 2, and he kept his word. Spurred on by Kevin Durant earning his first MVP, Oklahoma City defeated Los Angeles 112-101 Wednesday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“I thought they did exactly what Scotty Brooks said they were going to do, so give them credit,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “He said they were going to make us feel them and I thought they did that. They were by far the more physical team. They were the tougher team tonight, for sure.”
The best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series is tied 1-1 as it heads to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Friday. It took a special performance by the Thunder’s dynamic duo to make that happen.
Russell Westbrook scored 31 points, handed out 10 assists and grabbed 10 rebounds for his third triple-double of the postseason. Fresh off collecting the league’s MVP award, Durant was one assist shy of a triple-double, as he tallied 32 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists.
“I think it was more fueled because we lost,” Durant said. “We lost by 20 points last game. Guys were pissed off. Guys wanted to come back and respond. We just went out there and played extremely hard and left it all out there.”
Thabo Sefolosha may have given the Thunder the biggest spark when he scored 12 of his 14 points in the third period, when the team pulled away. Kendrick Perkins added eight points and nine rebounds.
J.J. Redick led the Clippers with 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting. Point guard Chris Paul added 17 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and three steals. Blake Griffin added 15 points and six rebounds.