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November 21, 2013

Durant’s all-around performance lifts Thunder to win



"I thought that was probably as well as we can execute a game plan and execute on both ends of the floor in the second half," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "I thought we played good throughout the game, but really did a great job in second half."

Durant began the night on the attack. Regardless of which defender the Clippers put on him, Durant was able to get off long-range jumpers and drive to the rim. He collected 12 points in the opening quarter as Oklahoma City grabbed a double-digit lead.

"We knew we could stretch them out and catch and drive," Durant said. "Every body did a great job tonight in the pick and roll. We just tried to get there and they had really good shot blockers. Just wanted to get into their bodies and tonight we did a good job of it."

Guard Jamal Crawford (18 points) came off the Clippers' bench to halt the tide and help close the gap to 28-22 heading into the second quarter.

With Oklahoma City's starters on the bench, the Thunder went on a 13-6 run to start the second. However, after Paul was called for a flagrant-1 foul on guard Thabo Sefolosha, the Clippers began to find their shot and closed within 51-43 at halftime.

"Our defense, is trying to get better," Paul said. "We're trying to get our offense better. It's not the playoffs, it's the regular season and so different teams are going to mean different things."

NOTES: The Thunder's proficient shooting is starting to rub off on its fans. For the second game in a row, a fan hit a half-court shot for $20,000. On Monday, Cameron Rodriguez became the fourth Thunder fan this calendar year to do it. Brad Rucker is the fifth after he drained his attempt Thursday. Three connected from half-court at the end of 2012-13. ... Clippers G Matt Barnes sat out his second consecutive game due to an eye contusion that he suffered against the Memphis Grizzlies. He is expected to have retina surgery and miss the next two weeks. ... Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers put F Blake Griffin in some esteemed company when talking about Griffin not responding to the hard fouls he takes. "To me, that's the toughest guy you can be," Rivers said. "Gandhi, Martin Luther King, those guys were tough. They took the hits and kept preaching." ... Sitting courtside were Jay-Z and Beyonce. "That was crazy," Kevin Durant said. "I don't even know how to describe that right there. That's unbelievable for them to come to Oklahoma City and come watch us play. It was cool to have them there."Michael Kinney

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