The Norman Transcript

National Sports

March 4, 2013

Powering through

(Continued)

LOS ANGELES —

The Clippers had four players in foul trouble in the second half: Griffin, Butler, Lamar Odom and Matt Barnes. Griffin fouled out with 59 seconds left. They went 9 for 24 from 3-point range and had 21 turnovers, including 16 in the first half — their most in a half this season.

“That’s embarrassing. That’s crazy. That’s not like us,” Paul said. “In the first half, they just did a good job of mucking the lane up. Every time I came down court, I saw a wall. They basically trapped me into ball screens. In the second half, we brought L.O. in and we went small, which opened the court up. And once we opened the court up, we could get into the lane and make plays and fire up shots.”

Los Angeles came in trailing the Thunder by a half-game for second in the West, but played from behind nearly the entire game. The Clippers trimmed a 19-point deficit to 82-73 at the end of the third. Odom hit a 3-pointer and Paul completed a three-point play to give them the momentum and get the crowd back into the game.

“There’s no such thing as moral victories to us,” Griffin said. “We’ve been in this situation before, but we don’t want to put ourselves in that situation. We’ve got to be better from start to finish to beat a team like this.”

The Clippers outscored the Thunder 12-5 to open the fourth. Paul had six points, including a driving layup and a floater in the lane over Durant. Griffin then fed Crawford in the right corner for a 3-pointer that left the Clippers trailing 91-90.

The Thunder responded with six straight points, but Los Angeles rallied again. Barnes hit back-to-back 3-pointers on offensive rebounds to get the Clippers within three. Ibaka chopped Griffin in the right hip before Barnes’ second 3 went in, with Griffin collapsing to the court and Ibaka receiving the flagrant.

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