OKLAHOMA CITY — There is no love loss between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers. The last time the two franchises faced off, there was a near-brawl that led to two ejections.
There was no such drama this time around when the Thunder and Clippers faced off Thursday in Oklahoma City. Led by an aggressive Kevin Durant, Oklahoma rolled to a 105-91 victory at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
"I like the way we came out," Durant said. "We started the game well defensively and it helped us out on offense. Guys just played hard."
In the previous matchup, it was the Thunder (8-3) jumped out to a sizable lead early in the contest only to watch the Clippers erase with a third quarter onslaught. They found themselves in the same situation this time.
After a slow first half, Clippers forward Blake Griffin heated up in the third quarter. The Oklahoma City native made seven consecutive shots in a variety of ways, inside and outside.
Even so, Los Angeles was unable to gain ground. Durant and forward Serge Ibaka matched Griffin shot for shot as the Thunder held a 81-72 advantage after three quarters.
Once again Oklahoma City went to its reserves to hold onto a lead in the fourth quarter. This time it was the three-guard lineup of Jeremy Lamb, Derek Fisher and Reggie Jackson who gave the Clippers fits. The Thunder pushed the lead to 14 and cruised the rest of the way.
"We didn't play the same way," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "Just wasn't a lot of movement. We were pretty stagnant. Tonight we played at a slower pace."
Griffin paced the Clippers with 27 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Los Angeles guard Chris Paul contributed 17 points and 12 assists.
Durant posted 28 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Ibaka, who was thrown out of the previous matchup, finished with 17 points and five rebounds. Guard Russell Westbrook collected 12 points, six rebounds and five assists in the win.