Sunday, February 23, 2014
Clippers run away from Thunder
By ESPN Stats & Information
Kevin Durant did something that he had never done in his career before today, but it was not enough as the Clippers beat the Thunder 125-117 in Oklahoma City on Sunday afternoon.
The Clippers handed the Thunder their second straight home loss, just the second time that OKC has lost consecutive games at the Chesapeake Energy Arena this season.
Los Angeles avoided its third straight loss and still has not lost three games in a row this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the furthest into any season that the Braves/Clippers franchise has gone without a three-game losing streak.
What were the keys to the Clippers second win in their last six games against the Thunder?
Clippers on the run
The Clippers were at their best when pushing the pace, tying a season-high with 34 fastbreak points, including 27 in the first half. They made 13 of 14 shots on the break, turning it over just once. The Clippers are averaging 17.8 fastbreak points per game, third-most in the league.
It was the most fastbreak points the Thunder have allowed in more than five years, since the Phoenix Suns had 37 against them on February 20, 2009.
Paul dishes to Crawford, Barnes
Chris Paul created 30 points off 12 assists Sunday. According to NBA.com player-tracking data, Paul leads the NBA creating 25.1 points per game.
The main beneficiaries from his assists were Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes who knocked down five shots apiece.
Crawford and Barnes combined for 33 points from behind the arc Sunday, finding particular success when those shots were guarded. Crawford shot 5 of 8 and Barnes shot 4 of 5. Entering the game, the duo had shot a combined 33.5 percent on three-pointers.
A first for Durant
Durant finished the game with 42 points and 10 assists, the first time he’s ever reach those totals in a game.
He is just the second player in Thunder/Sonics history with a 40-10 game, joining Gary Payton, who had two such games according to Elias.
Durant now has nine 40-point games this season. No other player even has five of those.
Durant’s aggressiveness keyed his scoring outburst, driving to the basket 11 times while scoring 15 of his 40 points on those drives. Entering the game, Durant was averaging only six drive points on 5.7 drives per game.
Thunder go cold from mid-range
The Thunder made only 7 of 24 attempts from the mid-range area, tied for their third-worst percentage in a game this season. The Thunder lead the league in mid-range shooting this season, making 44 percent of their shots.
Los Angeles has been effective in limiting the Thunder's mid-range accuracy this season, as two of the Thunder’s four worst shooting games from this area have come against the Clippers.