Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Kevin Durant scored 36 points while Russell Westbrook had 23 points and 13 assists to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder past the Los Angeles Clippers, 118-112 Friday at Staples Center.
Serge Ibaka added 20 points as the Thunder took a 2-1 lead in ther Western Conference semifinals series.
Blake Griffin jumpstarted the Clippers with nine points as they took an 11-6 lead.
Moments later, Durant also scored nine in an 11-4 run that allowed the Thunder to take a 19-18 lead.
Chris Paul, Danny Granger and Jamal Crawford each had a 3-pointer to help the Clippers take a 33-29 lead at the end of the first.
Then Caron Butler scored five unanswered points to open the second as the Thunder overtook the Clippers 34-33.
The Thunder pushed their lead to 46-41 following baskets by Reggie Jackson, Steven Adams and Serge Ibaka.
The Clippers answered back with baskets by Matt Barnes, DeAndre Jordan, Griffin and Paul to get a 55-52 lead.
Westbrook got hot and scored nine points in 59 seconds but 3-pointers by Paul and Barnes kept the Clippers ahead at halftime, 63-61.
The game remained close in the third that featured five ties with no team leading by more than five.
The Clippers ended the quarter with an 8-0 run to bring 90-86 at the start of the fourth.
The early part of the fourth was closely contested until the last 2:09 when Westbrook’s 3-pointer, Durant’s jumper and Reggie jakcson’ss free throws shoved the Thunder ahead 115-107 with just 22 seconds left.
Griffin scored 34, Paul added 21 points and 16 assists and Crawford added 20 points for the Clippers.
Game 4 is on Sunday at Staples Center.