Final Score for Game 1, 122 - 105, Los Angeles Clippers win big.
That sentence sums up last night performance in a nutshell on a night when the Oklahoma City Thunder looked dumbfounded. This shouldn't be a total surprise though, as the Thunder were forced to a Game 7 by the Memphis Grizzlies (a team which struggles to put up points) in the first round.
In both cases, OKC has shown difficulty with two things; performing in the Half-Court and defending elite big men. Not only were those weaknesses displayed last night, they were continually exploited by the Clippers who have one of the league's top Power Forwards in Blake Griffin.
But the game ball has to be given to LA Point Guard Chris Paul. Paul, AKA CP3, lit up the Thunder scoring 32 points on 8 three-pointers and shooting 12 for 14 from the field. He also made it a double-double adding in 10 assists. Griffin tossed in his own 23 points along with 5 rebounds and assists.
That's not to say that the Thunder's star players didn't score but Paul's performance, which was one shy of tying the playoff three-point record, made it a sure win. Newly crowned MVP Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 54 points but the dynamic duo definitely had to work to put up numbers and try to keep the game close.
The lack of a true 3rd scorer also showed in Oklahoma City's performance, Sixth man Caron Butler tried to get it going but ended up going 1 for 7 with 3 points. Thunder starting Power Forward Serge Ibaka tried his best to be that 3rd option bringing 12 points to the table along with a steady 6 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.
If Game 1 is any indication, Oklahoma has their work cut out for them and Los Angeles will not be messing around.
Now the ball is in the Thunder's court, literally, as the team is going to try to win their 2nd home game and tie up the series on Wednesday.
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