The Thunder leads the L.A. Clippers 61-56 at halftime of game #2 of their NBA Western Conf. playoff series. OKC had a great opening quarter, lighting up the scoreboard for 37 points in a “must win” situation against the visitors from California, who won the 1st game at “The Peake” Monday night.
Recently crowned MVP Kevin Durant received his prestigiohs trophy from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver before the opening tip-off and the sellout crowd went bonkers. Durant’s “agent”, entertainer Jay Z, is sitting courtside too and he watched Durant score 17 of his 21 points in that first quarter. Russell Westbrook had a big opening half with 19 points at the break as the all-stars have combined to hit 15-25 shots from the floor.
The Clippers continued to hit the baskets from long distance, nailing 6 three-pointers in the first couple of periods…but they also missed several open looks. The Thunder had a lead of 37-26 late in the first quarter but the Clippers went on a nice run in-between periods to take a 56-55 lead before the Thunder closed the half with a half-dozen consecutive points to seize the lead again.
OKC is shooting 53% at halftime to 48% for the Clippers L.A. guard J.J. Redick is the only Clippers player in double figures with 16 points on 6-8 shooting, but OKC is pounding the Clippers on the backboards, outrebounding LAC 29-18 at halftime.
The Thunder needs to win to square the best-of-7 series at a victory apiece with the scene shifting west for Friday night’s 3rd game at 9:30pm Oklahoma time inside the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.