OKLAHOMA CITY – In a “foul festival”, the Los Angeles Clippers lead the OKC Thunder 58-52 at halftime of game #5 of their NBA Western Conference semifinal playoff series before another sellout crowd at “the Peake” in downtown OKC. At the break, there have been 31 personal fouls called and a total of 37 attempted free throws.
Fortunately for the Thunder, they’ve hit 22-25 at the charity stripe which has kept them in the game. The Clippers jumped out to a 34-25 lead after the opening quarter and had a 15 point lead at one stage in the first period. But OKC went on a 22-8 run to grab a 39-38 advantage…which lasted all of :43.
The Clippers went on a 12-2 run of their own to get the lead back up to 9 at 50-41 and then, Los Angeles used a perfectly executed play out of a time out with :07.3 left in the half which resulted in a J.J. Redick 3-point basket to give the Clippers their halftime advantage.
Russell Westbrook leads the Thunder with 15 points at intermission, while league MVP Kevin Durant added 13…but the all-star tandem combined to hit just 5-16 shots. However, talented pair was aggressive taking it to the basket, hitting a combined 16-17 at the FT line to keep the Thunder in it.
Former OU star Blake Griffin has 15 points and 10 rebounds at halftime for the Clippers, while Redick chipped in 13 and Chris Paul dished out 7 assists…one more than the *entire* Thunder team in the opening half.
Game #6 will be Thursday night back in Los Angeles and the NBA has announced a 9:30pm tip time (CDT). If there’s a 7th and deciding game, it will be in Oklahoma City this Sunday.