The Oklahoma City Thunder, with a chance to close out the series, trails the Los Angeles Clippers 50-42 at halftime of game #6 of their NBA Western Conference semifinal playoff series. As opposed to the last game here in California, last Sunday, when the Thunder zipped out to a 29-7 lead in the very first quarter, OKC’s start was *very* slow in this one.
The Thunder all-star duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined to hit just 1-11 shots at the start of the game and the Clippers came up with a couple of turnovers at the end of the quarter for a 30-16 lead after one period. The L.A. lead balooned to 39-23 early in the 2nd period before the league MVP finally got his shot going. Durant buried three straight 3-point baskets to get OKC back to within 41-36.
But the Clippers responded with a 9-0 run right after that and the advantage was back up to 14 points at 50-36. The Thunder managed to close the half with the rest of the points and should consider themselves lucky only down by eight at intermission.
Durant leads the Thunder with 14 points on just 4-12 shooting while Westbrook, who lit it up with 38 points in that game #5 comeback, has only TWO points at halftime here, missing all 4 of his FG attempts. And big men Kendrick Perkins and Steven Adams each have 3 personal fouls at the break too. Former OU all-american Blake Griffin leads the Clippers with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.
The Clippers *must* win the game or the Thunder will advance to the Western Conference finals against San Antonio. If L.A. holds on, game #7 will be Sunday night at 7:30 at the Chesapeake Arena in downtown OKC.