Woefully absent in Oklahoma City’s Game One blowout los against Los Angeles was that sort of star power Los Angeles got from Chris Paul. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were forcing things and trying too hard to get things going. That is usually when Oklahoma City struggles. Especially when Westbrook takes it upon himself to be the driving force for the Thunder’s offense.
Chris Paul was the one letting the game come to him and forcing his will on the game within its flow. He was the one that looked like the MVP.
Durant got his MVP trophy before the game and he certainly proved he was the league’s best to the tune of 17 first-quarter points.
Durant and Westbrook set the tone for the Thunder in a 112-101 Game Two victory to even the series at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday. This was Oklahoma City’s night through and through.
Durant had 32 points and Westbrook scored 31 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 10 assists for another triple double. What was more was both players were efficient — a combined 23 of 44 — and dominated within the flow of the offense. Nothing seemed forced. It was a determined effort.
And Oklahoma City needed that after falling behind and getting trounced at home in Game One. There was more urgency from them and the stars took it upon themselves to win this one.
Los Angeles was more than a step slow defensively, particularly with Chris Paul facing early foul trouble. The Clippers fell into the hole and could not climb out. A run in the second quarter brought them into the lead very briefly, but it was short lived.
J.J. Redick had 17 points and Chris Paul had 16 points and 11 assists. The Clippers could not find any rhythm offensively as they were harassed and pressured into 14 turnovers. Oklahoma City was first to loose balls and dicated the pace of the game.
That is what is going to win in this series. And some star power does not hurt.