The Los Angeles Clippers made an explosive opening statement by dominating Game 1 against the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 122-105 victory. Chris Paul erupted with three-pointers, going 8 of 9 from beyond the arc, putting up 32 points and 10 assists in the contest.
After clawing their way to a win in a nail-biting Game 7 against the Golden State Warriors, some might have expected the Clippers to come into Game 1 against the Thunder a little flat. That wasn’t the case at all.
The Clips racked up the points with ease, shooting 55% from the floor and 52% from downtown. Blake Griffin contributed 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists in the game. NBA Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford came off the bench to chip in 17 points, and J.J. Redick put up 12 points. It’s almost safe to say that buckets won’t always come this easy for the Clips in this series, but tonight they were making it rain, drowning out the Thunder.
The man of the night was definitely CP3, as he became the first NBA player to drop 8 three pointers and dish out 10 assists in an NBA playoff game. The spacing was just right, and the Clips capitalized on their shot selection.
“It just felt good tonight,” Paul told the LA Times, when asked about his amazing performance.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook did the best they could to try and chip away at the swelling lead the Clippers built in the first half, but they could only do so much. Durantula finished with 25 points and Westbrook put up 29 points.
The key preparation for the Clippers in Game 2 is to expect the Thunder will take it to them with ferocity. They can’t relax now, because the Thunder will definitely crank it up a notch, and “Mr. Undeniable” might make an appearance.
Game 2 of the Clippers vs. Thunder series will go down on Wednesday, May 7, 2014.