CP3 Earns His Keep

The point guard hits the game winner to lift L.A. over the best team in the west.

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

On the line for the Clippers was 4th place in the West and home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. On top of that, it was Blake Griffin’s final appearance in his hometown of Oklahoma, so the fact that Chris Paul came out guns-blazing was no surprise.

CP3 went off for 31 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds. Twenty-four of those points came in the second half and two of those points came with just 8.8 seconds left on the clock to give LA the winning hoop.

CP3 laid it up off the glass after slicing through the entire Thunder defense. One could make a good case that he should have dropped it off for another Clipper to finish, but as soon as his scoop shot kissed off the glass it was clear CP3 was taking over.

Griffin chipped in 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists of his own as L.A. stole one from the Thunder on their home court.

The Thunder have dominated all year with a 42-16 overall record and a 25-6 home record. This is a big road win for the Clippers who find themselves as a team still searching for an identity at times. Sure it’s the Griffin and CP3 show when everyone’s looking for highlights and duns; but come crunch time, LA still looks unsure of themselves.

Kevin Durant did his best to keep the Thunder in it with 22 points, 9 rebounds, and a 3-pointer that tied the game at 98 with under a minute to play, but Paul would not be denied. Russell Westbrook and James Hardin also went for 20 and 17 points respectfully; but it was the CP3 show late in the 4th.

What must scare LA the most about this win is that the Thunder had very mediocre performances from their top two players; and still, Oklahoma City almost won the game. Even with the Clippers stealing the win, the Thunder must feel awfully confident about their chances in a best of seven series against LA.