The second-longest active postseason drought is over. The Clippers are officially in the NBA playoffs this year.
Technically, the Clippers qualified for the playoffs with Houston’s three-point loss to Denver earlier in the day; but LA went out and beat the Thunder 92-77 just for good measure.
Los Angeles was lead by Blake Griffin who had 17 points and 11 rebounds, but got some serious support from Nick Young off the bench who went for 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting and 3-of-4 from downtown.
The real turning point in the game came in the 3rd quarter where L.A. topped Oklahoma 23 to 14. Durant mustered 24 points, but James Hardin only had 12 while Russell Westbrook only managed nine points to go along with five turnovers.
The L.A. faithful were in attendance to celebrate their playoff qualifying night as the franchise enjoyed their 32nd consecutive sellout crowd.
One of the most encouraging notes of the game for Clipper fans is that L.A. won this season series 3-1. The Thunder continue to struggle with matchup issues against L.A. and were uncharacteristically sloppy with the ball. The Thunder had 19 turnovers as a team with five coming from Durant, five from Westbrook, and three from Ibaka.
Most disconcerting to Oklahoma is LA’s ability to shut down Westbrook who went 4-of-16 from the floor and 1-of-5 from 3-point land. When Westbrook struggles he historically forces his shot and makes poor decisions running the offense.
If LA were to play the Thunder early in the playoffs we might be looking at a serious upset.