The Los Angeles Clippers set an important milestone tonight, coming from behind to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 92-77 at Staples Center, clinching a playoff berth for the first time since the 2005-06 season. Nick Young led the Clippers with 19 points in just his third start with the Clippers. Chris Paul had ten assists and Blake Griffin had a double double as the Clips got their third win in four games against the Western Conference's second best team.
"This game," said coach Del Negro, "a lot of it is about confidence. This team is confident right now"
Kevin Durant managed 24 points to lead all scorers, but the Clippers held his partner in crime Russell Westbrook to nine points and three assists in almost thirty three minutes. The Thunder only made three shots in the fourth quarter as LA started to pull away.
The Clippers shot almost twice as well from behind the arc tonight, but otherwise it was fairly even on the court. OKC had a better first half, but the Clippers outplayed the Thunder in the second half and that combined with Oklahoma City going cold made this game easier down the stretch than it looked to be in the beginning.
Blake Griffin got in one of his usual thunderous dunks, as the Clippers did look quite confident as the game swung in their favor. The Clips have five games left to try and take the Pacific Division from the Lakers, but only one more home game. Next is Wednesday at Denver.
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