Chris Paul exploded for 32 points and 10 assists to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 122-105 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of their second round playoff series Monday. The win not only gives the Clippers a 1-0 series lead, but they also have stolen home court advantage away from the Thunder.
Paul was the story of the night. He shot 12-of-14 from the field and eight-of-nine from beyond the arc, putting up his giant stat line in just 28 minutes of action. Paul has been a fantastic player since the day he stepped foot on an NBA court, but this has to rank among his greatest performances.
Blake Griffin added 23 points, five rebounds and five assists while Jamal Crawford scored 17 points.
The Thunder were led by Russell Westbrook, who scored 29 points on nine-of-14 shooting and Kevin Durant, who put up 25 points on nine-of-19 shooting.
The Clippers shot 54.9% from the field and 51.7% from beyond the arc compared to 45.9% and 32.1% for the Thunder. The Clippers also turned the ball over just nine times while forcing 18 Thunder turnovers.
The first half couldn’t have gone any better for the Clippers. They lit up the Thunder for 39 first quarter points and continued the onslaught with 30 more in the second to take a 69-52 lead into the break. After the Thunder cut the lead to 71-56 in the third quarter, the Clippers scored the next 11 points to push the lead to 26, the same margin that separated the teams entering the fourth quarter.
Game 2 from the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is Wednesday night at 9:30 pm EST and the game is on TNT.