Paul made his first eight three-pointers, a career-best total,
and finished 12-for-14 from the field with 10 assists as Los Angeles
enjoyed a surprisingly dominant road win to open the best-of-seven
"It was just one of those nights. This will definitely go down in
the history books for me," Paul told reporters.
With the victory, the Clippers continued to distance themselves from
the cloud of controversy that hovered above a first round series
overshadowed by owner Donald Sterling's racist comments that led to
a life ban from the NBA.
The Clippers were expected to ease past Golden State but despite the
unwanted distraction created by Sterling's remarks, Los Angeles held
on to edge the sixth-seeded Warriors in a hard-fought series that
went the distance.
The Thunder also waded through a seven-game struggle of their own
against Memphis but appeared ill-prepared for a free-scoring Los
Angeles team, despite 29 points from Russell Westbrook and 25 from
Paul showed his hand early, pouring in five three-pointers in the
first quarter alone to lead the road team to a 39-25 advantage at
The Clippers continued to build on their momentum as the Thunder
appeared powerless to slow them down with Los Angeles leading by as
much as 29 points late in the fourth quarter.
[to top of second column]
All Star Blake Griffin finished with 23 points and Jamal Crawford
added 17 off the bench in the winning effort.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha, regarded as a defensive
specialist, rejoined the starting lineup after being benched for the
past two games but his presence had almost no effect on the
"We have to be more physical with them, and make them feel us a
little bit more," Durant said.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner; Editing by John O'Brien)
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