While Kevin Durant may be the NBA's regular season scoring champion and soon-to-be-named Most Valuable Player, Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul stole the show with a game-high 24 points on 12-of-14 shooting to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 122-105 Monday evening at Chesapeake Arena. Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook finished with a team high 29 points on 9-of-14 shooting.
Paul's shooting efficiency was just as impressive from long range; finishing 8-of-9 from 3-point range. In the first half alone, he scored 22 points including a perfect 6-of-6 from beyond the arc. Chris Paul had never scored more than five 3-pointers in a game. He also finished with 10 assists.
L.A. scored 29 points on its final 13 possessions to take a 39-25 lead after the first quarter. That lead expanded to 17 by the first half's end (69-52.) 69 points were the most the Thunder had ever allowed in a single postseason half since the franchise relocated to Oklahoma City.
As for Durant, he finished 9-of-19 from the floor for 25 points. He also had the game's lowest scoring differential at -26 points. Oklahoma City native and former Sooner Blake Griffin scored 25 points along with 5 rebounds, and 5 assists.
What also worked to the Clippers' advantage was taking care of the basketball. The team committed just nine turnovers for the game while scoring 23 points on the Thunder 18 turnovers. 11 of Oklahoma City's turnovers came in the first half.Game two is Wednesday evening in Oklahoma City. Tip off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. local time.