The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Kevin Durant scored 36 points, Russell Westbrook added 23 and the Oklahoma City Thunder outplayed the Los Angeles Clippers in the fourth quarter for a 118-112 victory Friday night and a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal.
Serge Ibaka added 20 points and Westbrook had 13 assists for the Thunder in a game that neither team ever led by double digits.
Blake Griffin scored 34 points, and Chris Paul added 21 points and 16 assists for the Clippers, who saw their four-point lead disappear for good early in the fourth quarter. Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford added 20 points.
Oklahoma City led 113-107 on Durant’s turnaround jumper with 1:23 left. It followed Westbrook’s 3-pointer after the Clippers had closed within 108-107 when Griffin muscled in for a layup.
Game 4 is Sunday at Staples Center.
The Thunder shot 56 percent, and controlled the paint and fastbreak points against a Clippers team that never got into their favored run-and-gun mode.
J.J. Redick, who got off to a hot start in Game 2, was held to five points on 1-of-6 shooting. DeAndre Jordan was never a factor for the Clippers either, with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Matt Barnes gave them a lift with 14 points.
The Thunder gradually pulled away in the fourth, scoring eight straight points, including Durant’s three-point play, to take the lead for good. Former Clipper Caron Butler hit three 3-pointers to give his team the lead and then extend it.
Emotions boiled in the third, with double technicals called on Barnes and Kendrick Perkins, who stared hard at each other. Perkins took a step toward Barnes but got pushed away by Westbrook. By then, Griffin was already bloodied. He got hit in the face by Ibaka, but the only call by the referees was 3 seconds on the Clippers.
Also on Friday:
Pacers 85, Wizards 63: WASHINGTON — Paul George had his best game of the series with 23 points and eight rebounds, Roy Hibbert was again a factor by scoring 14 points, and Indiana held Washington to a franchise-low playoff total. The Pacers lead the Eastern Conference semifinal 2-1. Washington made only 24 field goals, another team postseason worst, on 73 attempts, 32.9 percent. That included 4 of 16 on 3s, and it didn’t get much better on free throws, where the Wizards were 11 of 21.