Durant's late show destroys Clippers

Chris Paul (No. 3) of the Los Angeles Clippers having his last-second shot blocked by Kevin Durant (left) of the Oklahoma City Thunder, resulting in a narrow 100-99 Thunder victory. The Thunder have now won eight of their past nine games, while the C
Chris Paul (No. 3) of the Los Angeles Clippers having his last-second shot blocked by Kevin Durant (left) of the Oklahoma City Thunder, resulting in a narrow 100-99 Thunder victory. The Thunder have now won eight of their past nine games, while the Clippers have lost their third straight game.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Oklahoma forward's jumper with 5.8sec left and a last-second block give Thunder the win

LOS ANGELES • "Kid's stuff" is how Kevin Durant described his National Basketball Association (NBA) game-winning shot.

His 19-foot jumper with 5.8sec left was the difference. And the forward sealed the win by blocking point guard Chris Paul's shot before the final horn, boosting the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 100-99 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday at Staples Centre.

"No doubt the block is great for our team, but as a kid, you would hit the game-winner all the time," said Durant, who finished with 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook scored 19 of his 33 points in the second half and dished out seven assists.

41.7%

Kevin Durant's shooting, 10 of 24, was below par. The teams hit 47.1 per cent.

Forward Serge Ibaka contributed 17 points and eight rebounds for Oklahoma City (19-9), who have won eight of their past nine games.

"To be honest, that was the most carefree I felt the whole game," said Durant of his game-winning bucket.

He struggled offensively at times, making 10-of-24 shots and only one of seven three-pointers.

Both teams finished shooting 47.1 per cent.

Paul had 32 points on 11-of-19 shooting, making four of six three-point tries and adding 10 assists to lead the Clippers, who lost their third straight game.

Forward Blake Griffin and guard J.J. Redick scored 15 apiece for Los Angeles (16-13).

Of their 13 losses this term, five losing margins were four points or fewer.

"We didn't get the key stops (down) the stretch," said Paul, who passed Terry Porter (7,160) for No. 13 on the NBA's all-time assists list in the first half and now has 7,166 overall.

"Russell hit a three and then he hit mid-range. We executed offensively until I got my shot blocked on the last play.

"No moral victories today. We have been a possession away on all of those close games, but it does no good unless we figure out a way to start winning."

He gave the Clippers a 99-98 lead with 10.9 seconds left after retrieving a loose ball.

Westbrook was unable to field an inbound pass from guard Dion Waiters, allowing Paul to score on a layup.

However, Durant's late-game heroics wiped the Thunder's miscue slate clean.

"We just need to play better, especially down the stretch," said Griffin, who had 13 of his points in the second half after an awful first half in which he missed seven of his eight field-goal attempts.

"I think that is where we have lost games this season.

"Down the stretch, we just have not made enough plays or stops, which we were doing more of earlier this year."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2015, with the headline 'Durant's late show destroys Clippers'. Print Edition | Subscribe