Griffin, Clippers down ThunderApr 17, 2012 - 6:08 AM Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Blake Griffin netted 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Los Angeles Clippers downed the Oklahoma City Thunder, 92-77, in a battle of Western Conference playoff teams.
Nick Young provided a spark off the bench with 19 points and Randy Foye contributed 13 for the Clippers, who have won four straight, bookended by victories over the Thunder.
Los Angeles had clinched a playoff berth earlier Monday with Houston's loss.
"We talked about clinching a playoff spot before the game and the playoffs are all about preparation," Clippers point guard Chris Paul said.
"One of our goals was to make the playoffs, but we have higher goals yet to reach," Griffin added.
Kevin Durant poured in a game-high 24 points for Oklahoma City, which lost the season series 3-1 and have dropped four straight against the Clippers in LA. The Thunder now sit tied for the top spot in the West after the Spurs defeated the Warriors on Monday.
Oklahoma City shot almost 44 percent from the floor in the first half and took a 52-43 advantage into intermission, but the Clippers turned up the defensive intensity in the second half, holding the visitors to just 25 points on an abysmal 29 percent clip.
"We didn't make shots in the second half, and they got hot," said Thunder coach Scottie Brooks. "Give them credit, they're a good defensive team. We could have moved the ball better. We missed free-throws and we turned the ball over too many times."
Los Angeles trailed for almost the entire third quarter but chipped away at its deficit, eventually pulling into a tie a 66 with 44.3 seconds remaining.
The Clippers took their first lead since it was 4-2 on Mo Williams' triple 19 ticks into the fourth and never looked back. At 74-73 a bit later, Young spurred a 10-1 run with a 19-foot jumper. Griffin netted six points during the stretch, including two dunks to cap off the rally.
The Thunder trailed by at least nine thereafter.
Los Angeles secured its first playoff bid in six years...Oklahoma City committed 19 turnovers, including five by Durant...The Clippers' largest lead was the final margin. The Thunder's largest lead was 11.
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 77
LOS ANGELES: 92
Apr 17 1:03 AM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 66
LOS ANGELES: 66
End of 3rd
Apr 17 12:30 AM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 52
LOS ANGELES: 43
Apr 16 11:44 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 27
LOS ANGELES: 21
End of 1st
Apr 16 11:06 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 0
LOS ANGELES: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 16 10:42 PM
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