Game 3 - Thunder at Clippers
May 8, 2014
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Oklahoma City (64-27) at L.A. Clippers (62-29)
Western Conference Semifinals
Game 3 - Series tied 1-1
Tip-off: Friday, 10:35 p.m. ET
Sportsbook.ag Line and Total: Los Angeles -4, Total: 214.5
After a bounce-back win by the Thunder at home on Wednesday night against the Clippers, this heated series heads to L.A. for Friday's Game 3.
Oklahoma City did exactly what was needed in Game 2, successfully defending its home-court in a big 112-103 victory as a 5.5-point favorite. The Thunder shot 50.6% FG in the game while dominating the glass with a 52-36 rebounding advantage. Both PG Russell Westbrook (31 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds, 3 steals) and SF Kevin Durant (32 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals) had unbelievable performances in the rout of Los Angeles. The Clippers struggled from three-point range in the contest, making just 9-of-27 shots from behind the arc and had issues with foul trouble, as both PG Chris Paul and C DeAndre Jordan had to ride the bench to avoid more calls.
Hitting the road for Oklahoma City has not been too bad this season, as the club is 27-17 SU (21-22-1 ATS) away from home. Meanwhile, L.A. has one of the biggest home-court advantages with a 37-8 SU record (23-22 ATS) in front of its fans.
These teams have met six times this season, and have flip-flopped SU and ATS wins, with each going 3-3. Going back three seasons it is just as tight, with the Thunder holding a slight 7-6 edge (both SU and ATS).
Both teams have positive betting trends for this pivotal Game 3, as Oklahoma City is now 10-1 ATS versus very good teams (6+ PPG margin) this season, but the Clippers don't fall victim to many losing streaks, going 20-8 ATS after an SU loss this season.
SF Hedo Turkoglu (back) was injured in the first round, and his status for L.A. is uncertain for this contest.
The Thunder have been a fantastic offensive team all season long and have scored 108.0 PPG (49% FG) over their past five games. Their defense has not been quite as good in that timeframe though, allowing their opponents to put up 103.2 PPG (45% FG) against them.
SF Kevin Durant (29.6 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.3 BPG, 1.0 SPG in playoffs) nearly had a triple-double (32 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists) in Game 2 while hitting 10-of-22 shots. The league's regular season MVP has scored 30+ points in six of his nine postseason games so far this year.
PG Russell Westbrook (26.6 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 7.8 APG, 1.6 SPG in playoffs) recorded his third triple-double in the past five games, and has been very efficient offensively in this series, going 22-for-36 from the floor (61%). He has struggled with turnovers though; coughing up the ball 4.9 times per game so far in the postseason, including 10 turnovers in the first two games of this series.
PF Serge Ibaka (13.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 2.3 BPG in playoffs) finished with 14 points and seven rebounds while adding a block in the Game 2 victory while going 6-for-10 from the floor. He’s been consistent too, scoring between 12 and 17 points in eight of the nine games this postseason.
PG Reggie Jackson (10.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG in playoffs) has been a non-factor in the first two games of this series, averaging just 4.0 PPG (23% FG), 3.0 APG and 2.5 RPG over 21.5 MPG on the floor.
The Clippers boasted the top offense in the league over the regular season (107.9 PPG) and are averaging a tremendous 111.0 PPG (48% FG) in the postseason. Their defense has not done well at all though, giving up 106.9 PPG (47% FG) to their opponents so far in the playoffs.
PG Chris Paul (19.0 PPG, 9.3 APG, 4.4 RPG, 2.8 SPG in playoffs) put up his third straight double-double (17 points, 11 assists) in the Game 2 loss while adding five rebounds and three steals. He picked up his fifth foul early in the fourth quarter though, sitting out much of it and playing just 31 minutes in the defeat. Paul has been stellar from long range in the first two games of this series, hitting 10-of-14 threes.
PF Blake Griffin (22.3 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.3 SPG in playoffs) had a playoff-low 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting Wednesday night while grabbing just six rebounds. He is grabbing significantly fewer rebounds in the playoffs than he did during the regular season (9.5 RPG), and he has yet to record double-digit boards once this postseason. C DeAndre Jordan (11.0 PPG, 13.2 RPG, 3.1 BPG in playoffs) has been more-or-less absent in this series so far, netting 7.0 PPG and grabbing 6.5 RPG while failing to block a shot in either game. His struggles from the free-throw line are well documented, and he is just 2-for-10 from the charity stripe so far in this series.
SG J.J. Redick (14.4 PPG in playoffs) had 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting Wednesday night, but did not contribute in any other areas with zero rebounds, zero assists and one steal. SG Jamal Crawford (15.7 PPG in playoffs) usually provides a spark from the bench, but was just 2-for-13 from the field (1-of-7 threes) in Game 2 with seven points and two steals.
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