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Paul scores 32; Clippers roll past Thunder 122-105
Question of the Day
Paul, who had never made more than five 3-pointers in a game, also had 10 assists.
“It was just one of those nights,” he said. “This one will definitely go down in the history books for me. Don’t count on it for Game 2, I can tell you that.”
Though Paul is a career 36 percent 3-point shooter, he doesn’t usually shoot them so often. Once he started hitting them, he became increasingly aggressive. He made 8 of 9 on the night.
“I thought on a lot of those 3s, especially early in the game, we had a hand in his face and a hand in his shots,” Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha said. “So we did a decent job, but those shots went in, and that boosted their whole team.”
The Thunder suffered their worst home loss since moving to Oklahoma City.
“We have to get more physical,” Durant said. “I’m not talking about hard fouls, I’m talking about jamming the lane, fighting through screens and not letting guys run free. We just have to be more physical.”
Both teams were coming off Game 7 wins in the first round on Saturday night, but only the Thunder looked weary. Oklahoma City opened by taking a 16-10 lead, but the Clippers responded with a 24-6 run. Paul hit five 3-pointers in the first quarter, matching his career high for 3s in a playoff game in the first 12 minutes. The Clippers shot 67 percent in the first quarter to take a 39-25 lead.
“I’ve never seen him this aggressive,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “He felt like he needed to set the tone.”
Los Angeles extended its lead to 24 points in the second quarter and took a 69-52 halftime lead, with Paul getting 22 points and six assists.
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