The Los Angeles Clippers had a crucial 122-105 win in Game 1 to steal homecourt advantage over rivals Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Semifinals. Too bad they allowed the Thunder to steal it right back after Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook exploded once again in Game 3 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The mission on Sunday (early morning Australia) for the Clippers is simple; win the game and tie the best-of-seven series at two apiece. Can L.A do it and can also cover the 5-point spread?
What Went Wrong in Game 3 for the Clippers
The Clippers actually had a four point lead entering the final quarter in the last game but were outscored in the payoff period.
Aside from Durant (36 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists) and Westbrook (23 points and 13 assists), two guys that are expected to lead the Thunder, other OKC players took the scoring load during the game and especially in the fourth quarter. Serge Ibaka made 9-of-10 shots for 23 points; and Caron Butler and Reggie Jackson scored 14 markers apiece off the bench.
The Clippers Adjustment
The Clippers should look back to their success in the opening game. They did allow Durant to score 29 and Westbrook 25 in that game but they stopped everyone else from being effective contributors on offense. Aside from OKC's star duo, only Ibaka (12 points) scored in double-figures in that game. Look for L.A. to do the same again: contain KD/Westbrook but stop others from being major contributors on offense.
Betting Lines: Oklahoma City Thunder (+5) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (O/U: 213.5) Game time: 5 am AEDT
Betting Against the Spread (ATS)
Oklahoma City Thunder Trends - The Thunder are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games - The Thunder are 5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 games on the road - The Thunder are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. Pacific division teams
Los Angeles Clippers Trends - The Clippers are 16-7 ATS in their last 23 games after a loss - The Clippers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games - The Clippers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after a day’s rest
West Semis Recap – Best of Seven Series
Game 1: Los Angeles Clippers 122, Oklahoma City Thunder 105 Game 2: Los Angeles Clippers 101, Oklahoma City Thunder 112 Game 3: Oklahoma City Thunder 118, Los Angeles Clippers 112 Game 4: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Clippers (May 11, Sunday) Game 5: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (May 13, Tuesday) Game 6: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Clippers (May 15, Thursday) Game 7: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (May 18, Sunday) *All times, US ET