The Los Angeles Clippers lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-101 on Wednesday night. They struggled to stop Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who both filled the stat sheet in a variety of ways. However, they now head back to Los Angeles with the series tied, and plenty of confidence that they can win the series.
The Clippers did what they needed to do in the first two games. They were coming off little rest after an intense first-round series, but the Thunder were in a similar situation. The Clippers took advantage of this by running away with the first game and being able to give ample rest to their star players.
The Thunder started the second game strong, but the Clippers made it interesting with a run in the second quarter. They were unable to keep up, and Doc Rivers chose to rest his star players for much of the fourth quarter, while Scott Brooks chose to leave his stars in the game.
There is little rest in between games as the teams will now have to travel to Los Angeles for Game 3. The Clippers seem to hold the upper-hand, as they have gained home-court advantage by winning the first game. They also proved that they are capable of slowing down Westbrook and Durant, who have both been playing heavy minutes in the playoffs. Fatigue could begin to play a huge factor in this series, with the advantage going to the Clippers, who have a much deeper bench.
Even though the Clippers lost, they still have a lot to be happy about from the first two games. They were able to split the games, and know that they can compete with the higher seed. They have a better supporting cast, and will continue to roll out a number of players in hopes of winning the series.