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Thunder Eclipses Clippers in L.A.

The Oklahoma City Thunder won their Western Conference showdown with the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night 109-97 and perhaps served notice that they are indeed the best team in the NBA. Kevin Durant may well be the best basketball player in the world right now. He is a 6’11’ player who can knock down three pointers as if they are free throws, If you go up to play him tight and make him put it on the floor, he simply blows past you and dunks the ball and you wind up on a poster. He is un-guardable. If you double him, the Thunder has other guys like Russell Westbrook and Kevin Martin and even Thabo Sefalosha that will also drill a three on you. Last night, the Thunder shot 15 of 27 from three-points.

To be fair, the Clippers were without their superstar point guard Chris Paul, but it probably would not have mattered anyway. The Thunder were that impressive. Blake Griffin is showing that he too is ready to start dominating in this league. He was having one of his best games as a Clipper hitting jumpers, hook shots, free throws and of course the occasional monstrous dunk. He wound up with 31 points and 11 rebounds, but was powerless to stop the onslaught of Durant who scored 32 points and Westbrook with his 26 as the Thunder rolled. They are now 33-9 on the season while the Clippers fell to 32-11, dropping their second game in two nights as Chris Paul sat out with the bothersome right knee he injured in the Clippers loss to the Orlando Magic a week ago Saturday.

The Clippers really need Paul to return because 10 of their next 11 games are on the road. They will be at the Phoenix Suns on Thursday before going to face the Portland Trail Blazers on the road Saturday. They come back home on Sunday to play the Trail Blazers again and then will start February off on an eight game road trip through the Eastern Conference. The trip will include games against the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and New York Knicks and also the magic who they lost to at home.

Oklahoma City will be at the Golden State Warriors tonight and the Sacramento Kings on Thursday before returning to Staples Center on Sunday to face the Los Angeles Lakers. Staples Center will be a busy place on Sunday.

With the loss, the Clippers fell all the way to the third spot in the playoff race as the San Antonio Spurs slipped past them for the second spot at 33-11. The Spurs will host the New Orleans Hornets tonight. The Hornets have been hot as of late winning seven of their last nine games.

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