LOS ANGELES -- Forward Kevin Durant scored 25 of his 39 points in the second half, and the Oklahoma City Thunder eliminated the Los Angeles Clippers with a 104-98 victory in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals at Staples Center on Thursday night.
Durant, who also had 16 rebounds and five assists, connected on 12 of 23 shots, including five of eight from behind the 3-point arc. Guard Russell Westbrook added 19 points, 17 of them in the second half, and 12 assists for the Thunder, who trailed by as much as 16 in the first half before rallying in the third quarter.
Point guard Chris Paul scored 25 points, handed out 11 assists and grabbed seven rebounds for LOS ANGELES. Forward Blake Griffin contributed 22 points and eight rebounds before fouling out with 2:27 remaining in the Game. Guard J.J. Redick chipped in 16 points.
The Clippers made a run in the final two minutes. Paul converted a three-point play with 1:49 remaining, and forward Matt Barnes hit a shot in the lane to cut the deficit to 97-93 with 49.8 seconds remaining. However, free throws by Westbrook, Durant and Jackson sealed the win for the Thunder.
Oklahoma City played much of the second half without forward Serge Ibaka, who suffered a calf injury in the third quarter and did not return. Ibaka finished with six points and two rebounds in 26 minutes.
The Clippers led 50-42 at the half, but the Thunder outplayed them in the third quarter, outscoring LOS ANGELES 30-22 to pull even at 72 at the end of the period. Durant scored 14 points in the quarter, hitting all five of his field-goal attempts.
NOTES: Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers on being fined $25,000 for criticizing the officiating after Game 5: "I don't care about the fine. I thought it was deserved." He added that two Clippers employees asked his personal assistant if they could do payroll deductions of $100 each to help pay the fine. "Which we obviously denied," Rivers said with a laugh. ... The Thunder are 3-4 after a playoff win following their Game 6 victory. ... Through the first five games of the series, the Clippers were averaging 108 points per Game, the Thunder 107.8. ... In the first half, LOS ANGELES sank just 10 of 17 free throws (58.8 percent), compared to seven of eight (87.5 percent) for Oklahoma City. ... The Game drew a sellout crowd of 19,565.