The Clippers have some adjustments to make after the Oklahoma City Thunder tied their second-round playoff series at one game apiece with a convincing 112-101 victory on Wednesday.
While the Clippers whittled down what was a 20-point deficit to 12, the Thunder all but controlled the game from onset.
The Clippers can overcome big scoring nights from Kevin Durant (32 points) and Russell Westbrook (31), but when the Thunder stars also manage a combined 22 rebounds and 19 assists -- that's a problem.
DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin combined for 14 rebounds, two less than the Thunder's frontcourt pair of Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins. Oklahoma City finished with 52 rebounds to the Clippers' 36.
The Thunder rely heavily on the Durant-Westbrook tandem for scoring. If they're dishing out a high volume of assists to players like Thabo Sefolosha, Steven Adams, Ibaka and Perkins -- the Clippers are going to give up a lot of points.
Admittedly, Westbrook's final assist to Sefolosha was an extremely generous call by the local Thunder scorekeeper -- but the basket still correctly counted for two points.
Wednesday night wasn't the Clippers' best offensive performance, but 101 points on 44.6% shooting should be enough on a given night if the Clippers give a matching defensive effort.
The Thunder were energized for Game 2, following a unifying speech from NBA regular-season most valuable player Durant. A loss would have been devastating.
As the setting shifts to Los Angeles, the Clippers need to give a greater effort on the boards while making sure the Thunder role players are kept in check.
The series resumes on Friday night at Staples Center.