(The Sports Xchange) – Kevin Durant scored the game-winning basket with 5.8 seconds left and blocked guard Chris Paul’s shot near the buzzer, lifting the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 100-99 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday at Staples Center.
Point guard Russell Westbrook scored 33 points and dished out seven assists, while Durant added 24 points and nine rebounds as the Thunder won for the eighth time in nine games.
Serge Ibaka contributed 17 points and eight rebounds for Oklahoma City (19-9).
Paul had 32 points and 10 assists to lead the Clippers, who lost their third straight. Forward Blake Griffin and guard J.J. Redick scored 15 apiece for Los Angeles (16-13).
Ibaka’s jumper in the lane tied the score at 93-93 with 3:13 remaining in the contest before the teams exchanged leads down the stretch. Griffin’s fade-away bank shot gave the Clippers a two-point lead with 2:08 left.
Westbrook’s three-pointer lifted Oklahoma City to a 96-95 lead, but Griffin’s dunk put Los Angeles back up 97-96 with 37.8 seconds.
Westbrook answered with a jumper to give the Thunder the lead again with 29.1 seconds remaining.
On the Clippers’ next possession, Westbrook stripped the ball from Redick with 14 seconds left. However, the All Star point guard failed to field the inbounds pass from Dion Waiters, and Paul grabbed the loose ball and scored on a layup, giving the Clippers a 99-98 lead with 10.9 seconds left.
Durant then delivered with a clutch jumper for Oklahoma City.
Both teams finished shooting 47.1 percent.
The Clippers went up by as much as eight in the third quarter before the Thunder rallied again. Westbrook’s layup gave Oklahoma City a brief 62-60 lead, but the Clippers used a 14-4 spurt for a 74-66 advantage after a 3-pointer by Redick with 3:33 left in the quarter.
The Thunder cut the deficit 74-72 on a floater by Waiters with 1:27 left in the third, but a jumper by guard Lance Stephenson and a Griffin free throw boosted the Clippers to a 77-72 lead heading in the final quarter.
Paul passed Terry Porter (7,160) for No. 13 on the NBA’s all-time assists list in the first half.