Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder - 5/5/14
Los Angeles Clippers (57-25) at Oklahoma City Thunder (59-23)
NBA Basketball: Monday, May 5, 2014 at 9:30 pm (Chesapeake Energy Arena)
The Line: Oklahoma City Thunder -5 -- Over/Under: 211.5 See the Latest Odds
The Oklahoma City Thunder host the Los Angeles Clippers for Game 1 tonight.
Despite one of the biggest distractions any sports team has ever gone through, the Clippers have battled their way past the Warriors and advanced onto the second round against the Thunder. Chris Paul led the way with averages of 17.4 points and 9.0 assists while shooting 45.9 percent from beyond the arc while Blake Griffin led the scoring with 23.3 points per game. However, what really gave the Clippers the edge over the Warriors was the impact of DeAndre Jordan who averaged 12.1 points, 15.1 rebounds and 4.0 blocks against the undersized Warriors who were without Andrew Bogut. It's hard to gauge how much of an impact the Sterling dramas had on the Clippers, but to their credit, they were able to regroup just in time and advance.
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Meanwhile, the Thunder will have to be feeling a little lucky that they were able to escape the first round after falling down 3-2 to the Grizzlies. I have to say that the Grizzlies actually looked like the best team for most of the series and probably would have won it if Zach Randolph was allowed to play in Game 7, but the bottom line is that the Thunder were still able to advance to the second round despite playing below their best. Kevin Durant struggled for most of the series but was able to finish the series with a couple of 30-point outings while Russell Westbrook shot just 38.2 percent from the field but averaged 25.6 points, 9.7 rebounds and 8.0 assists for the series, including two triple-doubles.
In ATS trends, the Clippers are just 2-5 ATS in the last seven meetings against the Thunder overall, but a healthy 13-5 ATS in the last 18 meetings in Oklahoma City.
These two teams split four meeting during the regular season with only one game being decided by double digits so don't be surprised if this one goes to seven games with three overtimes. When looking at tonight's game, I expect the Thunder to come out on top and draw first blood, but this one should go down to the wire so I'm actually going with the Clippers with the points.