NBA: Clippers steamroll Thunder in series opener
OKLAHOMA CITY - Agence France-Presse
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) drives against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) in the third quarter of Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal NBA basketball playoff series in Oklahoma City, Monday, May 5, 2014. AP PhotoChris Paul scored 17 of his 32 points in the first quarter on Monday as the Los Angeles Clippers routed Oklahoma City 122-105 in their NBA playoff series opener.
The Clippers seized control early and never let up, leading by as many as 29 points en route to the triumph that gave them a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference second-round series.
Paul shook off a right hamstring injury and sprained left thumb, connecting on his first eight three-point attempts and missing only two of his 14 shots from the field overall.
He threw in 10 assists for good measure as the Clippers showed no hangover from a tough seven-game first-round tussle with Golden State, which was played in the shadow of the controversy over racially charged comments by Clippers owner Donald Sterling that got the 80-year-old billionaire banned for life from all NBA activities.
The Clippers shot a sizzling 54.9 percent from the field and connected on 15 of 29 from three-point range.
Blake Griffin scored 23 points while Jamal Crawford contributed 17 points off the bench.
The Thunder, who were coming off their own punishing seven-game series against the Memphis Grizzlies, received characteristically strong outings from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook scored a team-high 29 points while Durant -- widely expected to be named the league's Most Valuable Player this week -- added 25 for Oklahoma City, who will look to rebound when they host game two on Wednesday.