Chris Paul, 3, of the Clippers passes the ball as he’s being hounded by Steven Adams and Russell Westbrook of the Thunder/AP photo by Sue Ogrocki
– Remember how OKC’s Russell Westbrook went 0-for-6 from the field during the fourth quarter of the Clippers’ 103-98 come-from-behind victory over the Thunder on March 2 at Staples Center? Westbrook sure did. He scored 25 points, doled out 20 assists and pulled down 11 rebounds in this rematch. He became the first to have a triple-double consisting of at least 25 points, 20 assists and 10 rebounds since the Lakers’ Magic Johnson did it in 1998.
– Coach Doc Rivers and starting guards Chris Paul and J.J. Redick all said that their team did not play well at all on defense. Rivers gave credit to Westbrook, but also intimated his team did not make it tough on him to do what he did. “He was great,” Rivers said. “I mean, he didn’t have a lot of resistance, though, you know?”
– Rivers had another interesting comment when asked about his team’s focus, or lack thereof. “Tonight, for whatever reason, I just didn’t feel like we had the right focus or spirit, or whatever, and I want to give them credit,” he said. “They were better prepared than us tonight and that’s on me.” It makes one wonder how the Clippers (41-22) could have been ill-prepared for a game of such magnitude. A victory would have pulled them within a half-game of the third-place Thunder (44-40) in the Western Conference standings. With the loss, the fourth-place Clippers are now 2 1/2 back of OKC.
– With forwards Blake Griffin and Luc Mbah a Moute both out, the Clippers were outrebounded 52-29. DeAndre Jordan went into the game averaging 14.1 rebounds, and he had a season-low seven. The last time Jordan had fewer than 10 rebounds was Jan. 22, when he had eight in a 116-88 victory at New York.
– One has to wonder how much longer coach Rivers is going to give Wes Johnson the green light – especially from distance. Johnson shot just 1 of 6 from the field in this one, 0 of 3 from 3-point range. Johnson over his past seven games has made just 5 of 29 from beyond the arc. That is 17.2 percent. Johnson is 14 of 59 overall during the same period for an absolutely woeful 23.7 percent. On the season, Johnson is shooting 39.9 percent overall, 32.3 percent from deep.