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Thursday Bolts – 4.12.12

Thursday Bolts – 4.12.12

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com on the game: “Less than a minute before Durant’s game-tying 3, Paul broke to freedom and slung the ball toward the hoop. When the shot clanked off the rim, Paul dove through traffic for the tip back to give the Clippers a 98-93 lead. But it was Paul’s final bucket, following the Durant 3-pointer, that provided the theatrics. Facing the Thunder’s defensive ace Thabo Sefolosha at the top of the floor, Paul waived off a screen from Blake Griffin and sized up his defender.”

Darnell Mayberry: “It’s a shame the Thunder players and coaches keep saying they don’t really care about the standings. Because they had a golden opportunity to regain control of their own destiny with a win tonight. The Spurs got smacked at home by the Lakers, and the Thunder could have gone up two games. Instead, the Thunder remains just a game ahead with the Spurs still having two additional games remaining and the head-to-head tiebreaker.”

Rumble playing Red Panda.

Jenni Carlson in playoff seedings: “True, but in the West, the top seed has won the conference title and advanced to the NBA Finals 16 times since the current playoff format began in 1984. The odds are clearly in the top seed’s favor. Those are chances the Thunder could’ve swung in its favor with a win against the Clippers. Wednesday night was an opportunity lost. The truth is, we may not know for a couple months just how much it will cost the Thunder.”

Ryan Reid signed in Puerto Rico.

From Elias: “From Elias: Serge Ibaka had three blocked shots against the Clippers on Wednesday, extending to 22 his streak of games with at least one blocked shot. That matches the longest streak in the NBA this season; Andrew Bynum had a 22-game streak from January 25 to March 9.”

Jalen Rose to You-Know-Who: “It’s one thing to have an opinion about Russell Westbrook’s style of play, it’s another thing to say Kevin Durant has a problem with him and he should take a lie detector test. That’s way way different. They’re friends. So how do his friends and his family take that?”

Berry Tramel: “But Paul scored on a driving layup with 8.8 seconds left. The Thunder’s defense was interesting — Thabo Sefolosha drew the CP3 assignment, which was the proper move. Russell Westbrook had failed to keep Paul out of the lane much of the night. But Scotty Brooks’ defensive alignment included Kendrick Perkins staying near the top of the lane and not following his man to the corner. Perk’s job was clear; double team Paul and make him get rid of the ball.”

Interesting note: Last night’s loss was the first time this season the Thunder lost at home after leading after three quarters.

KD crossing up people.

Jordan Heimer of Clipperblog: “After leading the conference the entire season, the Thunder find themelves neck-and-neck with the Spurs for the top seed after a recent three-game losing streak. On Wednesday night, we saw both faces of the Thunder: dominant stretches of whirlwind offense, undermined by foolish turnovers, stupid fouls and lackadaisical defense.”