OKLAHOMA CITY - Jeff Green scored 22 points, Kevin Durant added 21 and the Oklahoma City Thunder spoiled Blake Griffin's return to his hometown by beating the Los Angeles Clippers, 111-88, on Tuesday night.
Griffin made a run at his first career triple-double but came up two assists shy. He followed his slam dunk title and rare All-Star appearance by a rookie by amassing 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, but the Clippers sorely missed him when he was out of the game.
Los Angeles gave up a 16-0 run with Griffin on the bench at the end of the first half with three fouls, and he was out again when the Thunder put it away early in the fourth quarter.
James Harden added 19 points off the bench and Russell Westbrook scored 13 for the Thunder, which snapped a four-game home losing streak against the Clippers dating back to the franchise’s time in Seattle.
Griffin logged his 47th double-double and matched his career high in assists.
He received a hearty ovation when he was the fourth Clippers starter introduced, but soon enough he was bringing on groans and boos from the crowd. He drew two fouls against Green in the first 72 seconds and scored the first eight points for Los Angeles.
Just past the midway point of the first quarter, Griffin had also drawn two fouls against Serge Ibaka — Green’s replacement — and one apiece against Nenad Krstic and Nick Collison while racking up 12 points and five rebounds.
But eventually, the tables turned. The game was tied at 44 when Griffin picked up his third foul with 4 minutes to go in the first half and left the game. OKC reeled off the last 15 points of the quarter for a 62-46 halftime lead.
Griffin had the first three baskets as L.A. mounted a 14-6 comeback. But then the Clippers went 11 straight possessions without scoring – with Griffin on the bench – and were outscored 12-0.