Balance is key for Thunder

Balance is key for Thunder

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LOS ANGELES - Balanced basketball is a beautiful thing.

And balance was key on Friday night, in Oklahoma City's 118-112 victory over the Clippers. The Thunder leads the series 2-1.

Sure, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook continued to provide their one-two punch, scoring 59 points on 21 of 38 shooting. Westbrook (23 points, 13 assists, 8 rebounds) came just two boards shy of what would have been his fourth triple-double in six games. But, the dynamic duo didn't do all the work. Serge Ibaka provided a serious punch of his own, adding 20 points on 9 of 10 shooting.

"I like what Serge is doing," Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks said Saturday at practice. Serge is a shot maker. He can make the midrange shot as well as anyone in the league at his spot. He's competing. When Serge competes, it always puts us in a position to have success."

The Thunder bench also did its part. Caron Butler and Reggie Jackson each chipped in 14 points, while rookie Steven Adams grabbed four points and nine rebounds.

"Once we play freely and with the pass and with body movement, we can shift the defense," said Durant. "That allow our scorers to score. We got to continue to do that."

"The first round worked out great, " Butler said. "I had an opportunity to put my fingerprints on the success, and you know, here we go again. It's special and I'm really happy."

Two down, two to go.

As Durant said, the mindset is simple.

"We can't be a happy team, we still have to play with that chip on our shoulder."

Game four Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

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