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    Westbrook, Thunder overpower Clippers

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2017

    Dec 31, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) drives to the basket in front of LA Clippers forward Luc Mbah a Moute (12) during the third quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

    (The Sports Xchange) – Russell Westbrook collected his 16th triple-double of the season to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 114-88 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

    Westbrook posted 17 points, 12 rebounds and 14 assists. He achieved the triple-double mark in less than 20 minutes in the first half. He is now two triple-doubles away from matching his total from last season.

    “It’s a blessing man,” Westbrook said. “My teammates do a great job of making it easy for me.

    “My job is to keep the pace high and keeping reading the game. The game will tell you what to do and that’s what I do.”

    Enes Kanter came off the bench to lead the Thunder in scoring with 23 points, while Victor Oladipo added 15 points and Alex Abrines added 12 points before being leaving the game late in the third quarter with concussion like symptoms.

    Brandon Bass had 18 points and Marreese Speights added 18 off the bench for Los Angeles. Austin Rivers was the only starter to reach double figures with 14 as they lost their sixth successive game.

    “You can lose your spirit in this and we haven’t done that,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.

    “My job is to get us through this. This is a heavy hit for us. We’re losing games, we’re dropping placings.

    “At the end the day, we have to get through this, learn something. Learn something about each other.”

    The Thunder wasted no time in jumping on the undermanned Clippers as Oladipo led the charge in the first quarter, showing no signs of rust after a nine-game absence, as he knocked in a quick nine points as Oklahoma City took a 33-12 advantage.

    “I was running fast, trying to get out on the break,” Oladipo said. “I felt good, man. I just have to continue to build on it.”

    But it was the Thunder defense that set the tone. The 12 points they allowed in the first quarter was their lowest surrendered in any quarter this season.

    Playing without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, the Clippers were missing their two leading scorers and it showed.

    Austin Rivers and J.J. Redick had a combined zero points in the first 20 minutes of the game. They finished with a total of 19 points between them.

    Oklahoma City held a 69-40 halftime lead.

    The only drama in the second half took place when Westbrook picked up a technical foul while sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter.

    It was his 11th of the season and third in two games. A 16th technical foul will result in an automatic one game suspension.

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    Clippers agree to trade PG Paul to Rockets: reports

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, June 29th, 2017

    FILE PHOTO: Clippers’ Chris Paul (#3). REUTERS

    (The Sports Xchange) – The Los Angeles Clippers reached an agreement on a blockbuster trade to send All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

    Paul, 32, agreed to opt in to the final year of his $24.2 million contract, clearing the way for the Clippers to execute a sign-and-trade deal with the Rockets and bring back assets for the star player, league sources told The Vertical.

    The Rockets will send forward Sam Dekker and guards Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams, plus a top-three protected 2018 first-round pick to the Clippers in exchange for Paul, sources told ESPN.

    Paul had until Wednesday to opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent. The Clippers risked losing Paul for nothing in free agency.

    Paul could have signed a new deal with the Clippers that started at $34 million a year had he opted out of his contract. He will now be eligible to sign a five-year, $205 million maximum extension with the Rockets since he is being acquired in a trade.

    Paul wanted to play alongside Rockets All-Star guard James Harden, according to The Vertical. Paul and Harden reportedly discussed the possibility of a partnership at length and believe they can find a way to thrive together.

    Paul, who was acquired by the Clippers in a 2011 trade with New Orleans, is a nine-time All-Star, nine-time All-NBA player and a nine-time All-Defensive team member. He played six seasons with Los Angeles after six seasons in New Orleans.

    For his career, Paul owns averages of 18.7 points, 9.9 assists and 2.3 steals in 834 NBA games.

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    Thunder’s Westbrook named MVP after historic season

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

    Jun 26, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder player Russell Westbrook poses for photos with his 2017 NBA most valuable player award during the 2017 NBA Awards at Basketball City at Pier 36. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook put the finishing touch on a magical season by being named the Most Valuable Player of the 2016-17 campaign on Monday at the NBA’s inaugural awards show.

    Westbrook, who became only the second player and first in 55 years to average a triple-double for an entire season, won the award over Houston Rockets guard James Harden and San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard.

    Westbrook averaged a mind-boggling 31.6 points, 10.4 assists and 10.7 rebounds over 81 games, making him the first player to average double-digits in three major categories since Oscar Robertson first did it in 1961-62.

    After Westbrook was presented with the Maurice Podoloff Trophy by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, he promptly called his team mates to the stage.

    “These guys sacrificed so much for me throughout the year,” said Westbrook. “It was obviously an amazing season for me but without these guys and the rest of our guys that are not here, none of this would be possible.

    “So this award is not for me. This is for all you guys and I am very thankful to have you guys in my corner. You guys are my brothers for life.”

    The 28-year-old American was on a mission from the start of the season as he silenced critics who doubted whether he could thrive without Kevin Durant, who left the Thunder last July and won an NBA title with Golden State two weeks ago.

    Westbrook carried the Thunder on a nightly basis, setting the new standard by recording 42 triple-doubles, one better than the former single-season mark set by Robertson.

    Despite the loss of Durant, a four-times scoring champion, the Westbrook-led Thunder recorded 47 wins, just eight fewer than the previous campaign.

    The first-ever NBA Awards show followed years in which the league announced individual honors separately throughout the postseason.

    Among the night’s other awards, Golden State forward Draymond Green, two weeks removed from winning his second NBA title in three years, was named the best defensive player.

    Mike D’Antoni was named Coach of the Year after leading Houston to 55 wins in his first season with the team.

    Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon was named Rookie of the Year, while Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon earned the Sixth Man Award for his work off the bench as a substitute.

    (Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ian Ransom)

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    Highlights of Sunday’s NBA games

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, May 1st, 2017

    Apr 30, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) sets a screen on Los Angeles Clippers guard Raymond Felton (2) as Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward (20) drives to the basket in the second period of game seven of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

    (The Sports Xchange) – Highlights of Sunday’s National Basketball Association games:

    Jazz 104, Clippers 91

    Gordon Hayward scored 26 points and collected eight rebounds to lead seven Utah players in double figures, and the Jazz eliminated the Los Angeles Clippers from the Western Conference playoffs with a 104-91 road victory in Game Seven on Sunday at Staples Center.

    George Hill and Derrick Favors contributed 17 points apiece as the Jazz advanced to the second round, where they will meet the Golden State Warriors. Game One is Tuesday at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

    Favors also grabbed 11 rebounds before fouling out with 5:24 remaining to fill a void left by Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who also was plagued by fouls. Gobert finished with one point and four rebounds in 13 minutes.

    The Jazz won three of their four games on the Clippers’ home court.

    DeAndre Jordan had 24 points and 17 boards to lead the Clippers. Jamal Crawford added 20 points and Chris Paul scored 13 points and handed out nine assists.

    The Jazz used a third-quarter spurt to grab a double-digit lead and retained it for almost the rest of the contest.

    Clippers forward Paul Pierce, in his final NBA game, scored six points.

    Celtics 123, Wizards 111

    The Boston Celtics spotted Washington the first 16 points of the game and then roared to a 123-111 home victory over the Wizards in the first game of the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

    Top-seeded Boston, winning its fifth straight playoff game after losing the first two games of the first round, both at home to the Chicago Bulls, trailed 22-5 just 5 1/2 minutes into the contest. But the Celtics caught up in the second quarter, stayed close and then exploded in a 36-point third quarter to lead by 15 after three before holding off a Washington charge.

    Game Two in Tuesday night at TD Garden.

    Isaiah Thomas, who flew from Chicago to Tacoma, Washington, to attend the funeral of his sister, Chyna, on Saturday before flying back late Saturday night, scored 12 of his 33 points and Jae Crowder 11 of his playoff career-high 24 in the 36-16 third quarter.

    Thomas, who gave an emotional speech at the funeral, lost a tooth to an Otto Porter inadvertent elbow in the first half — the tooth flying up into the air before Thomas, who finished with nine assists, picked it up off the floor.

    Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 27 points.

    The Wizards scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter but the game then belonged to Al Horford, who scored 10 of his 21 points in a 3:25 span to ensure the win.

    Washington’s Markieff Morris suffered a left ankle sprain after being fouled by Horford in the second quarter. He stayed in the game after a long delay, left with 7:16 remaining in the second quarter and didn’t return.

    The 16-0 start was the biggest in the playoffs dating back to at least 2002-03, according to STATS Inc., as the Wizards grabbed the first 12 rebounds and Boston opened 0-for-8 from the floor.

    (Editing by Andrew Both)

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