OKLAHOMA CITY: The Oklahoma City Thunder overpowered the Memphis Grizzlies 120-109 on Saturday to line up a clash with the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round of the NBA playoffs.
Russell Westbrook notched his second triple-double of the series with 27 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds, and Kevin Durant scored a game-high 33 points for the Thunder—who won the best-of-seven Western Conference first-round series four games to three.
The Clippers advanced with a 126-121 game-seven triumph over the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles.
Westbrook joined Rajon Rondo as the only players in NBA history to record triple-doubles in two game sevens. His first also came against Memphis in 2011.
The Grizzlies, missing the suspended Zach Randolph and with Mike Conley nursing a sore hamstring, gave it all they had, taking a 36-27 lead after the first quarter and leading by as many as 11 in the second period before the Thunder inexorably asserted themselves.
Durant, expected to be named the NBA Most Valuable Player next week, was a perfect five-for-five from three point range and pulled down eight rebounds in the victory.
Marc Gasol led Memphis with 24 points and six assists and Conley battled through his injury to score 20 points with nine assists.
NBA to name CEO to oversee Clippers
Meanwhile, NBA officials said Saturday the league will name a chief executive officer for the Los Angeles Clippers following a lifetime ban imposed upon owner Donald Sterling for racist remarks.
The league will consult with current management of the Clippers in naming the new person who will supervise the club’s activities.
Sterling was banned for life and fined $2.5 million after recordings of racist comments made by Sterling were made public.