If you were able to stay up late enough last night to watch the end of the Thunder game, then you saw a great game and an awesome return in the team’s starting five players.
For the first time since February 20, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins took to the floor, all as starters and at 100 percent health, something the Thunder faithful have been yearning for for nearly two months.
Westbrook scored 30 points in his return to the starting lineup, 14 of which came in the first quarter, Durant added 27 and the Thunder held off the LA Clippers 107-101 in a virtual highlight reel of a game on both sides of the court.
Defensively the Thunder forced the Clippers into a mistake-prone, eight-minute stretch that included four turnovers and a series of missed shots. The Thunder led by 15 points when the Clippers’ offense put together a 20-10 run to trail by only five at the half.
They then had a late push in the 4th quarter that included a 12-0 run to bring them within 3. But the Thunder’s onslaught in the waning seconds of the game, keep them on the high side in the end.
On the home bench, Blake Griffin had 30 points and 12 rebounds and Chris Paul added another 25 points and 8 assists.
The Thunder are now second in the west standings with four games remaining in the regular season. The Clips sit in the third spot just 2 ½ games back from the Thunder with only three games left. Last night’s game could potentially be a rematch in the second round of the playoffs.
Rangers lose to Red Sox on replay homer by Ortiz
The Rangers are now the latest victim of the instant replay in Major League baseball. In last night’s game in Boston, David Ortiz hit a three-run homer high over Fenway Park’s right-field foul pole, also known as the Pesky Pole, that helped the Red Sox rally for a 4-2 win over the Rangers.
The fair call was confirmed by a replay review.
The Rangers took a 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth and brought in Neal Cotts to face Ortiz with one out and two on in the bottom half. Ortiz, who had been 0 for 5 with five strikeouts against Cotts, lined a 1-1 fastball down the right-field line.
Because the ball was much higher than the pole, which was named for former Red Sox Shortstop Johnny Pesky, it was hard to tell where it crossed into foul territory. The pole is only 302 feet fro home plate.
After review, the MLB confirmed that the ball had stayed fair in the field of play and Umpire Jerry Meals signaled a home run, dooming the Rangers.
Ron Washington asked for a review of the play only after Ortiz had crossed home plate, but only 44 seconds later, the call was upheld and the Rangers were done for the night.
The Rangers will take a day off before heading home to play their in-state rival Houston Astros on Friday.