LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kevin Durant hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 5.8 seconds left before blocking a potential game-winning 18-footer by Chris Paul as time expired, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Los Angeles Clippers 100-99 on Monday night.
Russell Westbrook scored 33 points, Durant had 24 and Serge Ibaka added 17 for Oklahoma City. Coming off a 104-100 loss at Cleveland that snapped their six-game winning streak, theThunder won for the 11th time in 14 games.
Paul had 32 points and 10 assists in another classic duel with Westbrook, who won his first NBA scoring title last season.
Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick each scored 15 for the Clippers, whose third straight loss equaled their longest skid of the season.
The Clippers led 83-75 after reserve center Cole Aldrich followed his block of Westbrook's layup with a fast-break dunk at the other end with 10:35 remaining. The Thunder tied the score three times, the third time at 93-all on Ibaka's short jumper with 3:13 to play.
Griffin put Los Angeles ahead about a minute later with an 8-footer, but Westbrook's 3-pointer from the left sideline put Oklahoma City ahead 96-95 with 48.8 seconds to go. Griffin responded with a dunk 11 seconds later, but Westbrook's 11-foot pull-up jumper made it 98-97 Thunder.
After a Clippers turnover and a subsequent foul by Redick following Westbrook's steal, Dion Waiters' inbounds pass for Westbrook was intercepted by Paul, who quickly went in for a layup. But Durant followed with his clutch 3-pointer from the right wing before making his game-saving defensive play on Paul.
Durant, the league MVP two seasons ago, entered Monday third in the NBA with a 27.0 scoring average. Last season the four-time scoring champ was limited to 27 games because of a broken right foot that required two operations, an injured ankle and a sprained big toe on his left foot.
Paul led the Clippers to a 29-23 lead through one quarter with 16 points and four assists. They were up 34-25 when Lance Stephenson received a technical foul with 9:48 left in the second. It was the team's league-high 19th technical in 29 games, not counting defensive 3-second violations.
Griffin, who missed his first five shots, didn't make a field goal until connecting on a 16-footer that gave Los Angeles a 47-37 lead with 4:02 left in the half. The Thunder narrowed the gap to 50-48 by halftime, as Westbrook and Durant spearheaded a 13-5 run.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers had fewer options on his bench for the opener of this four-game season series, with son Austin Rivers sitting this one out because of a sprained right ankle. Paul Pierce rested his sore back, which began to bother him during a loss at San Antonio last Friday. He played 15 1/2 minutes the following night at Houston.
Thunder: Durant has scored at least 20 points in 21 of the 22 games he's played in this season. The only time he didn't was Nov. 10 at Washington, when he was limited to 14 in less than 17 minutes because of an injured hamstring that sidelined him for the next six games. . The Thunder have won the last 11 times Westbrook led them in scoring. Durant led them in each of the previous three, all losses. Oklahoma City is 6-5 when Durant is the high-point man. ... Oklahoma City is 13-2 against Western Conference teams. . The Thunder will stay in town for a Wednesday night rematch with the 4-23 Lakers, whom they beat by 40 points on Saturday at Oklahoma City with runs of 18-0 and 17-2.
Clippers: Only five of their 16 wins have come against teams currently over .500. . Westbrook was the ninth player to score at least 30 points against the Clippers in their first 29 games, including Stephen Curry twice. . This was the second of two home games for the Clippers during a 14-game stretch — although they will face the Lakers on Friday as the designated road team. They have won seven straight against their Staples Center co-tenants, and 11 of the last 12 meetings. . Paul's 347 double-doubles with points and assists are the fourth-highest total in league history behind John Stockton, Steve Nash and Jason Kidd.
Thunder: At the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
Clippers: Will face the Lakers on Christmas for the first time since 1991.