4th Quarter Breakdown
The score was close and half time, as well as heading into the fourth quarter, but the Thunder dominated the fourth to come away with the win and the cover in Game 3. When the Thunder are engaged defensively, as well as hitting shots, they are very tough to beat. The NBA Odds currently have the Clippers as -5 favorites despite the loss on Friday, with a total of 215 points.
I mentioned last article that I didn’t think Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook would both go crazy on the road, but they did, combining for 59 points instead of 63. However for me, the big story for this one was Serge Ibaka. Even though Blake Griffin handled Serge for 34 points, Ibaka added 20 points of his own in Game 3, on 9-10 shooting. If you combine his shooting percentage with Durant and Westbrook’s in Game 3, you get almost 63% from the floor.
Jamal Crawford added 20 points for the Clippers in Game 3, but he needed nearly that many shots to get there. On top of that, some defensive lapses by him and the Clippers in the 4th were one of the main reasons LA lost this home game. Even though I do think LA can bounce back here, if they don’t tighten down their defense, they cannot beat OKC.
The Thunder want to get in a shootout. If you get into a shooting contest with the Thunder, you might as well kiss the title good bye. The only way the Clippers have a shot at tying this game, along with winning this series or even a title, they have to defend better than what they showed in Game 3.
The Sharp Pick
If the Clipper continue to get into a shoot out with the Thunder, they are most likely going to lose this series. If the Thunder continue this hot shooting, no one may be able to beat them, but the Clippers had the formula in Game 1, and I think we may see them go back to that here in Game 4.
LA let Durant and Westbrook kill them in Game 1, but they didn’t allow anyone else to be a factor scoring the ball. Since they obviously cannot stop the Thunder super stars, they need to let them go, and make sure the Thunder cannot get another scoring option. If OKC has another game where five to six of their players are in double figures, this series is going to be over sooner than anyone thinks.
However for this game, the total of 215 seems like it could be a great over value for NBA bettors. These two seem content on playing a fast-paced game with a ton of shots, and if that continues into Game 4, the total will fly over once again. The Thunder might not score 118 again, but I bet the game will still be close into the 4th quarter, and if that’s the case, we could see these two trade buckets all the way to the bank.
My Pick: OVER 215