LOS ANGELES – Blake Griffin had 26 points and 16 rebounds, Eric Gordon capped an 18-point effort with a go-ahead 3-pointer with 43.2 seconds left, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 98-92 on Saturday night.
Griffin, who played his college ball at Oklahoma and was the first overall pick in the 2009 draft, averaged 24 points and 13 rebounds in his three games against the Thunder.
Kevin Durant scored 23 points for the Thunder, shooting 10 for 24 overall and 0 for 4 from 3-point range. The last time the Clippers hosted the Thunder, they beat them 107-92 on Nov. 3 for the only victory in their 1-13 start. Durant was 0 for 10 from behind the arc that night and 6 for 24 overall with a season-low 16 points.
The Clippers handed the Thunder their second straight loss after five consecutive victories. The lead changed hands 10 times in the fourth quarter before Gordon drained his clutch 27-footer over Thabo Sefolosha from an angle to the left of the basket following a timeout. Gordon scored a career-high 41 points against Oklahoma City on Jan. 23, 2009.
Randy Foye helped secure the Clippers' 30th win of the season with a steal against Russell Westbrook, which Foye turned into a pair of free throws after getting fouled on the ensuing fast break. Westbrook, who played at UCLA, had nine points and eight assists before fouling out.
The Thunder have lost their first two games this month, equaling their entire total for March, when they were 14-2.
The technical fouls were flying during the third quarter, as referees Joey Crawford, Sean Wright and Marat Kogut combined to call six of them during a heated and trash-talking 3:40 span in which the Clippers erased a 12-point deficit and tied it at 59 on Griffin's layup with 3:45 left in the period.
Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins received one just 4 seconds before Westbrook and coach Scott Brooks each got one simultaneously, following an offensive foul that resulted in Westbrook's fourth personal with 6:24 left in the third and led to a pair of free throws by Mo Williams.
About 3½ minutes later, Griffin and Nick Collison got into a verbal exchange near midcourt, resulting in a double-technical with 2:59 left in the quarter, and Nazr Mohammed was hit with the sixth technical after grabbing Griffin around the midsection as the pride of Oklahoma drove for a layup following a whistle.
The Thunder came out of the blocks with a 15-4 run and led 49-37 at intermission, as the Clippers matched a season low for an Oklahoma City opponent in the first half. Milwaukee had 37 points against the Thunder before in the first 24 minutes on Nov. 20, losing 82-81.
Clippers center Chris Kaman missed his second straight game because of a viral infection. Forward Ryan Gomes missed his first game of the season because of a sore knee. Gomes, one of three Clippers to play in each of the first 76 games along with Griffin and rookie Eric Bledsoe, is second on the team in minutes played behind Griffin.
NOTES: Griffin, the first overall pick in the 2009 draft out of Oklahoma, was 12 for 18 on free throws. He is shooting 72.4 percent from the line over his last 25 games, compared to 60.9 percent in his first 52 NBA contests. ... Bledsoe had more than a casual interest in Kentucky's one-point loss to Connecticut in the Final Four in Houston on Saturday night. He left the Wildcats after his freshman season to enter the NBA draft along with teammates John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson and Daniel Orton. All five were selected in the first round — Bledsoe 18th overall by the Thunder, who traded him to the Clippers on draft day for a future first-round pick. ... Four of the Clippers' final five games are on the road, including a rematch with the Thunder next Wednesday. ... Los Angeles is 30-47 with five games left in its first season under coach Vinny Del Negro. By comparison, Mike Dunleavy finished 31-51 in his first season after taking the Clippers' job, Alvin Gentry was 31-51, Bill Fitch 17-65, Bob Weiss 27-55, Mike Schuler 31-55, Jim Lynam 30-52, Paul Silas 36-46 (San Diego) and Gene Shue 43-39 (San Diego).