Last night's Thunder game vs. the Clippers in game 4 would have given Oklahoma City a 2 game lead in the series had they held on to a double digit lead. However, the Clippers simply out played the Thunder and deserved the win far more than OKC did. Now the series is tied 2-2 and it's a best-of-three series.
While Kevin Durant put up solid scoring numbers with 40 points, he was forced into 8 turnovers. As a team, the Thunder committed 16 turnovers. The Clippers were quick with their double teams and were so highly aggressive that the Thunder could not fight back. Even Kevin Durant, who plays a composed style of offense and usually remains controlled, had trouble in the 4th quarter holding onto the ball when the double team came, and committed 3 costly turnovers during that stretch.
Let us take a look at what the Clippers did and how OKC can adjust.
Here, Durant was going to use the screen set by Thabo Sefolosha when J.J. Redick trapped him, forcing the ball to bounce out of bounds.
Or here, once Durant caught the ball, he had no time to react to the double team.
In the 4th quarter, Chris Paul accepted primary defensive duties on Durant and willingly allowed Durant to post up. Once Durant catches, Blake Griffin is there to seal off the baseline and Durant has no passing outlet. This clip is a great example of how the Thunder and Durant were not ready for this wrinkle and they never adjusted by either putting Durant in motion to post up, or giving him clear passing lanes on the weak side.
What Durant needs to take away from this game is the importance of ball movement. On a few of his turnovers, there were open players but he proceeded to attempt to dribble out of the situation. KD must keep an open mind and realize that if there are 5 players on the Clippers team and two are guarding him, one must be open. And if he is aggressively guarded, the team must counter with quick cuts to the rim by Westbrook and Jackson.
The important thing for next game is to always stay cool, calm, and collected when handling the ball. It will be difficult for the Clippers to replicate the effectiveness of these traps now that Durant has seen them and Durant has a clear advantage over Chris Paul who is close to a foot shorter than him. What it does show however is that the Clippers are willing to get unorthodox to slow down Durant, and in game 5, OKC needs to be ready to deal with it.