Paul helps Clippers silence Thunder in opener

Reuters| Last Updated: May 06, 2014, 14:05 PM IST

Oklahoma: Chris Paul missed just two shots in a stunning 32-point display as the Los Angeles Clippers blasted Oklahoma City Thunder 122-105 on Monday to seize a Game One victory in their Western Conference semi-final series.

Paul made his first eight three-pointers, a career-best total, and finished 12-for-14 from the field with 10 assists as Los Angeles enjoyed a surprisingly dominant road win to open the best-of-seven series.

With the victory, the Clippers continued to distance themselves from the cloud of controversy that hovered over a first round series overshadowed by owner Donald Sterling`s racist comments that led to a life ban from the NBA.

The Clippers were expected to ease past Golden State but needed a full seven games before shaking off the sixth-seeded Warriors in a hard-fought series.

The Thunder also waded through a seven-game struggle of their own against Memphis but appeared ill-prepared for a free-scoring Los Angeles team, despite 29 points from Russell Westbrook and 25 from Kevin Durant.