Kevin Durant had 39 points and 16 rebounds, and the Oklahoma City Thunder advanced to the Western Conference finals with a 104-98 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 6 on Thursday night.

Russell Westbrook overcame a slow start to finish with 19 points and 12 assists as the visiting Thunder reached the conference finals for the third time in four years, closing out Los Angeles with two straight wins.

"Experience has helped us out a lot, just being with each other for so long," Durant said. "We've got a long ways to go. We definitely can get better. This is definitely a series that pushed us to the brink. We were in a tough spot. We stayed together and persevered."

Two days after the Thunder erased a late 13-point deficit to win Game 5, the Thunder rallied from an early 16-point deficit and maintained its lead throughout the fourth quarter, shaking off any memories of their Game 4 collapse.

"Oklahoma City absolutely deserves it," said Paul, whose final-minute mistakes hurt the Clippers dearly in Game 5. "We have a really good team, a great team. It's crazy. You play all season long, and the last few games, we really started to figure out who our team was and how to play. And it's crazy that it's over."

Paul had 25 points and 11 assists, and Blake Griffin scored 22 points as the Clippers' exhausting postseason ended in disappointment with Jack Nicholson sitting courtside at Staples Center.


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Oklahoma City will face the Spurs in a rematch of the West's past two champions. The series begins Monday night in San Antonio.

Down seven with four minutes left, consecutive offensive fouls negated two Clipper baskets.

  • Clippers coach Doc Rivers was fined $25,000 by the league for publicly criticizing the officiating in Los Angeles' 105-104 loss to Oklahoma City earlier this week. Rivers was livid after the game, saying the Clippers were "robbed."

  • Banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling isn't going away without a fight. Sterling's lawyer has informed the NBA that Sterling will not be paying the $2.5 million fine levied on him last month by commissioner Adam Silver, sources confirmed to ESPN.com on Thursday. That fine was due this week, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. In a letter sent on Sterling's behalf, antitrust litigator Max Blecher also threatened to sue the league if Sterling is not afforded due process.

    Pacers 93, Wizards 80: David West scored 29 points, and Indiana advanced to the Eastern Conference finals for the second straight year. Lance Stephenson added 17 points and eight assists for the Pacers, who won the series 4-2 over the Wizards. They will host Game 1 against the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat on Sunday. Indiana took the Heat to seven games in the conference finals a year ago. Marcin Gortat scored 19 points for the Wizards.

    Trail Blazers: Portland signed head coach Terry Stotts to a multiyear contract extension.

    Spurs: Tony Parker has a Grade 1 strain of his left hamstring, the least severe level of the injury, the team announced.

    Bucks: The NBA's board of governors unanimously approved the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks to New York investment firm executives Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry.