The talk this time centered around the league MVP, as Kevin Durant poured in 39 points to help Oklahoma City pull away from the Clippers in a 104-98 clincher to advance to the Western Conference finals.
Durant connected on 11-of-16 from the floor after missing six of his first seven shots and added 16 rebounds and five assists for the Thunder, who will next meet the defending conference champion San Antonio Spurs with a trip to the Finals on the line.
Russell Westbrook got going late and finished with 19 and 12 assists, while Steven Adams stepped up with a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds in the wake of Serge Ibaka's early exit.
Blake Griffin paced the Clippers with 22 points, eight rebounds and eight assists before fouling out down the stretch. Chris Paul, whose mistakes in the closing seconds in Game 5 were justifiably magnified, totaled 25 points, 11 assists and seven boards in the season-ending setback.