Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - It wasnt pretty, but Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers grinded out a 93-90 win over the short- handed Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. Paul missed a pair of free throws that could have made it a three-point game with 13.8 seconds remaining, but he went to the ground to secure the rebound on Sebastian Telfairs miss at the other end and Griffin sank two from the stripe. It was 91-88 with 5.8 seconds left when LA fouled Nick Collison intentionally to prevent the Thunder from getting off a look from 3-point range. He hit two as well, then J.J. Redick restored the three-point margin with his pair with 2.8 seconds to play. Without any timeouts, Thunder center Steven Adams inbounded to Serge Ibaka near mid-court. Ibaka took two dribbles and lined up a deep triple, which missed short as the final buzzer sounded. Opening nights are tough. We won but we didnt play well, said Clippers head coach Doc Rivers. I didnt like our tempo. We have to play at a better pace. Griffin showed off an improved jumper on his way to 23 points and Paul tallied 22 with seven assists to edge out a Thunder unit that hardly resembled the team that took the Spurs to six games in the Western Conference finals after knocking the Clippers out of the playoffs a season ago. Reigning league MVP Kevin Durant had foot surgery and will miss the early portion of the season. The Thunder also traveled to Los Angles without guards Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb and Anthony Morrow and rookie big man Mitch McGary. Russell Westbrook joined the walking wounded after leaving in the second quarter with a small fracture in his right hand. Its unfortunate, the way it is right now but its the way it is, Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said. We have to figure out how to continue to improve. Instead of Durant and Westbrook, who averaged a combined 53.8 points per game last season, it was third-year forward Perry Jones totaling a career-high 32 points to keep things competitive. Ibaka added 17 points and Telfair scored 11 with seven helpers off the bench. The Thunder started 4-for-4 from the field, with four different players hitting shots to stake the visitors an early 8-0 lead. Griffin settled down the Clippers with a pair of free throws, but Ibaka scored eight straight Thunder points to keep them in front. Paul split a pair at the line later in the period to make it 22-20. Again the Thunder responded, this time with four straight Jones free throws. OKC led 28-22 after one. Jamal Crawford heated up early the second, scoring nine of LAs first 14 points in the period. His triple at 7:46 gave the Clippers their first lead. Jones scored five straight late in the period to put the Thunder back in front, but LA scored eight of the final 10 points in the half to take a 46-41 lead into halftime. Oklahoma City locked down defensively in the second half to stay in the game and give itself a chance late. Game Notes This was the first regular season game for new Clippers owner and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who purchased the team for a record $2 billion this offseason ... Crawford scored 16 points off the bench ... OKC won the rebounding margin, 47-33, but doubled LAs turnovers, 22-11. China Jerseys . Jovanovski, the 2012 champ seeded fifth, will meet surprise Japanese qualifier Misa Eguchi on Friday. Eguchi, ranked 183rd, qualified for her first WTA main draw this week, then beat No. Cheap NFL Jerseys China . Nikolaos Kounenakis has been hired as an assistant coach, the team announced on Monday.Really?! Yes… that Ive told him (Duncan) about, and he was surprised. I told him I had it since I was young, like 5 years old. And thats when he was like, a rookie in the NBA. But that was one of my first jerseys as well.br /> #242101 / gettyimages.com Were you a Raptors fan growing up? And if so, who was your favourite player on those teams? I was definitely a Raptors fan. Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady when we had him, so it was cool when he came last year to play with the Spurs for the playoffs. That was cool getting to meet him and see his views on basketball and whatnot. Damon Stoudamire, of course, we had a lot of guys come through Toronto that I liked. But I would say Vince Carter was the most inspiring to me. #51960387 / gettyimages.com Is there a player you watched in the NBA and tried to mirror your game after? I try to take little pieces of things from everybody. I try to learn from (Steve) Nash, being such a great player and being one of my mentors. Being from Canada I get to work with him through the summers and try to take pieces of his game. Deron Williams I watched a lot when I was in college. You can always learn from everybody. Obviously, you cant model your game exactly like one person, youve gotta be yourself as well, but I try to take pieces from everybody. #2423603 / gettyimages.com If you could play one on one against one player, alive or dead, who would it be? Jerry West, hes the logo... I want to beat the logo! I would definitely want to play Jerry West. Hes the logo, man. Why isnt Jerry West being paid for the use of his image as the official #NBA logo?? http://t.co/cDL73l3okh pic.twitter.com/4tR4pmhJDS — TMZ (@TMZ) June 2, 2014You drove in and posterized Serge Ibaka during the playoffs, which a lot of Canadians took pride in seeing...Who is a player youd like to put on a poster more than anyone in the league? So, I cant say Serge? You could, you could... but you did it, you accomplished posterizing Serge. Well before it was Serge, but umm... maybe Anthony Davis, hes great at blocking shots as well. You gotta go for the best blockers. What does your pre-game playlist look like? I listen to reggae before the games just to relax because its smooth. Chronixx, obviously I listen to some Drake being from Toronto, yknow, some Jay-Z, Lil Wayne those guys, but mostly reggae is what I listen to. I hear youre a bit of a soccer fan, what country were you pulling for in the World Cup? Yea, I used to play actually, until Grade 10 and then I stopped... but umm, none (laughs). Canada wasnt in it, man. I wasnt pulling for anybody, but the matches I did watch were intense. I just like to see good matches. I also hear youre a big fan of movies, what is your favourite movie right now? I watch so many movies, but Ive got into the TV shows lately. Im still watching Revenge, Im watching Orange Is the New Black, and Im watching Scandal... I watch it all, man! Especially on the road when you have a little bit of time in the hotel room, I watch all those TV shows. So what did it feel like to win an NBA Championship for you? It was great. As a kid every kid who plays basketball dreams about that, and to have it actually happen, and so quickly into my career… its definitely a blessing. And I mean… I cant even explain. I cant even explain how grateful and how much it makes me happy, or how good it makes me feel. pic.twitter.com/yr9dRzU60l — Cory Joseph (@Cory_Joe) June 16, 2014How is playing with and learninng from NBA Legend caliber players like Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili? Its an honour being able to come into a team where they have those players and be able to learn from them everyday.dddddddddddd Its definitely an honour to just see what they do on a daily bases to be ready for the game, and how to be a complete professional in terms of off the court and on the court. I learn, I learn… not only on the court but off the court as well. I learn a lot everyday, man. And how do you like playing for Gregg Popovich? I love it. He is a great coach. He is very serious, but were all serious about getting better. He helps you, as long as youre putting your best effort out there, hes going to work with you to get better, and I love that about him. What is your favourite quote or advice that youve ever received from coach Pop? Well, from me being point guard, advice that hes given me in the past that I try to think of during the game or before I sub in is to not think that much. Thats what he tells me all the time. When I get out there, yknow, maybe I have a tendency to just think about the game too much, but sometime you just need a break. And thats what hes so good at, giving the guys breaks as well. And I think thats why you consistently see the Spurs in the postseason, because sometimes mentally and physically you just need a break from the game. When he just tells me not to think out there, to just be you, play yourself, be your game, because he knows I give my best effort, I think that helps me a lot. After winning a championship and learning from those players and coach – how will you take what youve learnt to help Team Canada improve? A lot. I will definitely take the whole atmosphere we have over at the Spurs organization and Ill try to imply that here with the guys on Team Canada. The focus that we had is the focus you need to be able to succeed at a high level. Ill definitely have to take that to Team Canada. Im the point guard so I gotta control, Ive gotta be the extension of the coach on the court. Ive gotta be able to hopefully drive this vehicle that we have into the right direction and keep on speeding down the highway. With Andrew Wiggins, Nik Stauskas and Tyler Ennis being drafted this year now... Oh for sure, we have a lot of talent that just got drafted. A lot of talent that hopefully can make rosters, a lot of talent overseas... Im excited and looking forward to this, man. #123462383 / gettyimages.com What advice do you have for young Canadian players who look up to you? Just believe… thats what its about. Its about believing and staying true to yourself, and that goes for when youre working on your game. Never get too high or too low, and dont let anybody try to say youre not good enough; you keep working, because thats what I did when I was younger. I never thought I was going to be here this quick. I just kept working; I believed that I could get there. So now when people say "oh youre from Canada, how did you make it? I thought that was a hockey country" thats what they always tell me. But with all these guys going pro now, hopefully we can get a balance here soon. I cant wait for all the Canadian basketball excitement; its going to be fun. Not only is it going to be fun for you as fans; its going to be a lot of fun as players. And now I have something over those other (Team Canada) players too, "youve got to listen to me, Im an NBA champion!" (laughs). Im just playing, but its going to be great. ' ' '