NBA

Thunder Squeak By Starless Clippers

Thunder Squeak By Starless Clippers

What could have been an embarrassing loss at home against a Clippers team without their stars Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, J.J. Redick, and Blake Griffin on his last game of four-game suspension, ended up to be a hard fought win. The Oklahoma City Thunder walked out with a 119-117 win over the Clippers despite the Thunder’s porous defense and the Clippers’ red hot shooting.

The Thunder allowed the Clippers to shoot a sizzling 55% from the field (42-76) and 55% from 3 point range (16-29). Yet again, the Thunder allowed yet another career-high game for an average NBA player. The beneficiary this time around was Doc Rivers’ son, Austin Rivers. Rivers went for a career high 32 points, shooting 12 of 19 from the floor and 7 of 9 from 3 point range. The Thunder also allowed another 32 point tally from Jamal Crawford. Crawford went 10 of 20 from the field, 5 of 8 from 3 point range, and 7 for 7 at the free throw line.

Kevin Durant contributed 31 points on 10 of 22 shooting and only 1 of 8 from 3 point range. The 31 points from Kevin Durant puts his mark of 20 or more points a game streak at 60, the fourth-longest streak since the NBA-ABA merger. Russell Westbrook put up a double-double last night with 26 points on 8 of 18 shooting, 3 of 7 from 3 point range, and 11 assists. Russell’s double-double puts his season double-double mark at 50. Serge Ibaka put in a great outing with 16 points on 7 of 12 shooting and a team-high 9 rebounds.

Both teams started off the game with red hot shooting and defense that was…optional. The Clippers shot 63% from the field and 69% from 3 point range in the first half while the Thunder shot a respective 58% from the field and 31% from 3 point range. Both teams combined for 134 points in the first half with the Clippers posting 69 and the Thunder with 65. Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers put up 40 points combined with the duo going 8 of 8 from 3-point range in the first half. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook both put up 16 points each at half. The Thunder started off the 3rd quarter on a 12-2 run to gain a 6 point lead. But the Clippers went on 9-0 run to regain the lead and end up having a 4 point lead going into the 4th quarter.

In the end, the Thunder were able to make enough plays to win the game. The Thunder were able to lock down on Jamal Crawford, holding him scoreless in the 4th quarter. Steven Adams made a go-ahead tip-in with 26.9 seconds left to help the Thunder have the lead at 119-117. On the Clippers last possession, Austin Rivers drove down the lane in the final seconds and missed with Andre Roberson’s defensive presence showing up. Russell Westbrook rebounded the missed shot with 2.7 seconds left to seal the win. Russell’s rebound was added onto the Thunder’s key 46-26 rebound advantage for the game.

Up next for the Thunder is a road trip to Houston to face the Rockets this Sunday at 2:30pm(CT) on ABC.

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