Wednesday night featured a matchup between two Western Conference powerhouses: Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Clippers. Not as star-studded as usual with the absence of Blake Griffin, but the Clippers have been rolling without him.
Through three quarters the Thunder looked like they had a win all but secured as they led 85-68 entering the fourth. Westbrook and Durant had combined for 47 points, 12 rebounds, and 15 assists during that stretch and Oklahoma City’s defense was superb. The Clippers shot just 36.6%, with Chris Paul leading the team with 19 points and eight assists.
Once the last period started the Thunder offense came grinding to a halt and their defense had seemingly left the building. In the fourth, OKC gave up 35 points on 51.7% shooting and only managed 13 points on 25% themselves; Westbrook and Durant shot 2-of-11 between them, scoring seven points. LA’s bench came out with such ferocity in the fourth and probably shocked everyone in STAPLES. Wesley Johnson, Rivers, Prigioni, and Aldrich combined for 23 of the 35 points that the Clippers put up in the quarter.
Turnovers haunted Oklahoma City, committing 17 as a team compared to LA’s six; 11 of the Thunder’s giveaways came from Durant (6) and Westbrook (5). Chris Paul had his ninth game of 13+ assists, finishing with 21 and 13 and LAC improves to 23-7 without Blake Griffin.
Oklahoma City faces off against Golden State in San Francisco on Thursday, while LAC stays home and waits for Atlanta on Saturday.
Around The League
Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics were able to cool off the red-hot Trailblazers and beat them by 23 behind a 30-point performance by Thomas. Five other Celtics scored in double-figures, including Avery Bradley, who netted 17 points and three steals.
Mike Conley and Rajon Rondo dueled in Memphis, but the Grizzlies edge out the Kings, 104-98. Rondo had six points, eight rebounds, and 17 assists, but Conley had one of the most efficient performaces of the night. He bucketed 24 points on 9/12 shooting to go along with five assists, three steals, and only one turnover.
Emmanuel Mudiay and D.J. Augustin combine for 48 points and 12 assists in a win over the Lakers. D’Angelo Russell continues to get buckets, scoring 24, but not as efficiently as the last few games. He finished 9/21 shooting.
Mario Hezonja records his first career 20-point game and finishes with 21 in a win over the Bulls.
CHI 89 – ORL 102
CHA 119 – PHI 99
POR 93 – BOS 116
UTAH 94 – TOR 104
NOLA 95 – HOU 100
SAC 98 – MEM 104
IND 104 – MIL 99
WAS 104 – MINN 98
DET 81 – SAS 97
LAL 107 – DEN 117
OKC 98 – LAC 103