Two desperate teams entered with a losing streak, and one team exited with a win. Unfortunately, the team that snapped their streak was the Oklahoma City Thunder. With this loss, the LA Clippers’ dropped to under .500, and extended their losing streak to 4. The effort was there for Los Angeles, especially from Willie Reed & Lou Williams. Lou Williams single-handedly kept Los Angeles in the game, scoring 35 points off the bench on 13/22 shooting. However, Paul George had heroics of his own. George posted a fantastic stat-line of 42 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals, on 59% shooting.
Despite this being a close a game, you could see the difference in talent on the court. This game boiled down to the Clippers getting early turnovers, and missing key defensive rebounds down the stretch.
For a 4th game straight, Los Angeles had terrible ball movement, netting only 13 assists. This terrible movement was established early, resulting in 11 turnovers by halftime. Los Angeles ended up with 19 turnovers, allowing the Thunder to score 24 points off of them. These quick transition baskets allowed for OKC to shoot at a fantastic 51.3% from the field. Had the Clippers not dug themselves in a hole early, then their runs would have put them in the lead, instead helping them play catch up.
Missed Key Rebounds
The LA Clippers may have out-rebounded the Thunder 46-40, but LA missed defensive rebounds at key moments. These missed opportunities allowed for OKC to have 11 big offensive rebounds. Tonight was a game of tremendous runs, and every time the Clippers came close, they couldn’t take the lead. After being down 20 points, Los Angeles actually tied the game 105-105 with 5:37 left. With 3:22 left on the clock, the Clippers were down 113-109, and they got the stop they wanted with a Paul George missed shot. Los Angeles failed to secure 2 defensive rebounds in that one position, allowing OKC to go up 115-109.
From that moment on, the game was over.
The Final Clip: The effort was certainly better from Los Angeles tonight. However, Deandre Jordan still looks lost, Blake Griffin has lost a step, and the ball movement is still atrocious. The team can play great defense, but their poor offense is resulting in easy opposing points. Hopefully this can change by tomorrow, as they play New Orleans at 4PM PST.