NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Oklahoma City 18 35 25 28 106
LA Clippers 36 34 21 29 120
7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET3:00 GMT11:00 8:00 PM MST10:00 PM EST7:00 UAE (+1)04:0022:00 ET9:00 PM CT1:00 , January 22, 2021
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

Clippers aim to extend winning streak vs. Thunder

According to STATS
According to STATS

Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Clippers

  1. The Clippers have won four of their last five against the Thunder, including the last two in a row. Los Angeles hasn't won three in a row over the Thunder since their first three meetings after the team moved to Oklahoma City in 2008-09.
  2. Oklahoma City lost, 119-101, to the Nuggets on Tuesday, their third loss in the last four games. Oklahoma City has broken the 110-point mark only three times this season (3-0 in those games), fewest in the NBA.
  3. Shai Gilgious-Alexander scored 14 points against Denver on Tuesday, his second-lowest scoring game of the season (8 versus New Orleans on December 31). The Thunder are 5-2 when he scores more than 20 points compared to just 1-5 when he's held to 20 or fewer.
  4. The Clippers picked up their fifth straight win with a 115-96 victory over the Kings on Wednesday. Los Angeles has outscored opponents by 90 points over their last three wins, their largest scoring margin in a three-game span in team history.
  5. Kawhi Leonard had 32 points, 5 assists and 6 steals in the Clippers win over Sacramento on Wednesday, the sixth time he's posted 30 points, 5 assists and 5 steals in a game since the start of the 2016-17 season, tied with James Harden for the most such games in the NBA in that time. No other player has more than two such games in that span.
  6. The Clippers are leading the NBA in both three-point percentage (.441) and free throw percentage (.836) while Oklahoma City is second worst from three-point range (.330) and third worst from the foul line (.719).
(AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Third-quarter spurts have boosted the Los Angeles Clippers during their five-game winning streak.

"The third quarter, (we) just come out and try to set the tone defensively," Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said after his club posted a 115-96 win over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday in Los Angeles. "I thought we did a good job with that."

The Clippers will try to extend their run when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first of back-to-back contests on Friday and Sunday.

Against the Kings, Kawhi Leonard had 32 points and five assists. He also recorded six of the Clippers' 14 steals. Leonard ranked second to Cleveland's Larry Nance in steals at 2.1 per game through Wednesday.

Paul George contributed 19 points, a career-tying 12 assists and seven rebounds, while Nicolas Batum and Ivica Zubac added 11 points apiece against Sacramento. Zubac also grabbed a season-best 12 rebounds.

"(Zubac) was big for us," Lue said. "His size and strength around the basket was huge for us, especially when they were blitzing the pick-and-roll."

Los Angeles has been blitzing opponents in the third quarter. In their last three wins, the Clippers have outscored the opposition 110-55. Leonard's 12 points helped them best the Kings 34-19 in the third for a 95-75 advantage heading into the fourth. Sacramento got no closer than 11 the rest of the way.

The Thunder have played well on the road, compiling a 5-2 mark. However, the start of this five-game trip didn't begin. The Thunder lost 119-101 in Denver to the Nuggets on Tuesday. Luguentz Dort scored 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including 3-of-6 3-pointers, with five rebounds, while former Clippers player Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 14 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the Thunder, who have dropped three of their last four contests. Isaiah Roby chipped in 10 points, nine rebounds and four steals.

Oklahoma City trailed 65-52 at the break before Denver seized command in the third quarter, outscoring the Thunder 32-22 for an 97-74 lead.

"Tonight, the way they play defensively, they've got their big up in pick-and-roll coverage, and they've got really active hands and they really force you to throw precision passes and really take care of the ball," Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. "They slap, they reach and they grab, and they're pretty disruptive with it. It was something that obvious gave us problems tonight."

The Nuggets forced 19 Thunder turnovers. They also outrebounded the Thunder 63-55, including an 18-9 edge on the offensive end.

"That's the reason why they're a good team," Daigneault said. "They make you do everything well, and obviously we didn't do that well enough in terms of getting rebounding. We did try to address it at halftime. I thought the guys did make a concerted effort to move forward there, but it was a little too much."

Thunder big man Al Horford (personal reasons) wasn't available for the third consecutive contest. His wife recently gave birth to a baby girl.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 22, 2021

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