Regular Season Recap: Thunder at Clippers

THUNDER 100

CLIPPERS 112
3 Blocked shots by Kevin Durant. The Thunder had 8 total blocked shots

5 Steals by Russell Westbrook, his second straight game with 5-or-more steals

8 3-point shots made by Kevin Durant and Daequan Cook, who combined to shoot 8-for-13 from distance

13 Rebounds for Kevin Durant, his second straight game with 13-or more rebounds

31 Points by Russell Westbrook, his season high

36 Points by Kevin Durant, his second straight game with 36-or-more points

48 Points in the paint by the Thunder

49 Shooting percentage by the Thunder, including 41% from 3-point range

The Thunder will continue its road trip on Wednesday when it plays the Mavericks in Dallas. Game time is 7:00 p.m. Central and will air live on Fox Sports Oklahoma and the Thunder Radio Network.

The Thunder then returns home to host the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday before playing five straight games on the road, starting with a trip to San Antonio to face the Spurs on Saturday.

GAME IN REVIEW


RECAP:
The Thunder entered its game against the Clippers winners of 11 of its last 12 contests, but fell in the Staples Center to the tune of 112-100 after falling behind early and allowing a 12-0 run by the Clippers at the end of the first half. The Clippers jumped on the Thunder early as it was a 36-25 game after one quarter as Los Angeles shot 62.5% from the field. The ever-resilient Thunder battled back to make it a six-point deficit with 1:35 left in the second quarter, but the Clippers knocked down four straight 3-pointers to end the half and blow the game open again.

"They had their way in all parts of the game," Head Coach Scott Brooks said. "The first quarter they had 36 points. That set the tone. We fought back and made it six points with a minute and a half to go and they went on that run again. I think they had four 3's in a minute and ten seconds. They put us behind. They're a good team. They're the best team we've played all year. They have everything, they have a talented team. Their bench is really good, they played well. Give them credit. They took it to us and we have some work to do."

Some of the work on the Thunder's plate is on the offensive end where forward Kevin Durant and guard Russell Westbrook combined for 67 of the team's 100 points on the night. The duo helped the Thunder threaten again midway through the fourth quarter as the Thunder refused to give up, but it wasn't enough. Brooks said he hopes for a more balanced scoring attack in the future, but the most important focus for this Thunder team comes on the defensive end. Brooks attributed the night's loss to the Clippers' 56.3% shooting from the field, including 52% from the 3-point line.

"We have to get more guys involved," Brooks said. "I have to do a better job with that, but it always comes on the defensive end for us. When we defend, we're pretty good, when we don't defend, we're just hoping for shots to fall for us and shots to not fall for them. We're a defensive team first and we didn't do that tonight... We have to get better. That's it."

The barrage of 3-pointers was a bit of a spectacle during that Clipper scoring spree, and one that Brooks says he and the Thunder likely will not see again this season. The Clippers were 10-of-14 from deep at the end of the first half, including 5-of-6 in the second quarter alone. That is nearly unheard of accuracy, accentuated by the 4-for-4 spurt late in the first half.

"That doesn't happen, it probably won't happen again the rest of the year, that a team will score that many 3's in a minute," Brooks said. "They made the shots. They started the game with a lot of urgency and they had us back on our heels to start. 36 points is not something that we normally give up in any quarter, let alone the first quarter."

For the Thunder, there is no time to get down or linger too long on the loss, as Brooks' squad will travel to Dallas to face the Mavericks on Wednesday night as it continues its stretch of eight out of nine games on the road. Brooks told his players that they have to move on and focus on the next challenge to try to build on their 16-4 start.

"We didn't play well," Brooks said. "One of the things I tell the guys is 'We had a bad game'. This is our first bad game in 20. That's the bottom line, we had a bad game. One of the things that this team does well that I'm proud of is they bounce back. You play 20 games, you have one bad game, I think any team in this league will live with that... We know we have film to watch and things to get better at."

TURNING POINT:
Late in the second quarter the Thunder had battled back from a 16 point deficit to cut the Clippers lead to 52-46 with 1:35 left in the half. Over the next one minute and 10 seconds, however, the Clippers exploded for four straight 3-pointers to push their lead to 18 points heading into halftime. Mo Williams hit a 3-pointer then stole the ball from Russell Westbrook then Caron Butler followed with a 3-pointer. James Harden missed a 3-point attempt of his own before Williams hit again from distance, Butler stole the ball from Kevin Durant and Chauncey Billups finished off the run with a triple.

"We turned the ball over, (took) bad shots and then they hit four 3's in a row," forward Kevin Durant said. "That was the game."

PLAYS THE BOXSCORE WON’T SHOW, FIRST HALF:
Head's up double-down by Russell Westbrook on Blake Griffin to get a steal... Serge Ibaka challenging DeAndre Jordan at the rim and forcing a miss... Nice hustle by Westbrook to get to a long rebound before any Clippers could... Westbrook exploding to the basket on a curl and drive... Durant playing tough defense to slow down a hot-shooting Caron Butler on two straight possessions... Durant flying right through the lane for a jam... Nick Collison being in the right place at the right time to put back a Westbrook loose ball... Collison drawing a foul with less than 2 seconds left on the shot clock, then knocking down both free throws... Reggie Jackson getting back in transition and making a steal... Great anticipation by Nazr Mohammed to get over for a help-side block on Griffin... James Harden getting the ball back by diving on the floor... A good job by Mohammed to get a strip steal on a Clippers drive... Jackson eludes Reggie Evans and makes some shifty moves to get to the rim... Nice work by Durant to stick with a loose ball to get fouled... Great hustle by Durant and James Harden to stop a sure dunk by Jordan... Big blocks by Kendrick Perkins and Ibaka to stop Clippers drives... Daequan Cook pokes the ball away, stopping a Chauncey Billups drive... Nice hustle by Westbrook to sneak in among the trees for a rebound and put-back dunk... Durant with a good sequence as he blocks a Butler jump-shot, then taps a loose ball and gets it back to draw a foul.

PLAYS THE BOXSCORE WON’T SHOW, SECOND HALF:
Nice work by Durant to drive past four defenders to get to the rim... Good job by Durant to draw Jordan's 3rd foul early in the 3rd quarter by driving to the bucket... Durant grabbing an air ball then working his way down court for a jump shot... Westbrook fighting for a loose rebound to get a put-back lay-up... Westbrook stripping DeAndre Jordan then Harden lobbing an alley-oop to Durant... Perkins dropping off a backdoor pass to a cutting Westbrook for a bank-shot... A fighting Durant gets his own miss off the backboard and puts it in... A rebound and run-out 3-pointer for Durant to get it to a 15-point deficit... Cook makes a steal then plays give-and-go with Reggie Jackson for a 3-pointer... Nice job by Durant to block a Randy Foye shot attempt... Westbrook ducking into the lane and getting an up-and-under to go... Westbrook tip-toeing along the baseline to grab a loose ball then sprinting down court and drawing a foul... Westbrook and Harden combining for a steal, then Harden getting fouled on the run-out... Durant driving to the hoop and drawing the foul... Jackson crossing up Chris Paul then knocking down an elbow jump shot... A nice drop-off pass from Jackson to Cole Aldrich for a slam.