THUNDER77

CLIPPERS92
2 Lead changes in the game, which also featured only three ties.

5 Offensive rebounds for Serge Ibaka, all in the third quarter, helping to lead the Thunder to 20 second chance points

8 Steals by the Thunder on the night, including two for both Derek Fisher and Kevin Durant

9 Rebounds for Kendrick Perkins on the night

12 Points in the third quarter for Serge Ibaka

24 Points by Kevin Durant on 7-for-18 shooting, a game-high

29 Free throw attempts for the Thunder

The Thunder continues its road trip on Wednesday night at the Phoenix Suns. Game time is 9:30 p.m. Central and will air live on Fox Sports Oklahoma and the Thunder Radio Network.

The Thunder then travels to Sacramento to take on the Kings on Friday before traveling back to Los Angeles to face the Lakers on Sunday afternoon. After that, the Thunder closes out the season with home games against the Sacramento Kings and Denver Nuggets on Tuesday and Wednesday.

GAME IN REVIEW


RECAP:
A high-paced, high-energy first half turned into a grind-it-out affair in the second half at the Staples Center, and the Thunder simply wasn’t able to knock down enough shots to come away victorious against the Los Angeles Clippers. Leading 52-43 at halftime, the Thunder was only able to manage 25 second half points in a 92-77 loss. After the game, Head Coach Scott Brooks said he knew this one would be a tough one and that there are lessons to be learned.

“Every game we have to just worry about us getting better as a team,” Brooks said. “Going into tonight I knew it was going to be a physical game, and they did a good job. They’re a good team. They had a better second half than us and we had chances to extend the lead and we made some mistakes off turnovers and we missed some shots. Wednesday night’s game is another game.”

After shooting a blistering 52.6 percent from the field in the first quarter in addition to holding the Clippers to 37.2 percent shooting in the first half, the Thunder was able to build an 11-point lead. Unfortunately, the Thunder was held to 9-for-31 shooting in the second half, including 0-for-11 from the three point line, scoring its lowest point total of the season. During the course of the NBA season, a team can go through a tough shooting night, but Brooks also gave credit to the Clippers defense.

“They’re a good defensive team, they get after the ball, they make you make quick decisions,” Brooks said. “I thought Russell missed some shots that he normally would make. Give them credit, they played good defense in the second half. We missed free throws, we missed shots and we turned the ball over. It’s a bad combination.”

The Thunder’s 19 turnovers on the night didn’t help the tough shooting, but the Thunder managed to maintain the lead for most of the third quarter thanks to a monster effort on the glass. Ibaka had all 12 of his points in the third quarter, aided by five offensive rebounds and 5-for-6 shooting. In the end, unfortunately, the Thunder couldn’t overcome its tough shooting night and some hot shooting from the Clippers bench.

“It was just one of those tough ones for us,” Durant said. “I thought we took good shots. I missed a few wide open threes, Russell missed a few elbow jump shots that he normally makes, Serge missed some that went in and out. We missed some layups and that’s how the game is. We have to move past it and get ready for Phoenix.”

TURNING POINT:
Over the final 2:58 of the third quarter and the first 1:27 of the fourth quarter, the Thunder saw its six-point lead turn into a four-point deficit. Leading 63-57, the Clippers’ Nick Young scored eight straight points to end the quarter and the Clippers tied the game at 66 all as the quarter ended. Then, out of the quarter break, Mo Williams hit a 27-foot three-pointer, followed by a long Chris Paul two-point jumper to give the Clippers a 71-67 lead. That 14-4 run was a big boost for the Clippers, and the Thunder never regained the lead.

PLAYS THE BOXSCORE WON’T SHOW, FIRST HALF:
Thabo Sefolosha makes a steal in the lane and starts the break, then Kendrick Perkins boxes out hard on the defensive boards… Nick Collison forces Blake Griffin into a difficult look, then Russell Westbrook knocks down a three-pointer… Nice box out by Sefolosha to draw the foul, then Collison and Perkins force Griffin into another miss… Perkins uses his length to make a steal, then he makes a nice cross-court pass to Sefolosha that Collison finishes with a tip-in… Collison makes an insane strip of the ball in the lane, preventing a sure Griffin dunk, then Kevin Durant slashes to the lane… Westbrook drives to the lane, posts up then kicks it to James Harden for a three-pointer… Collison tips an offensive rebound, then Nazr Mohammed reels it in to give Derek Fisher an opportunity to knock down an open three-pointer… Collison sets a perfect screen for Harden, who drains another three pointer, then Daequan Cook hustles out for a defensive rebound… Harden drives and dishes to Mohammed for a layup down low as the shot clock was expiring, then Fisher makes a steal that Mohammed cleans up, drawing a foul… Collison makes the play of the day by saving a ball inbounds over his head to Westbrook, then Harden forces a miss… Durant battles for a defensive rebound, then Perkins draws a second defender and kicks it to Harden for a three-pointer… Perkins and Harden force Griffin into a turnover, then Perkins hits Ibaka for a two-on-one fast break that ends in a Durant dunk… Durant skies high for a defensive rebound, then Sefolosha pump fakes and hits a bank shot… Perkins snags an offensive board, dishes to a cutting Durant, who then feeds Collison for a slam dunk… Durant flies into the lane to make a steal, then races down court to finish a three-point play.

PLAYS THE BOXSCORE WON’T SHOW, SECOND HALF:
Great offensive rebound by Serge Ibaka to bring in an offensive rebound, then Perkins swats a Griffin shot at the rim… Durant feeds a cutting Ibaka, who draws a foul… Thunder rotates on the defensive end to force the Clippers into a 24-second shot clock violation, then Ibaka puts back an offensive rebound for a big bucket… Incredible box out by Perkins to clear space on the defensive glass, then Westbrook drives and dishes to Perkins for a layup-and-one… Incredible hustle by Ibaka to snag a loose ball and start the fast break, which he finishes on the other end… Ibaka gets to the offensive boards again to finish with a slam dunk, then Durant hustles to force a turnover by the Clippers… Solid defensive possession to force a contested miss, then Durant slips and slides into the lane to dish the ball to Ibaka for a slam dunk… Ibaka hustles into the lane again and snags an offensive rebound, drawing a foul… Harden drives to the paint then Ibaka once again grabs an offensive rebound and puts it back… Fisher and Ibaka hustle to grab a loose ball…Ibaka swats a shot into the arms of Fisher, then Harden hits Fisher for a jumper in the corner… Westbrook plays suffocating defense to force a 24-second shot clock violation.