Game Recap: Thunder 92, Clippers 98

News and notes following the Thunder’s 98-92 loss to the LA Clippers:

  • The Thunder hadn’t lost consecutive games since a three game losing streak at the end of February. Oklahoma City had the game under control in the first half but things turned completely around in the second 24 minutes. The Clippers out-scored OKC 61-43 in the second half. The Clippers have won both games in Los Angeles this season and the two teams will meet again Wednesday in Oklahoma City Arena. “The first half was good, we were moving the ball on offense, defense was good and then in the second half the defense just wasn’t there,” said Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks. “We relaxed with the lead and they got their confidence up. Giving up 61 points that’s unacceptable, we’ve gotta do a better job. They got it going and we couldn’t shut it off.”
    “They hit some big shots,” said Thunder forward Kevin Durant. “They did a great job and you gotta tip your hat but we got too relaxed and you can’t do that against a team like that in their building.”
  • Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 23 points and James Harden added 14. Nazr Mohammed pulled down 10 rebounds.
  • The Thunder were whistled for five technical fouls and both Serge Ibaka and Russell Westbrook fouled out. Westbrook was just 1-for-12 from the field but he did hand out eight assists.
    “We were physical all night but those techs are something we can’t have,” said Durant. “We can’t be given ‘em points like that. They were on their way and the techs pushed em over the top.”
  • Thunder defense holds the Clippers to just 15 points in the first quarter on 41.2% shooting. Kevin Durant off to a good start with 10 points in the first 12 minutes on 5-for-8 shooting.
  • Thunder getting some of their own misses in the first half. OKC leading the Clips 5-1 in offensive rebounds half way through the second quarter.
  • Defense continues solid at the halftime break holding LA to just 37 first half points on 37.1% shooting and the Clips missed all five of their 3-point attempts. The 37 points ties for the fewest Oklahoma City has allowed in a first half this season.
  • Kevin Durant leading the way at the break with 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting.
  • Like in Portland on Friday night the third quarter was not a good one for Oklahoma City, the Clippers outscore the Thunder 31-22 and take a brief lead before two defensive stops and a big Eric Maynor basket get the Thunder back in front.
  • More of the same in the fourth quarter Thunder out-scored 30-21 in the final 12 minutes.

PLAYS THE BOX SCORE WON’T SHOW: Thabo Sefolosha and Russell Westbrook team up to get a steal, lead a fast break and score early in the first quarter..Thunder defense stifling the Clippers early, LA just shooting 2-for-8 with 7:00 left in first quarter...At the 3 minute mark Nick Collison sets a great screen to free up Westbrook who gets in the lane and scores...Collison grabs an offensive rebounds in the last seconds of the first...At 9:09 in the second quarter Collison sets another nice screen to free up James Harden who is fouled before he can drive to the basket...The on the next Thunder shot Nazr Mohammed is in perfect position to grab an offensive rebound and score...Serge Ibaka with an amazing move under a leaping Blake Griffin then up for a reverse jam halfway through the second quarter...With just less than three minutes left in the second Collison passes the ball to Harden and then sets a screen as Harden nails a 3-ball. Nice assist for Nick...Moments later Kendrick Perkins fights through a double team and passes to a wide open Collison along the baseline for a jam...Westbrook with a nice steal under the Clipper basket in the third quarter. He weaves his way through the LA defense and when he meet s double team at the free throw line he fires a pass to a wide open Durant for the jam...Ibaka gets a piece of a Blake Griffin shot halfway through the third to trigger a fast break...Good defense by the Thunder to get a couple of stops at the end of the third quarter to preserve the lead...Nick Collison scrapping around for an offensive rebound in the fourth quarter, he falls to the court but still manages to get the ball out front to Harden to keep the possession alive...Serge Ibaka with a big time block on Blake Griffin and Nazr Mohammed blocks the follow shot triggering a Thunder fast break halfway through the fourth quarter...James Harden with a great steal to break up a 4-on-1 Clipper fast break...

STATS WORTH REPEATING: Oklahoma City is out-scored 61-43 in the second half...The Thunder pulled down 16 offensive rebounds and blocked seven shots...

LAST WORD: “You’ve got to play 48 minutes you can’t relax,” said Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks, “if you do you’re gonna get bit and that’s what happened to us. They took the lead and didn’t look back.”
“We can’t panic,” Durant said, “We’ve lost two in a row but we’re still at the top of the division.”

UP NEXT: The Thunder head to Denver for a Northwest Division show down with the Nuggets on Tuesday night. Tip-off is set for 8 PM inside the Pepsi Center. You can watch all the action on Fox Sports Oklahoma or listen in on the Thunder Radio Network.