Clippers Vs. Thunder Official Game Thread 2013-11-13

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clipper*joe
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@

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ESPN 10:30 PM ET

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Thunder-Clippers Preview

By JORDAN GARRETSON

Posted Nov 12 2013 5:12PM

The Los Angeles Clippers have been touted by some as the favorite in the Western Conference. Reaching those lofty expectations would mean overtaking the Oklahoma City Thunder, a tall order in itself.

After being swept in last season's series, the Clippers hope to be up to the challenge Wednesday night when they host the Thunder for the first of four meetings.

Los Angeles (5-3) finished fourth in the conference last season at 56-26, while Oklahoma City (5-1) claimed the top seed with a 60-22 record. Those positions would have been reversed had a three-game season sweep gone in favor of the Clippers. Of their last 36 regular-season home games, two of the six losses have been to the Thunder.

A better performance from Chris Paul would likely help. He averaged 17.5 points and shot 10 for 35 (28.6 percent) while playing in two of the matchups. Russell Westbrook outplayed him, averaging 26.0 points and shooting 46.2 percent from 3-point range in three meetings.

Paul is off to a good start, becoming the first player since John Stockton in 1991-92 to record a points-assist double-double in each of his first eight games. However, his limited contributions against the Thunder last season, combined with Kevin Durant's stellar performances - he averaged 34.0 points - proved too much for Los Angeles to overcome in the series.

Durant largely saved the day in a 106-105 home overtime win over Washington on Sunday. Oklahoma City overcame a 12-point deficit in the final quarter with Durant's 3-pointer with 13.6 seconds remaining forcing the extra period.

The Thunder had to complete their comeback without Westbrook, who received his second technical of the game following a shoving match with Nene late in regulation.

While Westbrook struggled, finishing 4 of 16 from the floor for 13 points with five turnovers, Durant had 33 points, 12 rebounds and six assists as Oklahoma City won its fourth straight.

The Thunder are averaging 31.0 points in the fourth quarter during that win streak.

"That was definitely a resilient win," coach Scott Brooks said. "It was that never-quit mentality that we've always believed in and that's what happened tonight. We just battled and battled and battled and gave ourselves a chance to win down the stretch."

The Clippers are also coming off a narrow victory, 109-107 over Minnesota on Monday. Blake Griffin had 25 points and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles, which held on to win only after the Timberwolves missed two tip-ins in the final seconds.

Four of Los Angeles' last six games have been decided by single digits.

"This year is one of the most competitive years I've seen for a while," Clippers center Ryan Hollins said. "Every single night you're playing a big matchup."

Los Angeles had its best defensive performance in terms of field-goal percentage, holding Minnesota to 41.7, after opponents came in hitting 48.5 percent. But the Clippers also gave up 16 offensive rebounds and are surrendering 11.5 per game.

"We're almost there (defensively)," said Paul, who had 21 points and 11 assists. "A lot of times tonight we were in the right spots. But I think we've still got to get better rebounding and that's collectively. We can't rely on Blake and D.J. (DeAndre Jordan) to get all the rebounds. We've got to get in there and collectively rebound."

Oklahoma City is one of the league's best in terms of offensive rebounds with 12.8 per game, including 3.5 from Serge Ibaka. Ibaka recorded a season-high 25 points along with 12 rebounds Sunday.

Jordan has posted three straight double-doubles and is averaging 15.5 rebounds in his last four games.

Thunder forward Nick Collison is day-to-day after missing the game versus Washington with a bruised hip.

http://www.nba.com/games/20131113/OKCLA ... tml?ls=slt

CP3Heliflopter
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OKC face us then the GSWs the next night. We have to win this. Its a potential 2 straight losses for OKC.

CP3 needs to have a big game he has been sub-par the past three games. DJ needs to hit his Fts and BG needs to dominate Ibaka(put him in foul trouble).

cleepers
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Throw everything at Durant. Get physical with him. He has shown a tendency to get frustrated against the Clips.

When he's off (by his standards that's <25pts on >18FGA's) we win.

Voyeur
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Blake should come out with a cup as a joke. j/k

Honestly a couple of our losses to OKC last season were because of timely shooting by Kevin Martin (3-5 from three in two games) and Westbrook having some of his best games. Well we don't have to deal with Martin (until we play the T Wolves again) and hopefully Westbrook is still rusty. We shouldn't count on that, but I'm just hopeful. CP3 needs to play sharper than he's played in the last 4 games. His games against OKC last year were not great. I just want him to be effective. I want Blake to abuse Ibaka. I want JJ to make his presence felt.

Too much to ask?

CapsNClips
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I fully expect JJ to have another poor night tonight because of Thabo. Blake needs to attack every which way, while also taking the task of guarding Kevin Durant. Kendrick Perkins is a joke nowadays, but we must watch out for Steven Adams.

There's really no gameplan to stop OKC, you just have to have a good shooting night and hope or wings and Griffin can slow KD down even for a nanosecond. Westbrook can get his shot off at anytime vs CP3, but it'll be harder for him to drive than in years past because of the Gruesome Twosome of DJ and Blake.

Silasie
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I want this W. What with that nasty foul by Ibaka and our recent losses to them combined with them being contenders in the West a win would be a great confidence boost. Come on Chris, time for a big game from you!!!!!

CP3Heliflopter
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If Thabo is guarding Redick that means he isn't guarding CP3 which is always a good thing. Thabo gives CP3 some problems due to his length, very underrated defender.

WB can get his shot off against anyone but it doesn't mean they are good shots. If he makes those dumb pullup midrange jumpers he usually takes I am good with that since most of the time he bricks them. The problem is when he actually tries to attack the rim.

The good thing is that the Thunder don't have a good 3rd option though Ibaka has a nice mid range now and Thabo has become a nice 3 point shooter.

Silasie
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Very true. If Thabo is on Chris then JJ can get his fill and vice versa. That's a new match up situation that could really help us, cos Thabo has kept CP quiet in the past.

Voyeur
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I just checked OKC's schedule. What the hell? This should be the toughest game for them so far (or at least as tough as the MIN game). Note, I said SHOULD be.

Silasie
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Yep, that's why they are 5-1.

We have a really tough schedule to start the season, it should all balance out.

Voyeur
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Man, I would LOVE for this to be the game where we get it all together. The defense we played the last couple of games (or better) with the offensive explosion we had against Houston and GS at home.

CapsNClips
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Good point. Hopefully they haven't figured out Redick's 1st quarter surges and don't put Thabo on Redick for just the 1st quarter. If Thabo does guard CP all game, JJ would have a feast against Westbrooks laziness at running through screens all game long.

xldicelx
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no reason why the clips don't win this.... we have man handled durant in the past. put barnes on him with some good hard fouls and let CP3 handle westbrock (hard to do but he better) and we should be in good hands... lol ok ok hard to be done then said. but theres no reason we can't stop durant. as some have stated earlier, he's normally frustrated playing with us. LETS GET THIS W clips!!!

CapsNClips
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what_up_clipnation83
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I think westbrook will have a big game due to we don't have ebled to match westbrook athletisim. Unless our team defense is on point.

It sucks what happened to kendrick, but I wished he was playing, because we always have an advantage when he's in. Good thing Nick Collison is out too.

So I think the rookie will get the start tonight, Dj and Blake should dominate tonight.

KD is going to get his, just make him take tough shots, that is all I ask for.

Depending on who Safo is guarding CP or Reddick will determine who's going have a big game.

jarca
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How is OKC so far? Haven't been keeping up with them. By the look of their roster they have a depleted bench

jarca
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CapsNClips wrote:

Poor guy! My condolences

loyalclipfan
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DAMN! That means that Perkins replacement can have a CAREER NIGHT against us to show off his stuff! DAMN! I hate it when the starters we have posses an advantage over their starter and we game scout for someone who doesn't play! I hope this doesn't come back and bite us tonight. I hope our coaching staff has prepared our players well enough for this change!

loyalclipfan
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Tonight will be a wonderful showcase (I hope, lol) of the difference between a VDN coached team and a doc rivers coached squad.I'm hoping doc shows off his brillance tonight!

elton_sucks42
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Let's hope the guys are laser focused tonight. I expect CP3 to recover and and have a big game. He has to show Russell who is the best PG in the league is.

CP3Heliflopter
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Sad to hear about Perkin's loss even though I don't like him. Funnily enough that might actually work against us considering how terrible of a player Perkins is. That Steve Adams guy looks better than him.

ClipperKyle32
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Doris Burke , even though I love her, seems so out of place in the ESPN studio! I like her on the sidelines a lot more! ANYWAY! Doris Burke is one of my favorite females for some reason, I don't know why she just is

Markojaric
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Cant believe Im saying this, again, but. A key to get a win here might be...BYRON MULLENS STRETCHING THE FLOOR AND SHOOTING LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW (and actually making those shots)

Condolences to Perk.

tense2
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Clippers -4.5 tonight.

Silasie
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That better not be the key to the game else we're in trouble.

Markojaric
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We are playing against KD. We already are in trouble.

tense2
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Yeah, but let's not double down, lol.

Vegas likes our chances.

Voyeur
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Wait. Yesterday was Westbrook's birthday? Crap.

ClippersDA
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Do t have high hopes but hoping it is competitive. We don't have anyone who can guard kevin.

tense2
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We haven't had anybody that could guard Kevin for a while.

clipperboy24
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Looking forward to the game should be a good one. Griffin seems to play well against OKC

ClipperB23
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Almost GameTime! Let's go Clippers!

A_DOG_NAMED_BUD
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If I remember correctly, Randy Foye did a good job guarding Durant one game, but that was a few seasons ago. Maybe someone will surprise us again & defend him well TONIGHT!

CapsNClips
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I think you're thinking of Nick Young. He did an excellent job in the 2nd half of a game guarding KD when we had him.

Voyeur
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I'm not really worried about Durant alone. As I recall, Kobe loved to score a bunch of points against us last year but we handled or business against the Lakers. We also handled OKC 2 years ago. I still say K Martin shot daggers against us last year against OKC and Westbrook had uncharacteristic low turnover, high shooting games.

jarca
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Yup that was nick young. Durant was taunting him all game

CP3Heliflopter
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I can't stand her nasally voice but she is better than those other clowns though I guess that isn't necessarily saying much.

A_DOG_NAMED_BUD
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No, the game I'm thinking about was before we got Young. It was in April 2010. Durant had 23 pts but he was only 10-24 from the field & 0-4 from outside the arc. I'm pretty sure Foye guarded him for most of the game.

Voyeur
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There should be no excuse for not coming out with lots of energy. We got the first game back from the road out of the way. Even Doc says those are tough because it barely gives you any time to practice or settle in. But we got the MIN win out of the way. We've had all Tuesday to rest. We should be ready and looking for blood against these guys due to what happened against them last year.

pageC4
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If there was a "this weeks best punchline" award on this site your quote would merit it.

Voyeur
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Who's calling the ESPN game? Please tell me it's Mike Breen and JVG!

Kingkanyon
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Finally, "Game" "Time"...... I'm so hyped Right now... Lets get it.

pageC4
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Hopefully, but I'll say this much. If we see Chris Paul attack early we win. If he goes on his slow first half start we lose. He dictates the pace on this team, so that will be telling of how tonights game will go i think

Voyeur
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Yes! Breen and Van Gundy. We've had some luck with those guys.

tense2
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Off to a good start.

tense2
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Great friggin pass Blake

LobAngelesBlakers
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wow, that sequence was quite amazing

pageC4
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Amazing start so far. Blake looking great in that pass to DJ, great court vision

WinningBasket
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Superb 8-0 run. I hope we can keep this up!

jarca
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Blake still hot from outside

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