LA Clippers drop sixth straight game against Thunder, 114-88
The LA Clippers lost in another blowout against the streaking Russell Westbrook led Oklahoma City Thunder, sending their losing streak to six games.
Westbrook had 17 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds (and only one turnover) in just 28 minutes of action. Victor Oladipo added 15 points, and Enes Kanter was the leading scorer with 23 points and eight rebounds.
For the Clippers, the effort was depleted yet again with no Chris Paul or Blake Griffin. Marreese Speights and Brandon Bass both chipped in 18 points off the bench. Austin Rivers scored 14 points and was the only starter to score in double figures. DeAndre Jordan scored 9 nine points and 11 rebounds.
The Clippers started off slow to begin the game that they had to try to play catch up for the rest of the night. They shot 23 percent from the field and were 0-of-9 from deep, and had no fastbreak points.
The second quarter featured more offense from the bench players, but still needed defense. The Clippers looked out of sorts in that regard throughout the early part of the game and they found their shooting touch as the game went on.
The Clippers cut down the turnovers in the second half, but they just could not slow down the pace of the Thunder. Westbrook moved the ball and set up his teammates, something the Clipper players were not able to do.
The Thunder out rebounded the Clippers (44-38). They had more fast break points (33-0). The only thing the Clippers led in was in turnovers (15-9), and I’m sure they did not want to do that.
L.A. looking for answers
L.A., still without Paul (hamstring) and Griffin (knee), has not jelled well as a team without its two superstars.
The Clippers have been searching for answers with players in and out of the line up. J.J Redick played, but only recorded two made shots for the game. The spacing and the pace is not what it should be to stay competitive.
Without Paul and his leadership, the team has not been sharp. They had 14 assists for the game and Paul has nights where he easily has 14 by himself.
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The Clippers have had a hard time initiating the offense they are missing their top two players. Paul makes the game easier and seems to know what’s going to happen a step before it does. Blake helps push the ball when they need a change of pace and his scoring threat from the elbows and post can’t be replaced.
Missing two of the top 10 or 15 players in the league will see a slip, but other players have not been able to keep the team afloat while their superstars work to come back.
Russell Westbrook extended his season triple-double total to 16.
Chris Paul is day-to-day with his hamstring injury.
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Happy New Year – Up next
Clippers play the Phoenix Suns Monday, where the team tries to snap the six game skid and start the new year off on a good note.