The Los Angeles Clippers notched their first win of the season against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 108-92 to bounce back from their season-opening loss to the Denver Nuggets. Los Angeles opened the game with a 16-0 run and ended with a 27-5 run in this win.
Danilo Gallinari and Tobias Harris, both scored 26 points as the Clippers rallied to hold the Thunder off late in the fourth quarter. Harris exploded in the fourth with 14 points. As the Clippers were on their 22-5 run with 2:41 left in the fourth, Harris’ floating jump shot extended Los Angeles’ lead to 11.
As Gallinari did not play in the fourth, Harris held it down to help Los Angeles outscore Oklahoma City 35-17.
Gallinari was consistent for the Clippers from start to finish. As Los Angeles opened the first quarter, Gallinari had 10 points in the opening minutes. His three-point shots in the third quarter kept the Clippers in the contest on two separate occasions getting them within three.
Harris and Gallinari’s offensive play helped the Clippers as the starting backcourt of Patrick Beverley and Avery Bradley combined for 10 points and 2-13 from the field.
The Clippers bench outscored the Thunder bench 42-38 in this contest behind Lou Williams’ 17 points and Boban Marjanović’s 13 points. Williams and Marjanović’s play gave the Clippers bench some life. William’s three-pointer at the 6:29 mark of the fourth quarter helped the Clippers take a three-point lead, 93-90.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander also contributed two points in the contest with free throws that extended the Clippers’ lead to 100-92.
Despite the fact that the Thunder outrebounded the Clippers 52-47, Los Angeles made up for it by converting on 14 fast break points over Oklahoma’s 10 points. Both teams scored 40 points in the paint as well.
The Clippers defense had its pitfalls in the middle of the game and allowed the Thunder to get second-chance points. Oklahoma City outscored Los Angeles 24-8 in second-chance points.
Los Angeles picked up their defense and rebounds in the fourth quarter as they helped give the team energy and push the pace in transition. Once the Clippers clicked on the defensive end, they held the Thunder to 35.8% in field goals.
Luc Mbah a Moute and Harris also shut Paul George down defensively. George finished the game with 7-27 shooting.
George finished the contest with 20 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. He also fouled out in the game after an over the back foul that he committed on Marjanović. Steven Adams was the only other starter to score over 10 points as he notched a double-double with 17 points and 18 rebounds.
The Clippers came into this contest, wanting to bounce back from their season-opener against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night, which was the start of their three-game homestand. Though the game was ugly and a bit underwhelming in spurts, the Clippers energy picked up and helped them get this win against the Thunder.
The Clippers hope to end their three-game homestand 2-1 in this weekend’s contest against the Houston Rockets.
Los Angeles will face a Houston Rockets team that is looking to bounce back from their home-opening loss against the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday. This matchup will be broadcasted on NBA TV at 6:00 p.m.