LOS ANGELES -- When the NBA playoffs begin in April, the Clippers will know exactly which team presents their greatest challenge.
It won't be their first-round opponent, although any postseason series is likely to be a significant test. It will undoubtedly be the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In three games this season, the Clippers have lost to the Thunderthree times. Their chance to beat Oklahoma City and leap into the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference slipped away Sunday in a 108-104 loss at Staples Center.
The Clippers have beaten the Miami Heat once and the San Antonio Spurs twice, but they've been unable to solve the mystery of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who combined for 64 points and made key baskets in big moments.
There is no point considering a fourth-quarter comeback in which the Clippers erased a 19-point deficit and took a momentary lead with 1 minute and 30 seconds remaining when Jamal Crawford's three-point jumper made it 100-99. They put themselves in an ear...