Posted January 22, 2013 on
AP on Fox
The Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers own the NBA's top two records, yet both are coming off losses.
One of them is about to have the makings of a losing streak.
Oklahoma City continues its season-high six-game road trip Tuesday night at Staples Center where the Clippers will try to avoid their second set of back-to-back losses this month.
The Thunder are a league-best 32-9 but its six-game win streak was snapped with a 121-118 overtime loss at Denver on Sunday. Kevin Durant scored 37, setting a personal best with four straight contests of 30 or more points, while Russell Westbrook had 36.
The Thunder, who trailed by 11 with three minutes left in regulation before coming back to force overtime, had been 20-5 when both scored at least 20.
Westbrook has been nearly as spectacular as Durant of late, averaging 33.8 points over his last four games. He had seven turnovers against the Nuggets after having only five in his previous three games, but still flirted with a triple-double, adding nine assists and eight rebounds. He was also crucial in forcing overtime, scoring seven points over the final three minutes of regulation, including the game-tying 3-pointer with 23 seconds left.
The point guard's 8.3 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game are all career-bests.
"He plays, he competes, he does everything that we ask," said coach Scott Brooks, who was coaching a day after his mother, Lee, died on Saturday. "He improves every year. He plays defense at a high level. He's a two-way player and I don't know if there's a better one in the league that can do both of them."
The Clippers (32-10) had a four-game winning streak stopped in a 106-99 loss at Golden State on Monday. Chris Paul - in his second game back after missing three with a knee injury - finished with a season-low four points on 1-of-7 shooting, though he also recorded nine assists. Coach Vinny Del Negro said Paul's status would be reevaluated for Tuesday's game.
"You could see he doesn't have that extra burst like he usually has," Del Negro said. "It's nice to have him out there because he settles everything down. It's just that he can't play at the level he's used to with the injury."
Jamal Crawford bounced back from a seven-point, 3-of-13 shooting performance in the previous game with 24 points, including a season-best six 3-pointers.
Los Angeles held a seven-point lead with 11 minutes left, but missed all four free throws in the fourth quarter. The Clippers also allowed Stephen Curry to go 4 of 4 from 3-point range in the final 12 minutes.
After Golden State connected on 12 of 22 from long range, the Clippers will need to tighten up defensively against the Thunder, who rank among the league leaders in 3-point percentage (38.8). They went 11 of 23 from beyond the arc in a 117-111 victory on Nov. 21 in the teams' first meeting this season.
Paul struggled in that loss, scoring nine on 2-of-14 shooting, though Blake Griffin had 23 points. Durant scored 35 in that game but missed 19 of 26 shots.
The Clippers have won four in a row at home against the Thunder.
BEST OF MAXIM
NO TIME FOR HIJINKS
Sunday night’s NBA slate featured a hotly contested match-up between the Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder, and as the game tightened late, Nuggets mascot Rocky attempted a couple no-look half-court shots during breaks in the action. Apparently, such mascot shenanigans don’t sit well with Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, who took a page from Celtics forward Kevin Garnett...
Kevin Durant takes Matt Barnes one-on-one and finishes with the HUGE flush. Durant’s big jam came during the 4th quarter of Tuesday night’s game and put the Thunder up 101-85 at Staples Center, as they were in total control over the Clippers and would eventually walk away with the 109-97 win against a strong Western Conference foe. Durant finished with 32 points, 7 assists and...
Over the years, I've seen crazy moments in the NBA but I've never seen an NBA player deny a mascot's half court shot.However, that's exactly what happened during last weekend's tilt between the Denver Nuggets and the Oklahoma City Thunder as OKC's Russell Westbrook denied a shot from Nuggets mascot "Rocky":
Kevin Durant owned the fourth quarter and was in complete takeover mode on Tuesday night vs. the Clippers, evidenced by this thunderous dunk over Lamar Odom. KD is not nice:
The Basketball Gods didn’t like this and Thunder ended up losing in OT.
LOS ANGELES -- Kevin Durant had 32 points, seven assists and seven rebounds to lead the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder to a 109-97 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night at Staples Center in a matchup of the two best teams in the NBA. The highly anticipated showdown between the two titans was dimmed by the absence of Clippers guard Chris Paul, who missed his fourth...
So, this happened:The Denver Nuggets prevailed over the OKC Thunder in a hard-fought, overtime thriller. The biggest beef of the game, however, was between Russell Westbrook and Nuggets mascot Rocky. Russ trolled the fans in Denver by goaltending two of his halfcourt attempts. Per the Denver Post: “Fans now have a villain,’ Ty Lawson said.I’m not sure whose side I’m on. ...
Kenneth Faried scored the go-ahead layup in overtime, and the Denver Nuggets overcame 30-plus point games from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to beat Oklahoma City 121-118, snapping the Thunder's six-game winning streak.
Corey Brewer scored 26 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter, to lead the Nuggets, who reversed a 20-point loss to Oklahoma City last Wednesday. Danilo...
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Coming off a loss two nights earlier in Denver, the Oklahoma City Thunder were more interested in bouncing back with a win than making any statements against the Clippers.
Kevin Durant scored 32 points, Russell Westbrook added 26 and the Thunder won 109-97 on Tuesday night in a matchup of teams with the two best records in the NBA.
"We've got 82 games...
The Denver Nuggets upset the OKC Thunder 121-118 last night. It wasn't because of Russell Westbrook or Kevin Durant who both dropped 30+ points. It might have had something to do with Westbrook wasting his time with the Nuggets mascot Rocky though. Rocky took a couple no look shots during a break in play and Westbrook decided to block both shots. Similar to what Kevin...
DENVER (AP) -- Kenneth Faried scored the go-ahead layup in overtime, and the Denver Nuggets overcame 30-plus point games from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to beat Oklahoma City 121-118, snapping the Thunder's six-game winning streak.
Corey Brewer scored 26 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter, to lead the Nuggets, who reversed a 20-point loss to Oklahoma City last...
Unfortunately, Chris Paul’s absence leaves us with not much to take away from Tuesday night’s feature matchup between the West-leading Thunder and second-place Clippers. Thankfully, however, Kevin Durant was so kind as to make the event very much worth watching. Hopefully you didn’t give up on him at halftime, when he only had eight points, because he finished with an impressive...
DENVER - Kenneth Faried finished with 16 points and made a go-ahead layup late in overtime as the Denver Nuggets held off the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-118 on Sunday night. Kevin Durant scored a game-high 37, and Russell Westbrook had 36 points and nine assists for the Thunder, who were trying to win for their grieving coach, Scott Brooks, who led his team with a heavy heart after...