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Oklahoma City Thunder

Game Preview #71 | Los Angeles Clippers

The Thunder Guys

thethunderguys

Tip-Off: 7 PM CT

Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City, OK)

Television: FSOK

Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal

Twitter: Follow @TheThunderGuys for live-tweets during the game

The Oklahoma City Thunder is riding a four-game win streak, and it could not have come at a better time. With only 12 games left in the regular season, the Thunder currently sits at fourth in the Western Conference, but there is very little wiggle room the rest of the way. Not only are the standings tight, but the Thunder is on the wrong side of several tie breakers, so they need to continue winning to ensure the best possible spot in the playoffs that they can get.

Tonight, the Thunder hosts the Los Angeles Clippers, who are fighting for a playoff spot themselves. The Clippers are currently in ninth, but they are tied with the Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs in the loss column, so a win tonight would help them climb into a playoff spot.

The Thunder holds a 2-0 advantage over the Clippers on the season, but this is the first time the two teams will play since Blake Griffin was traded to the Detroit Pistons. Steven Adams and Paul George were both at the morning shootaround today, but their availability for tonight has yet to be determined.

If Oklahoma City has to play without two of its key starters, then they will rely heavily on Russell Westbrook to carry the load, which he has had no trouble doing lately. Westbrook has tallied a triple-double in three consecutive games, and he is on the brink of averaging a triple-double on the season for the second year in a row. No matter who plays tonight, the Thunder desperately needs Westbrook to play solid basketball as they are far more likely to experience success if he plays in an efficient manner.

Projected Starters

Thunder

  • PG: Russell Westbrook
  • SG: Corey Brewer
  • SF: Paul George
  • PF: Carmelo Anthony
  • C: Steven Adams

Clippers

  • PG: Austin Rivers
  • SG: Lou Williams
  • SF: Sindarius Thornwell
  • PF: Tobias Harris
  • C: DeAndre Jordan

Injuries

Thunder

  • Steven Adams (left hip contusion) is QUESTIONABLE.
  • Paul George (pelvic sprain) is QUESTIONABLE.
  • Andre Roberson (left patellar surgery) is OUT.

Clippers

  • Patrick Beverley (right knee surgery) is OUT.
  • Avery Bradley (adductor/rectus abdominus surgery) is OUT.
  • Danilo Gallinari (right hand contusion/non-displaced fracture) is OUT.

Head-to-Head

  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 19-16 against the Clippers (10-7 at home, 9-9 on the road).
  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder has won the season series against the Clippers three times, tied three times, and lost three times.
  • The Thunder is 2-0 against the Clippers so far this season (0-0 at home, 2-0 on the road).
  • The Thunder split the season series 2-2 with the Clippers a year ago.
  • The Thunder has won 6 of the last 8 matchups with the Clippers.

Game Notes

  • Oklahoma City has won four games in a row, while Los Angeles most recently lost to the Houston Rockets.
  • Oklahoma City is 7-3 in the last 10 games, while Los Angeles is also 7-3.
  • Oklahoma City is 24-11 at home, while Los Angeles is 17-16 on the road.
  • Oklahoma City is 24-20 against the Western Conference, while Los Angeles is 22-20.
  • Oklahoma City is 8-4 after two days of rest, while Los Angeles is 3-8 on the second night of a back-to-back.
  • With 12 games left in the season, the Thunder is currently fourth in the Western Conference, only 2 games back of third, but also only 2.5 games ahead of the teams in ninth and tenth.
  • Russell Westbrook has recorded a triple-double in the last three games.

Be sure to check out this week’s episode of Thunder Things with the Thunder Guys.

Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter & Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

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