NBA

Soaring Clippers look to even score with Thunder

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Clippers will try to even the score with the Oklahoma City Thunder when the two teams collide again Monday at Staples Center.

The Clippers (28-14) are riding a six-game winning streak after a 113-97 victory Saturday over the Los Angeles Lakers. It's the longest run by the Clippers since they won seven in a row in November and opened the season with a 14-2 mark. One of those losses was an 85-83 setback to the Thunder at Staples on Nov. 2.

However, the Clippers avenged that loss during their streak with a 110-108 win at Oklahoma City on Nov. 11.

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The Thunder, though, has captured two of their three previous meetings this season, with the last one a 114-88 blowout on Dec. 31 at Oklahoma City.

Slowing Russell Westbrook is the focus of many teams, but of course, it's easier said than done. Clippers coach Doc Rivers mentioned his club needs to "build a wall" around Westbrook before he and the media erupted in laughter after Rivers immediately realized his choice of words.

"Westbrook is a force of nature," Rivers told the L.A. Daily News. "He's that good right now. You can't invest all your time trying to stop him because you're not."

Westbrook was practically unstoppable again Sunday night, recording his 20th triple-double of the season in a 122-118 victory over the host Sacramento Kings. Westbrook finished with 36 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

It was the 57th career triple-double for Westbrook. Westbrook is three assists shy of passing Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird for fifth on the NBA's all-time list.

Enes Kanter contributed 29 points and 12 boards for the Thunder (25-17), who have won four of the last five.

"That's just what he does," Westbrook said of Kanter. "I wouldn't call it a hot streak. That's just what he does. He's the best guy off the bench in the league. I really believe that."

In their last outing Saturday, Clippers center DeAndre Jordan had 24 points on 12-of-13 shooting and 21 rebounds in a lopsided win over the Lakers.

Jordan, who was second in the NBA in rebounding at 13.9 boards per game entering Sunday's games, earned his seventh 20-point, 20-rebound game this season. That ties him with Elton Brand for the most in franchise history.

"He was terrific," Rivers said. "He was as dominant of a force as you can have in the NBA. That's how good he was."

Oklahoma City will be playing the third game of their six-game journey at Staples. On Wednesday, the Thunder face former mate Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday in Oakland, Calif. Oklahoma City closes out the trip to visit to the Utah Jazz on Jan. 23 and the New Orleans Pelicans on Jan. 25.

The Thunder might be forced to play the Clippers without starting center Steven Adams. Adams, who has started all 42 of the Thunder previous contests, took a blow to the head late in the first half in the win over the Kings and was evaluated for a concussion. His status is unknown for Monday's game.