Clippers try to continue hot start against mighty Thunder
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Clippers are off to an impressive start and look to extend their winning streak to seven games Wednesday against the defending Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Clippers won their sixth in a row Monday with a 92-87 decision against the San Antonio Spurs in the opener of a four-game road trip. Chris Paul scored 19 points and Blake Griffin compiled 16 and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, whose 8-2 start is the best since going 9-2 back in 2005-06.
Matt Barnes contributed off the bench, scoring 14 points, and DeAndre Jordan finished with 13 in the win. The Clippers grabbed some breathing room by outscoring the Spurs 29-14 in the second quarter. San Antonio did trim a 10- point deficit to two points late in the game, but L.A. scored five of the game's final seven points.
Paul hit the deciding shot the down stretch to make it 91-87.
"It's a great win for us," said Los Angeles head coach Vinny Del Negro. "San Antonio is going to keep playing hard. We didn't do a good job at the end. We gave a couple of three's up but our guys battled and we made some big shots."
Los Angeles hasn't won seven in a row since an eight-game run from Nov. 30- Dec. 15, 1991, and will visit Brooklyn and Atlanta on the swing.
The Clippers are third in the NBA with 101.5 ppg and have scored 100-plus points in eight of their first 10 games. In injury news, Clippers forward Caron Butler suffered a right shoulder strain in the first half and did not return. He is questionable against the Thunder.
Oklahoma City has won two straight and improved to 8-3 on the season with Sunday's 119-109 win versus Golden State.
Kevin Durant, a three-time scoring champion, had the first triple-double of his career and burned the Warriors for 25 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
"Some guys can just pass, some guys can just shoot, some guys can just rebound. Obviously, with Kevin, he can do many things on the floor and we always have to challenge him because we don't know how good he will end up being," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of Durant.
Russell Westbrook netted 30 points and added seven assists and five steals for the Thunder, who shot 50.6 percent and buried 13-of-20 3-pointers. Kevin Martin knocked down 5-of-7 from beyond the arc and finished with 23 points. Serge Ibaka posted 16 points, eight boards and two blocks.
For the first time this season Oklahoma City allowed a team to shoot better than 50 percent (52.4 percent).
Oklahoma City will head east following tonight's game for showdowns with Boston and Philadelphia.
The Thunder lost three of four meetings with the Clippers last season. L.A. has won eight of the last 13 road matchups between the teams.
11/21 10:52:29 ET