Published November 20, 2014
The Los Angeles Clippers are still jockeying for position in the Western Conference standings and a matchup tonight with the mighty Oklahoma City Thunder could alter a few postseason scenarios.
The Clippers are seeded fourth in the standings -- one-half game ahead of Memphis -- and sit 1 1/2 games behind the rival Lakers for the Pacific Division lead. They opened a three-game road trip with Monday's 94-85 setback against the Grizzlies, as Chris Paul paced the Clippers with 21 points and Blake Griffin finished with 19.
DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and 14 rebounds for Los Angeles, which entered the game having won eight of nine games and fell to 13-14 as the visitor.
"They were more aggressive, more physical and we struggled to shoot the ball. We didn't make enough shots to take some of the pressure off us," Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said.
Los Angeles will close out the trek Thursday at Minnesota. Clippers guard Mo Williams is questionable for tonight with a sprained left big toe
Oklahoma City will play two games at home, starting with tonight's tilt with the Clippers followed by a matchup with Sacramento. The Thunder have won two in a row since a three-game slide and are coming off Monday's 109-89 drubbing of the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center.
Russell Westbrook scored 26 points and pulled down seven rebounds, while Kevin Durant netted 19 points to go with eight assists and four boards for the Western Conference-leading Thunder, who are just one game ahead of San Antonio for the top spot.
"You don't expect to go on Milwaukee's floor and win by 20, but I thought our defensive mindset was outstanding from the start," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.
James Harden added 16 points off the bench for Oklahoma City. After their modest two-game homestand, the Northwest Division-champion Thunder will hit the road for five games against the Timberwolves, Clippers, Suns, Kings and Lakers.
Oklahoma City and the Clippers have split a pair of contests this season with each team holding serve as the host. The Clips are winless in three straight trips to the OKC.