Thunder Clobber Clippers But Lose Adams To Broken Hand
By Randy Renner
This season it seems even the silver linings are tarnished for the snakebit Thunder.
Center Kendrick Perkins was suspended for Sunday's game so Mitch McGary got extended playing time and took full advantage with a double-double, scoring 19 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. McGary was playing in just his third NBA game, but he just played garbage minutes in the other two and has missed considerable time with two injuries during the season. McGary brought instant energy off the bench and showed a lot of potential for the future and it's a good thing.
Because that silver lining lost some luster when OKC starting center Steven Adams apparently broke his right hand in an incident eerily similar to the play that resulted in Russell Westbrook's broken hand earlier in the season.
The Thunder for now are saying only that Adams has a right hand injury but talk around the arena after the game was that it was in fact broken.
It's not known for sure how long Adams will be out but a good guess would be about a month, depending on the severity of the break and whether surgery is needed.
The Thunder rolled past the Clippers 131-108 who were without Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick. Griffin will have surgery in Los Angeles Monday for a staph infection in his right elbow.
The loss of Adams is a serious loss but at least Perkins will be back for Monday's game in Denver and the Thunder know now they can rely on McGary for perhaps more than they previously thought.
Most of the Thunder starters remained on the bench in the fourth quarter. Kevin Durant finished with 29 points on 10-for-15 shooting, he also had six assists and five rebounds. Russell Westbrook missed his first eight shots and finished 6-for-19 scoring 19 points, he also pulled down 11 rebounds and handed out five assists.
The Thunder bench, which didn't do much at all Friday night against New Orleans, played great Sunday against the Clippers and at times dominated the game scoring 57 points. McGary's 19 led the way, Dion Waiters added 16 on 5-for-10 shooting and Reggie Jackson had an excellent game, scoring 15 points on 6-for-6 from the field while handing out six assists.
The Thunder shot 52.3 percent and made eight of their 20 threes (40 percent).
OKC will play at Denver Monday night and by then we should know just how long Adams will be out. The upcoming extended All-Star break will help but it certainly appears likely he will miss quite a bit of time. The Thunder jost Memphis on Wednesday night then head out for the break, returning to action a week from Thursday hosting Dallas.
The win moves the Thunder back up over .500 at 26-25.