4 Quarters: Clippers vs. Thunder
By: Addam Francisco, Senior Writer.
1st Quarter: 27-20, LAC
Keyword(s): Slow start| The bench.
It was a disastrous start for Oklahoma City, trailing 16-0 to start the game but after Paul George got an easy driving layup, things started to open up offensively. Alex Abrines and Nerlens Noel may have been the two most confident players in the first quarter, combining for 9 points as the rest of the team shot 3-of-20 from the field.
Shot selection was the biggest flaw for OKC, especially Schröder, along with defense, allowing Los Angeles to shoot 50 percent.
2nd Quarter: 26-21, OKC.
Keyword(s): Abrines| Defense| Offense.
The second quarter was much better than the first in almost every way for the Thunder. First of all, Abrines kept the Thunder afloat through the first half with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting. He simply made buckets every time the Thunder seemed to slip behind.
The Thunder as a team looked much better defensively, lowering Los Angeles’ shooting percentage to 34.9 percent, instead of the 50 percent clip they shot at in the third quarter, and that’s what fueled the improved offense for OKC.
Lastly, Steven Adams started to impose his will in the second, en route to a seven-point, 10 rebound half.
Keyword(s): Strong start | Paul George
For the second time this season, the Thunder started the the third quarter strong both offensively and defensively, forcing three early Clippers turnovers which resulted in a 9-1 run.
Steven Adams has imposed his will on both sides of the court, scoring 11 points, making multiple stops on the defensive end and collecting 14 rebounds as well. The overall story of the third quarter was Paul George and the way he warmed up to dominance in consecutive games. To go along with smothering on-ball defense, George packed on 13 of his 17 points in the quarter.
Additional development: Russell Westbrook (not active) came off the bench and exchanged some words with LA’s Montrezl Harrell during the quarter.
4th Quarter: FINAL: 108-93.
Everything good from the third quarter went down the drain when it mattered. OKC’s defense surrendered 37 points in the fourth and the offense could only muster up 15. The Clippers simply started hitting shots as the Thunder stopped playing defense and the Thunder offense went stagnant, shooting very poorly and not able to get anything to fall in the paint. Boban Marjanovic’s size made the difference in the final quarter for LA.
Paul George: 20 points, 8 rebounds (7-27 FG)
Steven Adams: 17 points, 18 rebounds (8-11 FG)
Raymond Felton: 12 points. (5-12 FG)
Alex Abrines: 10 points (4-10 FG)