4 Quarters: Thunder vs. Clippers, Round 2
By Addam Francisco, Senior Writer
1st Quarter: 33-25 Clippers.
Keyword(s): Westbrook and Gallinari.
Every time Danilo Gallinari graces Oklahoma City he has a near-career night. That narrative seemed really likely in the first quarter as he tallied 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting, including a perfect 2-of-2 from 3. Russell Westbrook countered that with 12 points of his own, attacking the basket aggressively each time, shooting 6-of-8 in his first 11 minutes. However, the Thunder defense allowed 50 percent shooting from the Clippers, and a more detrimental 50 percent from long distance, netting five threes in the opening quarter.
2nd Quarter: 67-54 Clippers.
Keyword(s): Second team, Fouls.
The Thunder second team did an outstanding job defensively against the Clippers, getting off to a 9-3 start to the quarter but the phantom fouls started rolling in, their defensive drive started lacking and the they started to fall behind. On a good note, Alex Abrines’ defense on Lou Williams was rather impressive.
3rd Quarter: 93-77 Thunder.
Keyword(s): Compete dominance.
After an uninspired end to the first half, Oklahoma City did a spectacular job getting back on track defensively, which as usual, resulted in plenty of transition buckets and easy looks on offense. The Thunder started the third quarter on a 23-2 run, flipping a 13-point Clipper halftime lead to a 16-point lead by the end of the quarter. They outscored the Clippers 39-10.
4th Quarter: 128-110 Thunder.
Keyword(s): Maintain. Russell vs. Beverley.
After building the momentum and the lead in the third quarter, Oklahoma City seemed to maintain in the fourth. Of course, the Clippers scored more than 10 points in the final 12 minutes but the Thunder’s confidence took over. The moment fans were waiting for between Patrick Beverley and Westbrook finally came to fruition after Beverley went for Westbrook’s knees, or the ball (?), causing an altercation that resulted in double-technical fouls and a flagrant on Beverley. Nevertheless, the Thunder found a way to ramp up the defense in the second half and pick up their second win of the season, propelling them to (2-4) on the season.
Key stat lines:
Russell Westbrook: 32 points (13/25 FG), 9 assists and 4 rebounds.
Paul George: 32 points (9/18 FG) 12 rebounds, 2 blocks.
Steven Adams: 18 points (8-15 FG), 10 rebounds.