Game Day

Thunder Game Day #34: vs. L.A. Clippers

Thunder Game Day #34: vs. L.A. Clippers

Oklahoma City Thunder (20-13, 12-6 home) vs. L.A. Clippers (22-13, 11-7 away)
Saturday, Dec. 31 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena(18,203)

Thunder Game Day #34 vs. L.A. Clippersvs. Thunder Digest

TV: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 676-5, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27, U-Verse 751/1751 HD)
Online Streamhere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: Oklahoma City is a 5-point favorite. O/U is 209
Notes: Thunder: here | Clippers: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • A humbling loss to the Grizzlies in their last game, leads Oklahoma City into a show down with Western Conference foe, the L.A. Clippers.
  • L.A. and Oklahoma City have split the regular season match ups this season.
  • Russell Westbrook is averaging 32.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists in two games against the Clippers.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Brian Davis and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma)

Russell Westbrook trip-dubs

  • Russell Westbrook has 52 career triple-doubles, that’s best for sixth all-time.
  • 16 of the 50 are against Houston, Orlando, Washington, and Philadelphia. He has four against each team.
  • Russell Westbrook seven triple-doubles in a row this season is the most since 1989 when Jordan had seven in a row and 10 in 11 games.

Injury Report

  • Cameron Payne is still out with a foot fracture.
  • Victor Oladipo (wrist) is a out.

50 is nifty

  • On March 24, the Thunder claimed a 22-point home victory over the Jazz and in the process, OKC recorded the team’s 50th win of the season.
  • Oklahoma City has now finished with a winning percentage of .610 (equivalent to 50 wins) six times dating back to the 2009-10 season.
  • Only the San Antonio Spurs (seven seasons with .610 winning percentage), have reached that benchmark more during this period.

Still good odds

  • According to Sportsbook, the Oklahoma City Thunder have the eighth best odds to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
  • They have the fifthbest odds to win the Western Conference behind, the Clippers, Spurs, Rockets, and the Warriors.

Scouting the Grizzlies

  • The Clippers are 22-13 on the season, fourth in the West.
  • The Thunder is 16-15 against the Clippers during the Oklahoma City era.
  • Oklahoma City is 8-7 at home against the L.A. since relocation.
  • The Thunder are 4-2 in their last six against the Clippers.
  • Both teams split their first two meetings, winning on their opponent’s floor.
  • Blake Griffin (knee) is out.
  • Brice Johnson (back) is out.
  • Wesley Johnson (ankle) is a game-time decision.
  • Chris Paul (hamstring) is a game-time decision.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Los Angeles came on April 15, 2009, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 126-85 (41-point margin of victory).
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (20 points) vs. the Clippers occurred during an 88-108 loss on March 24, 2009.

Keys to the Game

Bench

Clippers are deep, and they have been since Doc Rivers arrived. Oklahoma City’s bench is going to be needed a lot tonight, especially since it’s the first night of a back-to-back. They need to show up and show out. We’re looking at Enes Kanter, Alex Abrines, and hopefully Jerami Grant.

Thunder Money Ball

The Thunder have to find a way to create space by hitting threes. If they can’t do that. It’ll 1) Let L.A. stay in the game and Oklahoma City could be looking at an L quickly. 2) Cause a low scoring game that might set off all sort of alarms on the Thunder’s offense.

Play your own speed

Oklahoma City wants to play fast and the Raptors don’t. That’s no more apparent than looking at their paces. Oklahoma City is averaging almost 101 possessions per game, while L.A. is averaging under 97. It’s that fast pace, ball movement an forcing turnovers that help Oklahoma City get these extra possessions. That’s why the Thunder have to continue to do this tonight. Cannot play down to the speed of L.A.

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