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Paul George drops 42 as OKC ends losing streak

Paul George became the first person not named Russell Westbrook, James Harden or Kevin Durant to drop 40 points or more in an Oklahoma City uniform as the Thunder ended their four-game losing streak. Oklahoma City beat the L.A. Clippers 120-111 on Friday night.

Oklahoma City improved to 5-7 on the season.

George finished 13-of-22 from the floor, including 12-of-15 from the free throw line as Oklahoma City led by as many as 20 points in the contest. It’s the first time Paul George has scored 40 points or more since April 2, 2017 against the Cleveland Cavaliers when he played with Indiana.

“It really is just chemistry,” George said. “When I got here, one of the talks we had about what was best with offense was the movement. Coach Donovan was happy that he could utilize me in that situation of moving and getting some flow in offense, so I’m comfortable with that. It’s good for me to get going and move around a little bit.”

All of the Thunder starters finished positive in the plus/minus, while the entire bench was in the negative. Thus, being one of the issues Oklahoma City face during the losing streak.

Russell Westbrook had 22 points and eight assists in the Thunder’s highest-scoring game of the season. Carmelo Anthony and Alex Abrines each scored 14 points.

George also finished with nine rebounds and seven assists.

“I was just trying to stay in attack mode,” George said. “If plays opened up and there was opportunities to find guys, I was trying to, but it just seems that a lot of the plays just ended up me one on one with a big at the rim.”

George had 21 points at the half as the Thunder led 63-55.

Oklahoma City push their lead out to 82-62 with 6:06 left in the third after an Anthony jumper.

L.A. would climb back in it, tying the game at 105-all with 5:37 remaining as Austin Rivers nailed a corner three to tie.

Oklahoma City played like they hadn’t done in the last few games, and pushed the lead back out. Oklahoma City would end the game on a 15-6 run.

The Thunder now will welcome in the lowly Dallas Mavericks on Sunday. Oklahoma City has won six of the last seven against Dallas. It’s scheduled for a 6 p.m. tip-off on Fox Sports Oklahoma.

Keys to the Game

Shoot well: A+

Oklahoma City shot over 50 percent from the field to get the victory. It’s only the second time this season the Thunder shot over 50 percent. They lost the other one to Minnesota. Everyone did their part, even Dakari Johnson, who went 3-of-5 with nine points.

Share the ball: A+

The Thunder are now 5-1 when they have 21 or more assists. They’re 0-6 when they have 20 or less assists. Oklahoma City does a good job when they share the ball and getting everyone involved. It’s not every day we see someone nearly have as many assists as Westbrook.

Big Three Play Well: A+

It’s been a minute since we’ve seen the Big Three play well. Oklahoma City’s trio finished with 78 points on 26-of-50, just a shade over 50 percent. They had been combing for a devastating shooting percentage in the high 30s. This type of outcome is hard to beat, I don’t care who you are.

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