Oklahoma City Thunder (21-17, 7-11 away) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (17-19, 10-7 home)

Thursday, Jan. 4 :: 9:30 p.m. CST :: Staples Center (21,000)
Coverage: TNT (245 DirecTV, 31 Cox, 730 HD 108 AT&T U-Verse, 138 Dish)
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 1-point favorite. The over/under is 214.
Online Stream: Fox Sports Go | TNT | WWLS Sports AnimalLive Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Clippers: here


  • Losers of two in a row, the Oklahoma City Thunder are trying to find a way to right the ship as they go to the City of Angeles to start their three-game road trip tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers.
  • This is Paul George’s first game in Los Angeles since telling the Indiana Pacers he wanted to play for the the Lakers, despite George growing up to be a Clipper’s fan.
  • Oklahoma City is only 6-11 on the road this season but have won four of their last five away from Chesapeake Energy Arena, dating back to Dec. 9.


  • 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).
  • Tonight’s game is on TNT, for those not in the Thunder market. Tonight’s crew is Marv Albert, Chris Webber, Brent Barry & David Aldridge.


  • The Los Angeles Clippers are 17-19 on the season, ninth in the Western Conference.
  • In their last 10 games, the Clippers are 6-4.
  • Right now, the Clippers have won four in a row, the hottest team in the NBA.
  • In their first meeting, the Thunder beat the Clippers 120-111 on Nov. 10.
  • In their season series, the Thunder and Clippers slit the season series 2-2.
  • All-time against the Clippers, Oklahoma City is 133-75.
  • Since relocation, Oklahoma City is 18-16 vs. L.A.
  • When playing at Staples, Oklahoma City is 8-9 against the Clippers.
    Danilo Gallinari (hip) is out.
    Patrick Beverley (knee) is out.
    Austin Rivers (achilles) is out.
  • 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).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (22 points) vs. the Clippers occurred during an 98-120 loss on Jan. 16, 2017.

What is a Clipper? Why?

  • When the NBA’s Buffalo Braves moved to San Diego in 1978, the owners wanted to re-brand the team with a new nickname. They settled on Clippers, a popular type of ship during the 19th century.
  • San Diego had been home to the Conquistadors/Sails of the ABA during the 1970s.
  • Donald Sterling bought the Clippers during the 1981-82 season and relocated them to his native Los Angeles in 1984.
  • He lost all respect in San Diego but kept the Clippers name.


  • The Oklahoma City Thunder added a bunch of new faces this year.
  • Paul George was acquired on June 30 for Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo.
  • Carmelo Anthony joins the Thunder after Oklahoma City sent Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second round pick to the Knickerbockers for Anthony.
  • Oklahoma City also signed Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson via free agency.
  • Terrance Ferguson was drafted in the first round out of Australia.
  • Oklahoma City also added PJ Dozier, undrafted rookie out of South Carolina to a two-way deal.


  • Andre Roberson is OUT (left patellar tendonitis)


  • Oklahoma City goes to Phoenix on Sunday to wrap up a short road trip.
  • The Thunder then have a home-road back-to-back next week against the Trail Blazers and Timberwolves on Tuesday, Jan. 9 and Wednesday, Jan. 10.

Three Keys to the Game

Third quarter

Win the third quarter. When the Thunder win the third quarter, they’re 11-0. When they lose, they’re 10-17 on the year. So, win the third quarter and you win the game. It’s pretty simple as that. Especially as the quarter has been the thorn in the side of Oklahoma City all season long.

Share the ball

Oklahoma City is 12-2 when they care share the ball. The Clippers are 13-2 when they when the share game, too. Oklahoma City has to share the ball. Get everyone involved and that’ll get the win. I don’t think last night’s 37 assists will be something they’ll match but share the ball and you’ll win.


The Oklahoma City Thunder have rebounded well lately but they’ll have to do it again tonight. Oklahoma City is 15-6 when they can grab more boards than their opponent.

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Chuck Chaney

Founder & Editor-in-Chief.
Member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.