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The Oklahoma City Thunder fell to the LA Clippers on Friday night 108-92. The Thunder never could find a way to pull ahead in a game where they fell behind 16-0. Yes, 16-0.

The Thunder are 0-2 on the season. It’s the first time the Thunder have started out the regular season 0-2 since 2014-15, the injury plagued season.

“It’s no panic, we’ve got one of the best players coming back to our team at some point,” Paul George said. “But I take a lot pressure on that. I’ve still got to get this group ready to go.”

The Thunder were without Russell Westbrook for the second straight game of the season, and Dennis Schröder once again started at Point Guard. The Clippers started the game on a 16-0 run, but OKC eventually stabilized and got the deficient down to 7 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter was filled with solid defense by the Thunder and missed shots by the Clippers. Abrines had 10 points on five shots going into halftime.

The third quarter was ran by George, who made two 3s, one being a 4 point play, and locking down on the defensive end. The Thunder led 77-71 going into the final 12 minutes with confidence and a positive outlook after their mediocre start to the game. The first four minutes both teams traded buckets with the OKC lead staying at around 6. The tides started to turn. At the 6:51 mark, Paul George would make a 3 to tie the game at 90. OKC would only score 2 more points in the last 6 minutes and 51 seconds. The last six minutes were filled with bricks by Dennis Schröder and Paul George, as they would combine for 0-8 shooting. The Clippers just made shots and OKC didn’t.

Dennis Schröder and Paul George combined for 28 points on 9-of-42 shooting, which is unacceptable and the reason why the Thunder lost the game. PG made up for some of his shortcomings on the offensive end in his 3rd quarter stint, but being good one-fourth of the time isn’t going to lead to Ws. Schröder was off the whole game and Felton might have been the better choice to close the game.

The Thunder will return to OKC for their home-opener on Sunday, October 21 to face the winless Sacramento Kings at 6 p.m. local time. Russell Westbrook is likely to make his 2018-19 debut as he was cleared today for full-contact.

Keys to the Game

 

Rebounding A

The Thunder outrebounded the Clippers 52-47 with 15 offensive boards compared to the Clippers 9. Steven Adams had 18 rebounds (6 O 12 D) tonight, which is a great bounce back from his poor performance vs the Warriors on Tuesday.

Free Throws C+

The Thunder were 17-23 from the line on Friday night, which is around 74%. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than the monstrosity that was 15-27 on Tuesday night.

Bench B+

The Thunder’s bench tonight was solid, the starters were the ones that let the team down. The bench scored 38 points, with Raymond Felton leading the bench in scoring with 12. Nerlens Noel played a solid 14 minutes scoring 9 points and locking down on the defensive end. Alex Abrines played 32 (!!) minutes off the bench tonight, scoring 10, but failing to score at all in the second half.

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James Horvath