If you never watched the Oklahoma City before, you would assume this is Paul George’s team. The three-spot dropped 33 points en route to the Thunder beating the Los Angeles Clippers 110-104 on Saturday night.
Oklahoma City improved to 18-10 on the season as the Thunder are now a third of the way through the schedule.
The Thunder are now 3-1 on the second night of a back-to-back.
It was the fourth time in seven December games George scored at least 30 points. He’s averaging 29.1 points this month while shooting 52 percent from the field.
“I thought they came back really focused and ready to play tonight,” Billy Donovan said.
Oklahoma City trailed for only a second, with Danilo Gallinari hitting a jumper to give the Clippers (17-12) a 2-0 lead early. However, Oklahoma City would rattle off six straight to lead for the rest of the contest.
It was the Oklahoma City defense that led the charge. They forced 26 turnovers, the most for any Thunder opponent this season. It was just a suffocating style the Clippers had no response for. Russell Westbrook had six steals.
“When we defend like that, we’re the best team in the league,” Westbrook said. “We have to defend to win.”
Westbrook finished with 13 points, nine rebounds, 12 assists and six steals. He shot 4-of-17 but as stated, did more as his offensive side continues to struggle. He also made 2-of-3 at the free throw line.
Oklahoma City already led by 11 at halftime. The NBA’s best third quarter team did it again as they popped the Clippers repeatedly in the third quarter, led by George. He scored nine points in the frame and the Thunder led by as many as 17 in the quarter to give them the best cushion.
“Each game is a battle of its own,” George said. “It’s a chance for us to grow. We lost two straight, and it was good for us to come home and get one [a win]. That was big for us, not necessarily the win over the opponent.”
Though, the Clippers didn’t go away, they were able to pull within six with a minute left but the Thunder did what they needed to seal the game. Unlike in Denver where the Nuggets were able to put the game out of reach.
Oklahoma City will now host the Chicago Bulls on Monday night at the Peake. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. We’ll have your game day coverage as always on our social media channels.
Keys to the Game
Make Free throws: B
I know I shouldn’t be giving a 70 percent free throw shooting night a B but the Thunder feel as if they’re finally figuring out that free throw shooting thing that seems to have bugged them so much. 75 percent. That’s all any one is asking for. We know we’re not hitting 80 percent. That’s fine. Let’s be average. That’s all.
Share the ball: A+
The Thunder did a great job getting involved. Oklahoma City dished out 26 assists en route to the victory. Westbrook had 12 and Dennis Schröder had four off the bench. When the Thunder share like this and get multiple people involved, Oklahoma City goes bananas and wins, most of the time.
Russell Westbrook: C
Like, no one knows what’s going on with Westbrook on the shooting part of his game. It’s the only thing missing from another MVP like season. He’s being a defensive beast. He leads the league in assists. He’s the best rebounding guard NBA history. Something is wrong and it appears Westbrook doesn’t even know what it is yet.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!