National Basketball Association
Preview
Oklahoma City at L.A. Clippers
When: 10:00 PM ET, Friday, January 22, 2021
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

Third-quarter spurts have boosted the Los Angeles Clippers during their five-game winning streak.

"The third quarter, (we) just come out and try to set the tone defensively," Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said after his club posted a 115-96 win over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday in Los Angeles. "I thought we did a good job with that."

The Clippers will try to extend their run when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first of back-to-back contests on Friday and Sunday.

Against the Kings, Kawhi Leonard had 32 points and five assists. He also recorded six of the Clippers' 14 steals. Leonard ranked second to Cleveland's Larry Nance in steals at 2.1 per game through Wednesday.

Paul George contributed 19 points, a career-tying 12 assists and seven rebounds, while Nicolas Batum and Ivica Zubac added 11 points apiece against Sacramento. Zubac also grabbed a season-best 12 rebounds.

"(Zubac) was big for us," Lue said. "His size and strength around the basket was huge for us, especially when they were blitzing the pick-and-roll."

Los Angeles has been blitzing opponents in the third quarter. In their last three wins, the Clippers have outscored the opposition 110-55. Leonard's 12 points helped them best the Kings 34-19 in the third for a 95-75 advantage heading into the fourth. Sacramento got no closer than 11 the rest of the way.

The Thunder have played well on the road, compiling a 5-2 mark. However, the start of this five-game trip didn't begin. The Thunder lost 119-101 in Denver to the Nuggets on Tuesday. Luguentz Dort scored 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including 3-of-6 3-pointers, with five rebounds, while former Clippers player Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 14 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the Thunder, who have dropped three of their last four contests. Isaiah Roby chipped in 10 points, nine rebounds and four steals.

Oklahoma City trailed 65-52 at the break before Denver seized command in the third quarter, outscoring the Thunder 32-22 for an 97-74 lead.

"Tonight, the way they play defensively, they've got their big up in pick-and-roll coverage, and they've got really active hands and they really force you to throw precision passes and really take care of the ball," Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. "They slap, they reach and they grab, and they're pretty disruptive with it. It was something that obvious gave us problems tonight."

The Nuggets forced 19 Thunder turnovers. They also outrebounded the Thunder 63-55, including an 18-9 edge on the offensive end.

"That's the reason why they're a good team," Daigneault said. "They make you do everything well, and obviously we didn't do that well enough in terms of getting rebounding. We did try to address it at halftime. I thought the guys did make a concerted effort to move forward there, but it was a little too much."

Thunder big man Al Horford (personal reasons) wasn't available for the third consecutive contest. His wife recently gave birth to a baby girl.

--Field Level Media

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Oklahoma City 6-7 L1 1-5 5-2 0-0 6-7 0-2 1-5
L.A. Clippers 11-4 W5 6-2 5-2 1-1 10-3 5-1 9-4
Last Meeting
Oklahoma City L.A. Clippers
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
8/14/20 OKC 103 LAC 107 103 48 35.8 107 61 40.0
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Oklahoma City H. Diallo 27 45.5 3
L.A. Clippers T. Mann 25 66.7 8
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Oklahoma City H. Diallo 11 4 7
L.A. Clippers T. Mann 14 4 10
Assists Player  
Oklahoma City D. Burton 5
L.A. Clippers T. Mann 9
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Oklahoma City S. Gilgeous-Alexander 311 50.0 64
L.A. Clippers P. George 377 50.6 70
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Oklahoma City D. Bazley 106 12 94
L.A. Clippers I. Zubac 100 36 64
Assists Player  
Oklahoma City S. Gilgeous-Alexander 93
L.A. Clippers P. George 88
Quickchart Matchup
Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Off vs  L.A. Clippers L.A. Clippers Defense
Oklahoma City Off vs L.A. Clippers - Points For 105.6 Points For
Oklahoma City Off vs L.A. Clippers - Points Against 107.8 Points Against
Oklahoma City - FG% 44.6 FG%
L.A. Clippers - FG% 46.8 FG%
Oklahoma City - Reb 44.7 Reb
L.A. Clippers - Reb 40.3 Reb
L.A. Clippers L.A. Clippers Off vs  Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Defense
L.A. Clippers Off vs Oklahoma City - Points For 114.9 Points For
L.A. Clippers Off vs Oklahoma City - Points Against 112.6 Points Against
L.A. Clippers - FG% 48.6 FG%
Oklahoma City - FG% 46.0 FG%
L.A. Clippers - Reb 42.3 Reb
Oklahoma City - Reb 50.0 Reb