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News » Clippers get even with OKC

Clippers get even with OKC

Clippers get even with OKCFor the second time in a week, the Thunder followed a big win with a disappointing loss.

Last week, the Thunder routed the Orlando Magic. Two days later, they lost to Sacramento, a Kings team they routed in the season opener.

This time, the Thunder was coming off a big road win over the Spurs but lost 101-93 to the Clippers, the same team it defeated four days ago in Los Angeles.

"Give credit to the Clippers," said Kevin Durant. "They came out and played hard and tough on both ends. It was a bad loss for us. But we can learn from it that especially on back-to-backs we have to bring energy from the beginning."

Oklahoma City rallied from a 13-point third-quarter deficit to own a 76-75 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

But in a game featuring 25 lead changes, the Thunder's final lead (93-92) was with 1:59 left. OKC would not score again.

"We need to play better defense, especially in the fourth quarter," said Nenad Krstic. "We also need to rebound better with all five guys going for the rebound."

The Thunder won the overall rebounding battle 48-42, but five Clipper offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter were pivotal.

Durant scored a season-high 40 points, but the rest of his teammates shot 31.7 percent from the field. Durant drained two 3-pointers, but his teammates were 1-of-16 beyond the arc.

Veteran center Marcus Camby felt his Clippers might have an edge since they arrived in Oklahoma City on Saturday while the Thunder was playing in San Antonio.

"That's part of NBA Basketball," said coach Scott Brooks. "Every team has from 17 to 20 back-to-backs a year. It's not easy. But you can't give in to it. Every team has to go through it, fight through it. You're going to have games like this where you have to suck it up and be physical when you're tired.

"It's no excuse. I thought (the Clippers) played well. They're a talented group. They're off to a bad start. But they have a good coach and are going to win their share of games. It wasn't like we lost to a bad team. They have enough talent they can turn it around."

Strange but true: The Thunder has a better road record (3-2) than in the Ford Center (2-3).

The Thunder now faces its toughest back-to-back thus far this season Tuesday and Wednesday on the road against Miami and Orlando.

"The successful teams bring it every night," Durant said. "If we learn how to do that, I think guys know we can win these games. As opposed to last season where it was tough, we're putting ourselves in position (to win). Down the stretch we're right there.

"That's what we have to realize - be more careful with the Basketball, make shots, play defense and rebound the Basketball and we'll be all right."

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 19, 2009


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