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News » Clippers-Thunder Preview 2009-11-15

Clippers-Thunder Preview 2009-11-15

Clippers-Thunder Preview 2009-11-15It took the Oklahoma City Thunder just over two months to win their sixth game last season. They likely won't need to go as long to reach that mark in 2009-10.

Off to their best start in five years, the Thunder try for a third straight victory when they face the Los Angeles Clippers for the second time in five days Sunday night at the Ford Center.

After posting an 83-79 road win over the struggling Clippers (3-7) on Wednesday, Oklahoma City handed San Antonio its first home loss with a 101-98 victory on Saturday.

Kevin Durant had 25 points and Jeff Green added 21 with 10 rebounds for the Thunder (5-4), who shot 46.8 percent to conclude a 2-1 road trip.

The former Seattle SuperSonics went 23-59 during their first season in Oklahoma City in 2008-09 and didn't win their sixth game until Jan. 10. The Thunder's three-game winning streak from Feb. 28-March 4, was their longest of the season.

"It feels really good," Durant said of the team's start. "If we continue to work like this, you never know what'll happen."

Durant (26.8 points per game) and Green (16.1) continue to lead a young and talented club that looks like it's becoming more competitive and confident with each game. Second-year point guard Russell Westbrook had 19 points and 11 assists against the Spurs, who welcomed stars Tim Duncan and Tony Park back from injury.

One reason for Oklahoma City's early success has been its play on the defensive end. The team is allowing 90.3 points per contest while hold its opponents to 43.3 percent shooting.

The Thunder held the Clippers to a season-low 35.9 percent shooting Wednesday for their second consecutive victory over Los Angeles after losing four in a row in the series.

Durant had 30 points with 10 rebounds in that contest, and is averaging 31.8 and 9.7 boards in his last four games against the Clippers, who have lost three in a row after falling 104-89 to Toronto on Friday.

Chris Kaman, who had 20 points and 11 rebounds against the Thunder, scored a team-high 25 on Friday, but Los Angeles blew a 22-point second-quarter lead and went scoreless over the final 6:58 as the Raptors ended the game on a 16-0 run. Toronto converted 17 Clippers turnovers into 24 points.

"We got off to a good start," said guard Baron Davis, who's scored 17 points in each of his last two contests. "But all of a sudden, it just seemed like there was a lack of flow."

The Clippers are averaging 95.7 points on the season, but 84.0 while shooting 41.9 percent during their three-game skid.

Only the 7-foot Kaman has been consistent on the offensive end, averaging 22.0 points and 9.3 boards after a foot injury limited him to 31 games last season.

Though Kaman is averaging 11.3 points per game against Oklahoma City, Davis is putting in 17.2 per game against the Thunder.

Los Angles again could be without second-year star Eric Gordon, who's averaging 18.9 points but has missed the last three contests with a sore left groin. The Clippers are winless in the seven career games Gordon has missed.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 15, 2009


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