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LOS ANGELES - One night after the NBA's All Star starters were announced, Thunder forward Kevin Durant presented his best argument for a spot on the Western Conference reserves.

But Oklahoma City's 107-104 loss to the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers on Friday summed up exactly why that selection figures to be a remote possibility.

Durant set career-highs with 46 points and 15 rebounds, but the Thunder's loss to the lowly Clippers kept Oklahoma City in the pits of the NBA standings at a league-worst 9-35.

With a win, the Thunder would have moved ahead of the Clippers and Washington Wizards in the win column.

Adding embarrassment to the disappointing loss, the Clippers were without injured customary starters Baron Davis, Zach Randolph, Chris Kaman and Marcus Camby.

Clippers rookie guard Eric Gordon scored a career-high 41 in their absence, and second-year forward Al Thornton scored 34, giving the Clippers a surprising one-two punch.

Jeff Green scored 14 points for the Thunder, and Russell Westbrook and Earl Watson were the only other players in double figures for Oklahoma City with 11 apiece.

"We let two guys really just tear us apart," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "I give them credit, they hit big shots. That's what guys do in this league. You have to make them miss, and we didn't do a good job of making them miss."

Gordon stole the spotlight from Durant with 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting in the fourth period. His acrobatic layup with 48.6 seconds remaining put Los Angeles ahead by 107-102.

But after a Nick Collison tip-in, the Thunder had one last chance to tie the score at 107-all. Collison missed the first of two free throws, however, after being fouled following an inbounds pass with 6.5 seconds remaining.

He intentionally missed the second, and Durant rebounded the miss only to dribble out to the 3-point line and see his shot attempt air-ball as time expired.

"That's a tough shot to make, running back and trying to turn around with a couple of seconds left," Durant said. "I should have shot a better one. If I could go back I would re-shoot that one. But unfortunately, we dug ourselves a hole and it was tough to get out of."

Durant set a Thunder/Sonics franchise record with 24 made free throws.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: January 28, 2009


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