Thunder is latest team to face tough Los Angeles back-to-back
LOS ANGELES — Not an hour after the Thunder fell to the Clippers on Monday night, Staples Center started to transform. Metal carts carrying Lakers merchandise rumbled through the hallways as Clippers gear was rolled out. The court was replaced. A Lakers banner was raised outside the arena as Monday night turned to Tuesday morning.
“Being here for so long, it’s two sort of different environments,” said Chris Paul, who played six seasons for the Clippers. “The lighting’s different. Everything’s a little different.”
The Thunder will witness both environments 24 hours apart.
The Thunder last played a back-to-back in Los Angeles in January 2018. OKC won both games. Teams haven’t fared near as well this season against the revamped L.A. teams.
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The Hornets, Raptors and Hawks have already faced the Staples Center back-to-back. The Hornets and Hawks were blown out in all four games. The Raptors beat the Lakers on the front end of their back-to-back, and lost by 10 to the Clippers on the back end.
Ten teams will play back-to-back road games this season in Los Angeles. The Thunder twice has the honor. OKC will make its second trip to Staples Center on April 4 for back-to-back games against the Clippers and Lakers.
“I’m good with it,” said former Clipper Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. “We get to play basketball two days in a row. I’m happy.”