Five takeaways from the Thunder's loss to the Clippers
The Thunder suffered a second straight blowout loss, this one a 109-94 defeat against the Clippers on Tuesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Here are five takeaways from the game:
Facing healthy Clippers
Kawhi Leonard missed the first two Thunder-Clippers matchups. But he and Paul George were healthy Tuesday night, and they showed how tough of an out the Clippers will be come playoff time.
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Leonard led the Clippers with 25 points. George scored 16 points in just 27 minutes.
The Clippers built an early lead and never ceded control.
The Thunder’s biggest lead Tuesday night was two points. The Thunder’s last lead came at the 9:34 mark in the first quarter.
Schroder ends slump
Dennis Schroder scored just nine points in the Thunder’s 47-point loss to the Bucks on Friday. In his last five games prior to Tuesday, Schroder had just one game of 20 or more points.
He ended his brief slump against the Clippers. Schroder scored a team-high 24 points. Schroder shot 9-of-19 from the floor. No other Thunder player attempted more than 13 shots.
The Thunder shot just 9-of-28 from 3-point range. The Clippers obviously have a high offensive ceiling, but there’s not a better defensive wing duo than Leonard and George.
Even worse for the Thunder was its free throw shooting: 17-of-26.
The reception for George wasn’t as warm as his first trip back to Oklahoma City, but Thunder fans still greeted him with applause in pregame introductions.
Louder than the cheers for George were the boos for Patrick Beverley, who remains a Thunder nemesis even without Russell Westbrook on the roster.
Reggie Jackson, who played with the Thunder from 2011-15, was again booed by OKC fans. Jackson joined the Clippers in February after being bought out by the Pistons.
Thunder rookie Darius Bazley was expected to miss a minimum of four weeks with a right knee bone bruise. Bazley has reached the three-week mark of his recovery.
“He’s progressing really well and getting better,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said Tuesday. “But we’re gonna stay the course with the plan, what’s in front of him and what he’s gotta do to get himself back.”
The first-year forward was averaging 17 minutes per game before his injury. Abdel Nader has served as the backup power forward in Bazley’s absence.