NBA Basketball

Clippers-Thunder: Two slumping teams try to get untracked

Oklahoma City was flying high just a few days ago, as the Thunder entered Wednesday's game at New Orleans with the best record in the Western Conference.

But the Thunder enter Friday's home game against the Los Angeles Clippers needing to get things turned around, especially on the offensive side.

All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook was just 5 of 15 from the field in Friday's 109-98 loss to Denver. Westbrook has made more than two 3-pointers in a game just once this season going into Saturday's game.

The Thunder have been most effective this season when attacking the basket. But they have had problems recently as Westbrook has struggled offensively even on the inside, and Oklahoma City's offense has grown stagnant at times.

"I think from an identity standpoint, the way we want to play -- we want to play downhill," Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said.

Westbrook has struggled offensive recently, shooting 42 of 110 (38.2 percent) from the floor in December.

The Thunder come into the game having lost two consecutive games for the first time since their 0-4 start to the season Oct. 16-25. Oklahoma City has lost three of its last four.

Oklahoma City, which coming off Friday's loss to the Nuggets, is 2-1 this season on the second night of back-to-backs. The Thunder are near the start of a stretch in which they will play nine of 13 games on the road.

The Clippers have lost four of their last five after Thursday's 125-87 loss to the Sours. That was the first of nine consecutive games against Western Conference opponents.

This has been Los Angeles' roughest stretch of the season, and it hasn't lost three in a row this year.

"It's a long season," Clippers guard Patrick Beverley said. "You play long enough the game teaches itself and it told us, as a unit, we can't ease into games. That's what we're trying to do lately and we can't do that. We're not that good, not right now. But we can be."

Clippers coach Doc Rivers expanded his rotation recently, playing all his players who dressed -- 12 total -- at least nine minutes in Thursday's blowout loss in San Antonio. Rivers is trying to keep his team fresh.

"I played a long time ago and I knew when I didn't have energy, but it usually didn't mean the next game I wouldn't have energy," Rivers said. "It means there were nights that I showed up (and) I tried to do everything I possibly could do to get ready and I came into the game and I just didn't have it, unfortunately.

"They're human and sometimes it happens. You know this is a long stretch, so you see it over and over again. What they're telling you is they're tired and you probably have to just try and play a bigger rotation, which sometimes you don't want to do, but sometimes you have to do it."

The teams have split their two meetings so far this season, with the Clippers winning 108-92 on Oct. 19 at home and the Thunder winning 128-110 on Oct. 30 at home.

Updated December 15, 2018

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Teams Score Time
NCAA FB
Appalachian State   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Ball State   Sat 7:00pm
NC State  
NFL
Carolina   Sun 4:05pm
Arizona  
Teams Score Time
Air Force   Fri 9:00pm
Boise State  
Utah   Fri 9:00pm
USC  
Boston College   Sat 12:00pm
Rutgers  
California   Sat 12:00pm
Ole Miss  
Elon   Sat 12:00pm
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LSU   Sat 12:00pm
Vanderbilt  
Michigan   Sat 12:00pm
Wisconsin  
Southern Mississippi   Sat 12:00pm
Alabama  
Tennessee   Sat 12:00pm
Florida  
Western Michigan   Sat 12:00pm
Syracuse  
Appalachian State   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Auburn   Sat 3:30pm
Texas A&M  
Louisville   Sat 3:30pm
Florida State  
Miami (OH)   Sat 3:30pm
Ohio State  
SMU   Sat 3:30pm
TCU  
UCF   Sat 3:30pm
Pittsburgh  
Washington   Sat 3:30pm
BYU  
Central Michigan   Sat 4:00pm
Miami  
Ball State   Sat 7:00pm
NC State  
Old Dominion   Sat 7:00pm
Virginia  
Oregon   Sat 7:00pm
Stanford  
Charlotte   Sat 7:30pm
Clemson  
Oklahoma State   Sat 7:30pm
Texas  
Notre Dame   Sat 8:00pm
Georgia  
Colorado   Sat 10:00pm
Arizona State  
UCLA   Sat 10:30pm
Washington State  
Teams Score Time
Interleague
Seattle 5 11th
Pittsburgh 5
San Francisco 4 F
Boston 5
American League
Los Angeles   6:35pm
New York  
Toronto   7:05pm
Baltimore  
Detroit   7:15pm
Cleveland  
Kansas City   7:40pm
Minnesota  
National League
Philadelphia 4 F
Atlanta 5
San Diego 0 1st
Milwaukee 0
St. Louis   7:15pm
Chicago  
Teams Score Time
Tennessee   8:20pm
Jacksonville  
Atlanta   Sun 1:00pm
Indianapolis  
Baltimore   Sun 1:00pm
Kansas City  
Cincinnati   Sun 1:00pm
Buffalo  
Denver   Sun 1:00pm
Green Bay  
Detroit   Sun 1:00pm
Philadelphia  
Miami   Sun 1:00pm
Dallas  
New York   Sun 1:00pm
New England  
Oakland   Sun 1:00pm
Minnesota  
Carolina   Sun 4:05pm
Arizona  
New York   Sun 4:05pm
Tampa Bay  
Houston   Sun 4:25pm
Los Angeles  
New Orleans   Sun 4:25pm
Seattle  
Pittsburgh   Sun 4:25pm
San Francisco  
Los Angeles   Sun 8:20pm
Cleveland  
Teams Score Time
Boston   7:00pm
Philadelphia  
Columbus   7:00pm
Pittsburgh  
Florida   7:00pm
Montreal  
Dallas   9:00pm
Colorado  
Vancouver   9:00pm
Edmonton  
Vegas   10:30pm
Los Angeles  
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Pos # Name Start Pos
1 19 Martin Truex Jr 24
2 4 Kevin Harvick 3
3 2 Brad Keselowski 18
4 9 Chase Elliott 8
5 12 Ryan Blaney 23
6 88 Alex Bowman 19
7 24 William Byron 14
8 42 Kyle Larson 15
9 22 Joey Logano 22
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1 2 Tyler Reddick 4
2 20 Christopher Bell 2
3 19 Brandon Jones 6
4 00 Cole Custer 1
5 7 Justin Allgaier 3
6 9 Noah Gragson 36
7 08 Gray Gaulding 16
8 23 John Hunter Nemechek 13
9 18 Riley Herbst 15
NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
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1 16 Austin Hill 7
2 45 Ross Chastain 2
3 51 Christian Eckes 1
4 2 Sheldon Creed 6
5 4 Todd Gilliland 3
6 30 Brennan Poole 18
7 24 Brett Moffitt 4
8 99 Ben Rhodes 13
9 18 Harrison Burton 9