Something extraordinary happened to the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night—they won! For only the second time this season, LA's "other team" finally earned a "W" in the win column with a 108-88 victory in Oklahoma City.
Trying to shake the bittersweet taste of Monday nights disappointing 86-83 loss at home to the Spurs, the Oklahoma City Thunder hosted the action against the Clippers Wednesday. After a mediocre start, the Clippers gained momentum in the second half, getting out on fast breaks while pounding points in the paint.
Aside from easy points around the basket, the Clips shot an impressive 47.4 field goal percentage while keeping their turnovers down to 10 while the Thunder doubled that number with 20 turnovers on the night.
The biggest lead of the night was 25, held by the Clippers, who simply showed more hustle as well as offensive and defensive pressure, which resulted in a total of 23 fast break points.
The big man in the middle, Chris Kaman, led all players in scoring, putting up 25 big ones. Kaman was an astounding 11-of-13 from the field Wednesday and a perfect 3-of-3 from the free-throw line. Not only was Kaman’s shooting both surprising and accurate, his hands were like glue, pulling in 14 rebounds on the night to give him a double-double.
Cuttino Mobley was the second leading scorer for the Clips as his 23-point, 11-of-20 performance struck smooth and often like a lightning bolt at the Ford Center Wednesday night against the Thunder. Cat’s excellent defensive skills proved too much for the young Kevin Durant and his team of young up and comers, as Mobley’s seven steals contributed to many easy transition buckets.
Second-year man Al Thorton rounded out the top three scorers in the Clippers win, as Thorton pulled in 20 points (7-of-12 from the floor, 2-of-3 from beyond the arc, a perfect 4-of-4 from the stripe) and seven rebounds.
If the Clippers can continue to pound the ball inside for easy possessions and work on their transition play, it’s possible that might truly do some damage in the Western Conference. First, they must establish a solid team chemistry and consistent commitment to defense and ball movement.
Since Baron Davis hasn’t produced like many thought he would in the early months of this season, it sure is good to see other players step up and shoulder the load; maybe that will make B-Diddy the leader LAC so desperately needs.