It wasn't so much a showdown as a showup. Oklahoma City outclassed the Clippers for most of a 120-108 victory on Wednesday night at Cheseapeake Energy Arena that put more distance between the teams in the Western Conference standings. Here are five takeaways from the game:
1. The Clippers literally took one on the chin.
The victory essentially clinched the tiebreaker for Oklahoma City should the teams finish tied for third in the Western Conference standings. Even if the Clippers win the next game to even the season series at two games apiece, the
2. Defense was the primary culprit. The Clippers have been elite defensively since the All-Star break, but they certainly weren't against the Thunder. Oklahoma City scored 39 points in the first quarter and just kept revving its offense. "You know, 39 points in the first quarter is unacceptable," Redick said. "We've been a good defensive team, and we were awful tonight." Said Clippers shooting guard Jamal Crawford: "If you pride yourself on defensive principles, you feel like you give yourself a chance. And tonight, our defense was nonexistent pretty much most of the night."
4. The absences of Griffin and
5. The Clippers will seek to right themselves during a two-game homestand. The Knicks will be up first on Friday, followed by a nationally televised Sunday matinee against the Cleveland Cavaliers. New York has continued to struggle under interim Coach