Clippers can’t guard against injury in loss to Thunder 127-117
Thunder forward Paul George (13) has the ball stolen by Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) in second half action Thursday at Staples Center.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Thunder guard Russell Westbrook celebrates after making a basket and getting fouled against the Clippers in the second half Thursday at Staples Center.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers is upset with referee Gary Zielinski during a timeout in the second half Thursday at Staples Center.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers forward Blake Griffin and Thunder guard Russell Westbrook fight for rebound in the second(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan fights for a loose ball during the first half of a game against the Thunder on Thursday at Staples Center.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell celebrates after dunking the ball against the Thunder during the first half of a game Thursday at Staples Center.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
DeAndre Jordan (6) dunks the ball during the first half of a game against the Thunder on Thursday at Staples Center.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Blake Griffin (32) drives to the basket during the first half of a game against the Thunder on Thursday at Staples Center.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers guard Lou Williams (23) drives around Thunder center Steven Adams (12) during the second quarter of a game Thursday at Staples Center.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers big man DeAndre Jordan (6) and Thunder guard Terrance Ferguson (23) fight for a loose ball during the first half of a game Thursday at Staples Center.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
The short-handed Clippers lost another body Thursday night when point guard Milos Teodosic was unable to play in the second half because of an injury to his left foot.
Without nearly enough weapons, the Clippers were unable to overcome the force from the Oklahoma City Thunder during a 127-117 defeat at Staples Center before 19,068 fans.
Teodosic had two points and four assists in nine minutes in the first half. Plantar fasciitis knocked him out for the last two quarters.
He missed 22 games after suffering the same injury in the second game of the season.
After the Clippers had their winning streak stopped at four games, coach Doc Rivers said Teodosic will be listed as day-to-day and that the 30-year-old rookie will get an evaluation Friday to determine the severity of the injury.
“We’ll see,” Rivers said. “It didn’t look great, to be honest.”
The Clippers started rookie Jawun Evans at guard in the second half because guards Austin Rivers (bruised right heel) and Patrick Beverley (season-ending right knee surgery) are both out. Forward Danilo Gallinari (strained right glute) also was out.
So it was left up to Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams to guide the Clippers during even more troublesome times.
Jordan tried with 26 points and 17 rebounds.
Griffin did his part with 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Williams had 26 points and 10 assists, but made only eight of 22 shots.
“It was just tough tonight because we need Lou to play the point guard and to score at the same time and you could see his shots got flat,” Doc Rivers said. “They just wore him down.
“We’ll figure it out by Saturday, I guess. When you have your three point guards out, we just can’t have Lou bringing the ball up all game. So even if we use Blake as the guy that brings the ball up the floor, we literally don’t have another guy right now.”
The Clippers couldn’t stop the Thunder trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.
Westbrook was outstanding again, producing a triple-double of 29 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.
George did his thing with 31 points and six rebounds and Anthony had 22 points.
“Give them credit. They are shooting the hell out of the ball,” Doc Rivers said of the Thunder, who shot 53.7% in the game. “When they shoot like that and pass like that, they are really good.”
George made 12 of 16 shots and Anthony made nine of 12.
The Clippers went hard inside against the Thunder in the first quarter, letting Jordan and Griffin go to work.
Jordan led the charge with 14 points, making six of seven shots in the first. He made two of three free throws and added six rebounds.
Griffin had nine points in the first quarter. By the half, Jordan had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Griffin had 14 points.
“I liked our game plan coming into the game. We were going to force-feed the paint all night,” Rivers said. “We were just going to keep going down there. I loved how it looked.
“But you lose your guards, all of a sudden everybody is sagging in and forcing our young guys to take shots. It got pretty hairy for us.”
Follow Broderick Turner on Twitter @BA_Turner
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