Clippers face stiff test in Oklahoma City

The Clippers will face another big test Wednesday night when they face the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center.

Oklahoma City lost in the second round of the playoffs last season, but reached the NBA Finals in 2012, losing to the Miami Heat.

The Thunder are back playing high-caliber basketball again. The Thunder (5-1) have the second best record in the Western Conference, third best in the NBA.

“It’s a good test,” Blake Griffin said. “It’s just like playing against the Heat. As far as I’m concerned, playing against Minnesota even, teams like that, they are playoff teams and they are teams you have to beat down the stretch to get to where you want to go. So, it’s a good test.”

The Thunder are basically back to full heath.

That means that All-Star small forward Kevin Durant, who leads the NBA in scoring at 30.2 points per game, has his sidekick back to make Oklahoma City one of the top teams in the NBA.

All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook had surgery for a torn meniscus in his right knee in April and then had surgery on the same knee again in October because of persistent swelling. Westbrook has played in four games and is averaging 19 points per game.

“A team like that that has been together -- obviously they have two of the better players in the league on the perimeter in Durant and Westbrook -- they have good chemistry,” Jamal Crawford said. “You can’t put a label on chemistry and playing together. Those guys have been through the wars and every situation. We haven’t gotten there yet. Eventually, hopefully, we’ll get there.”


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