OKC Thunder stumbles against Clippers
L.A. CLIPPERS 92, OKC THUNDER 77 — Clippers seal first playoff berth in five years as they pull away late from West-leading Thunder.
LOS ANGELES – For the Thunder, there hasn't been a worse half of basketball.
Not this season, not last season, nor the season before.
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What transpired in the second half of Monday night's 92-77 humiliating loss to the Los Angeles Clippers turned back the clock to OKC's first season of existence in the NBA, the torturous days of a 3-29 start.
All Thunder players can try to do is pretend the third and fourth quarters never happened Monday at Staples Center, if that's possible.
Feel free to hold your nose while looking at the numbers:
- The Thunder shot 29.0 percent (9 for 31) from the field, shot zero percent (0 for 11) from 3-point range and shot 46.7 percent (7 for 15) from the free-throw line in the second half. OKC's season averages coming into the game were 47.4 percent from the field (tied for first in the NBA), 35.9 percent on 3-pointers (10th) and 80.3 percent from the line (first).
- This horrendous shooting explains why the Thunder scored just 25 points after intermission, which was a season low by nine points. The Big 3 of Kevin Durant (1 for 8), Russell Westbrook (0 for 5) and James Harden (1 for 6) combined to score eight points and shoot 10.5 percent (2 for 19) after halftime.
"We just couldn't make out shots," Harden said. "Shots we usually make were not going in."
Like shots from inside 5 feet, where OKC missed 13 attempts.
In the fourth quarter, the Thunder went 3 for 11 from the field and scored 11 points in 12 minutes. OKC's final points came with 3:48 left in the game.
Perhaps the most shocking tidbit of all: Take away forward Serge Ibaka (5 for 7), and OKC shot 16.7 percent (4 for 24) from the floor in the second half.
"It's not time to panic now," Durant said. "It's time to win the next game (Wednesday at Phoenix)."
Making matters even worse was the fact that while the Thunder (44-17) was going from good to bad, the Clippers (38-23) went from bad to good after OKC had taken a convincing 52-43 lead into intermission.
The Clippers shot 37.2 percent (16 for 43) from the field and 33.3 percent (3 for 9) from 3-point range in the first half, then shot 52.6 percent (20 for 38) and 54.4 percent (6 for 11) in the second half.
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