Thunder, Clippers have shot at West's No. 1 seed

With San Antonio's Tony Parker sidelined, OKC and LA will play on Sunday knowing they can lay claim to homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs with a strong run.
By John Rohde Published: March 2, 2013

LOS ANGELES — With San Antonio point guard Tony Parker sidelined for approximately four weeks after suffering a sprained left ankle Friday night, the Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers will waste no time maneuvering themselves for a potentially available No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

In the loss column, the Spurs (46-14) own a two-game lead over OKC (42-16) and a four-game advantage over the Clippers (43-18).

Currently the No. 2 and No. 3 playoff seeds in the West, the Thunder and Clippers meet at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Staples Center in a nationally televised game on ABC.

Although Parker potentially could miss four weeks, San Antonio holds a significant scheduling advantage with 15 of its 22 remaining games at home. OKC plays 11 of its final 24 games at home. The Clippers play 12 of their remaining 21 games at home.

Sunday will be the final regular-season meeting between the Thunder and Clippers. OKC won the two previous games — 117-111 in overtime at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Nov. 21, and 109-97 at Staples Center on Jan. 22.

Clippers All-Star point guard Chris Paul played in the first meeting against OKC, but shot just 2 for 14 from the field, which included missing a 14-footer at the end of regulation.

Normally a double-double machine, Paul finished with nine points, nine assists, five rebounds, four steals and four turnovers — one of his worst statistical lines in his eight seasons as a pro.

Paul missed the second game against the Thunder with a bruised knee.

Despite having a 2-0 advantage this season, OKC is just 8-9 all-time against the Clippers.

However, the spectacular plays for which the Clips have become known seem to rarely make an appearance against the Thunder.

Oh, there certainly have been moments. Blake Griffin's ferocious throwdown on top of OKC center Kendrick Perkins was widely considered the NBA's top dunk last season. The sequence immediately overloaded and shut down Twitter and has since been viewed more than 5 million times on YouTube.

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Thunder at Clippers

When: 2:30 p.m. Sunday

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles

TV: KOCO-5 (Cox 8/HD 705, DirecTV 5, Dish 5, U-Verse 5/HD 1005)

Radio: WWLS-FM 98.1, WWLS-AM 640

Three things to know

* This will be the third and final meeting between the teams. OKC leads the series 2-0 this season.

* Clippers have won four straight, eight of their last nine and lead the Pacific Division by nine games.

* When the Clippers beat the Cavaliers 105-89 on Friday, it was their first win in Cleveland since 2002.

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