Thunder: Did the Clippers expose some of Thunder's weak spots?

Monday night's whipping in Los Angeles probably gave Western Conference teams a shot of adrenaline. Others besides Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook must contribute.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: January 31, 2012
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That's how good the Clippers looked against OKC – 52.0 percent from 3-point range; 58.2 percent from 2-point range; 28 assists; 14 turnovers, several of which came simply by passing too much.

Premier point guard Chris Paul is spreading the wealth on a roster that soon will go nine players deep with the gradual return of injured guard Eric Bledsoe.

Meanwhile, warts are beginning to show on the Thunder.

Durant (36 points) and Russell Westbrook (31) were scintillating against the Clippers despite a combined 10 turnovers, but having to play 5-on-2 makes OKC positively no threat to win the West.

Serge Ibaka stands tall at times, but mysteriously disappears at others.

Kendrick Perkins better quit complaining and regain his early season energy. He has eight technical fouls – three more than anyone in the league – and is just five techs away from serving a one-game suspension.

Monday's setback reaffirmed the defensive importance of starting guard Thabo Sefolosha, who sat out with a sore right foot that was packed in ice after the game. The Thunder has lost half its games (0-2) with Sefolosha out of the lineup.

The significance of losing backup point guard Eric Maynor to season-ending knee surgery is becoming more evident each day. Now that teams have had a look-see at rookie guard Reggie Jackson, they're beginning to apply the clamps.

Could this perhaps lead to James Harden relieving Westbrook more frequently at the point and streaky reserve guard Daequan Cook taking on more minutes in a three-guard rotation?

Then again, maybe all this is an over-reaction. OKC lost Monday night's game in a span of 51 seconds just before halftime when the Clippers converted four straight 3-pointers and went on a 12-0 run, which happened to be the final point spread.

It was one bad minute in one bad game. Or is it more than that?

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