Clippers hammer hapless ThunderNov 20, 2008 - 5:23 AM OKLAHOMA CITY (Ticker) -- One was going to get to two wins no matter what it took.
In a duel between two of the worst -- the two worst? -- teams in the NBA, the Los Angeles Clippers used a third-quarter surge to down the Oklahoma City Thunder, 108-88, on Wednesday.
"Any win is a great win right now for us. Once we got down 15, our guys perked up defensively, we got our hands on a lot of balls, and in the second half we took better care of the basketball," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "It is definitely better for us to build on defensively, and hopefully we can string a couple efforts like we had tonight together and get back to where we need to be."
The Clippers, who came into the game at 1-9, trailed 52-49. They were down by double digits, but Cuttino Mobley paced a 14-2 run late in the second quarter to cut into the gap.
They erased the rest of the deficit in the third quarter, doubling up Oklahoma City, 32-16. The Thunder is 1-11.
The onslaught continued in the final 12 minutes as the Clippers ran off a 27-20 advantage.
Chris Kaman had 25 points and 14 rebounds, while Mobley added 23 points and Al Thornton scored 20 for Los Angeles.
Kaman had four blocks as the Clippers posted nine rejections. Overall, the Clippers' starting frontcourt outscored the Thunder's, 59-19.
"I've been trying to think, 'Shoot first, take high-percentage shots, be aggressive in rebounding' and good things have been happening for me," said Kaman , who was 11-of-13 from the field. "We came out and played a typical Clipper first and second quarter but, after that, we stepped it up.
"I think we did a real good job on them defensively, particularly Cuttino Mobley and Ricky Davis on Kevin Durant."
Mobley had seven steals as the Clippers were deflecting passes all night.
"We got 49 deflections tonight which is huge number," Dunleavy said. "We've got some bigs that can block shots and our guards were active, got their hands on a lot of balls and that turned it around for us."
Oklahoma City was led by Durant with 18 points. Damien Wilkins added 17 off the bench.
"We need to take care of the ball, and get all five guys involved in the offense," Thunder coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "We certainly need to stop what has become a trait. When we don't go well offensively, it carries over to our defense. When we go through our droughts, we give up four or five scores in a row, especially off turnovers.
"People get after us, deny us the ball, turn us over, we've got a tendency to let it affect the other aspects of our game. I've got to do a much better job of coaching our guys. We've got to find a way to fight back, and when people come at us aggressively, we've got to do the same thing."
On the bright side, the Thunder shot 50 percent (5-of-10) from behind the arc. However, they managed only 40 percent (30-of-75) shooting overall.
"We turned it over, they didn't. They denied the ball, we didn't," Durant said. "We've got to get better. I credit this game to myself, I did a lot of bad things tonight that messed my team up. I took four shots in the second half, and not many of those were good ones."
The Clippers' starters outscored the Thunder's starting five, 96-53.
"That's a lot of bad nights, there is nothing you can do but go back and work and try to get better, but we've been saying that a lot this season," Thunder forward Nick Collison said
LA CLIPPERS 108
OKLAHOMA CITY 88 FINAL
Nov 19 10:20 PM
LA CLIPPERS 81
OKLAHOMA CITY 68 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 19 9:50 PM
LA CLIPPERS 49
OKLAHOMA CITY 52 HALFTIME
Nov 19 9:08 PM
LA CLIPPERS 20
OKLAHOMA CITY 26 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 19 8:35 PM
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