National Basketball Association
Oklahoma City at L.A. Clippers
When: 10:30 PM ET, Monday, January 16, 2017
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
The Los Angeles Clippers can match the best start to a calendar year in franchise history with a seventh straight victory when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night. Coach Jack Ramsay led the franchise to a 7-0 start in 1974 when it was in Buffalo and Los Angeles has recorded wins in the first six of 2017 by an average of almost 11 points.
The Clippers, who are still without injured All-Star forward Blake Griffin (knee), knocked off the city-rival Lakers 113-97 on Saturday and own a 16-6 home-court record. “This isn’t our team. We’re still missing 32 (Griffin),” Los Angeles point guard Chris Paul told reporters. “That’s our singular focus, keep winning games.” The Clippers will have to deal with All-Star guard Russell Westbrook, who notched his 20th triple-double of the season Sunday in the Thunder’s 122-118 victory at Sacramento – their fourth win in five games. Center Enes Kanter has played a big part in that run for Oklahoma City, averaging 22.3 points and 11 rebounds over the last four contests.TV:
10:30 p.m. ET, TNTABOUT THE THUNDER (25-17):
Westbrook recorded 36 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists Sunday while draining four of his five attempts from 3-point range after going 2-for-24 from behind the arc in the previous three contests. Second-leading scorer Victor Oladipo came up big Sunday with 23 points – his highest total since Nov. 30 – making 6-of-7 inside the 3-point line and all eight from the free-throw line. Shooting guard Alex Abrines, a 23-year-old Spaniard, scored 13 points off the bench Sunday – his first double-digit effort since ending December with four straight.ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (28-14):
Center DeAndre Jordan, who is second in the league in rebounding (13.9), came up with a huge performance in Saturday’s victory with 24 points on 12-of-13 from the field, 21 boards and two blocks. “He was as dominant a force as you can have in the NBA,” Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers told reporters. “He disrupted everything. He makes you not want to drive or be near the basket.” Paul is the leading active scorer with Griffin out at 17.7 per game – to go along with 9.8 assists – and notched his third double-double in four games Saturday.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Westbrook is averaging 27 points, 10.7 rebounds and 9.3 assists in three games against the Clippers this season.
2. Los Angeles G Raymond Felton drained 11-of-17 from the field the last two games for a total of 23 points off the bench.
3. Oklahoma City has won four of the last five meetings, including the other one in Los Angeles this season.PREDICTION:
Thunder 106, Clippers 103
Stats and Records