Lou Williams scored 40 points off the bench and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder 118-110 on Friday night to move into sole possession of seventh place in the Western Conference.
Danilo Gallinari scored a season-high 34 points and Ivica Zubac added 14 points and seven rebounds for the Clippers, who have won seven of nine.
Russell Westbrook had 32 points, eight rebounds and seven assists before fouling out with 54 seconds left and the Thunder trailing by three points. Paul George scored 15 points on 5-for-16 shooting before fouling out with 3:49 left and the Thunder down a point.
Dennis Schroder also scored 15 on just 5-for-20 shooting for Oklahoma City, which fell into sole possession of fourth in the West with its sixth loss in the past eight games.
Westbrook gave the Thunder their last lead at 104-103 when he converted a three-point play with 2:30 remaining, but Williams scored nine points the rest of the way.
Westbrook picked up his fifth foul with 7:37 to go in the third quarter and left the game with the Thunder trailing by five points. The Clippers extended their lead to 14 with Westbrook out of the game, but the Thunder managed to get back within four by the end of the third.
George sank a 3-pointer to give Oklahoma City a 99-98 lead with 4:20 left, the Thunder’s first lead since 7-6.
Gallinari scored the first nine points for Clippers, who took their first double-digit lead at 28-18 with 5:38 left in the first quarter and eventually took a 36-32 advantage into the second.
The Thunder pulled even with the Clippers early in the second quarter, but Los Angeles put together another surge and a 12-2 run gave the Clippers their biggest lead of the first half at 62-48 with 2:35 remaining.
Los Angeles maintained a 12-point lead at the half.
Despite their recent success, the Clippers hadn’t beaten a team currently in a playoff spot since a 123-112 win at the Boston Celtics on Feb. 9.
—Field Level Media