EditorsNote: 3rd graf, change Oct. 9 to Oct. 19;
Russell Westbrook and Paul George each scored 32 points Tuesday as the Oklahoma City Thunder used an offensive eruption to open the second half en route to a 128-110 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Clippers.
Trailing 67-54 at halftime, the Thunder went on a 23-2 run to open the third quarter, winning their second consecutive game after opening the season with four consecutive defeats.
Westbrook, who missed the first two games of the season after undergoing a knee procedure, has scored at least 23 points in three of the four games he has played. He has scored at least 30 points twice. He was not on the court when Oklahoma City lost to the Clippers 108-92 on Oct. 19 at Los Angeles.
Tuesday’s game was in stark contrast to the first time the teams met, when the Clippers opened that game on a 16-0 run.
Danilo Gallinari led the Clippers with 27 points, scoring 23 in the first half. It was Gallinari’s largest scoring half as a member of the Clippers. The forward has scored at least 20 points in four games this season, after recording just five 20-point games in 21 contests last year.
Tempers flared at 6:20 of the fourth quarter when the Clippers’ Patrick Beverley dove for a loose ball and hit Westbrook in the knees. Beverley and Westbrook were assessed technical fouls.
Steven Adams scored 18 points and added 10 rebounds for the Thunder, while Dennis Schroder scored 15 points and Jerami Grant had 12. Oklahoma City outscored the Clippers 39-10 in the third quarter and 74-43 in the second half.
Westbrook, who scored 20 points in the first half, went 1-for-3 from 3-point range and is 2-for-14 on 3-pointers this season. George added 12 rebounds.
The Thunder’s big scoring night came against a Clippers defense that entered having allowed just 103.9 points per 100 possessions. The previous high in points allowed in a game for the Clippers this season was 116.
Tobias Harris scored 15 points while Lou Williams added 17 off the bench for the Clippers. Williams became just the third player in NBA history to score 10,000 career points off the bench when he made a free throw with 7:45 remaining. Dell Curry (11,147) and former Clippers forward Jamal Crawford (10,792) are the only other players to reach the 10,000-point plateau as a reserve.
—Field Level Media