NBA: Late push gets Paul George, Clippers past Thunder

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Nov 02 2021 02:03 PM

LA Clippers guard Terance Mann (14) shoots the ball defended by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kenrich Williams (34) during the first half at Staples Center. Richard Mackson, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
LA Clippers guard Terance Mann (14) shoots the ball defended by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kenrich Williams (34) during the first half at Staples Center. Richard Mackson, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Los Angeles Clippers overcame another tough shooting night, coming from behind to defeat the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder 99-94 on Monday night.

The Clippers trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half but surged ahead of the youthful Thunder in the game's final 2 1/2 minutes.

Paul George scored 27 of his game-high 32 points in the second half. George also finished with nine rebounds and seven assists. Reggie Jackson netted 15 points, Nicolas Batum and Luke Kennard posted 14 apiece and Terance Mann added 10 points.

Guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who began the night averaging 22 points, tops on the Thunder, posted a team-high 28 points on 11-of-23 shooting from the field. Rookie Josh Giddey recorded 15 points and seven assists, Darius Bazley contributed 15 points and Aleksej Pokusevski added nine points off the bench.

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The Clippers improved to 2-4 on the year, while Oklahoma State dropped to 1-6 and remained winless in four road games.

The Clippers trailed 83-77 with just over seven minutes remaining, but they made one last run, tying the game at 91-all on a Kennard 3-pointer from the wing with 1:39 left.

After Bazley made one of two free throws, George came down and drained a midrange jumper to give Los Angeles a 93-92 lead. Bazley turned it over on the other end, and Jackson hit a driving lay-in to give the Clippers a 95-92 lead that they would not relinquish.

One of the worst shooting teams in the NBA to start the year, the Clippers struggled to put the ball in the basket. Los Angeles shot 38 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from the 3-point arc.

L.A.'s offensive struggles were evident early, as the Clippers shot just 22.2 percent from the field in the opening quarter. Because of their shooting woes, the Clippers trailed 23-14 at the end of the period. Bazley paced Oklahoma City with eight points in the opening quarter.

The Thunder's lead ballooned to 31-16 with just over nine minutes left in the second quarter, but the Clippers trimmed the deficit to 44-40 by halftime.

The Clippers cut Oklahoma City's edge to two points midway through the third quarter but trailed 74-66 at the end of the third quarter.