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Thunder Finish Road Trip With Fourth Straight Loss

Thunder Finish Road Trip With Fourth Straight Loss”

The Thunder are now facing their longest losing streak since dropping six in a row from November 14-23, 2014, and trying to ignite an offense that is averaging 101.7 points, almost five less than their 2016/17 mark of 106.6 per game. The expectation is becoming reality for the Clippers (5-5).

The lack of defense has been the primary culprit for the Clippers' woes. Denver has won five of their last seven games and looks to continue their winning ways against a Thunder team that has been skidding lately. Meanwhile, the Thunder are struggling to find an offensive rhythm, looking disjointed at times as they adjust to life with two new offensive stars on their roster. It could also mean more minutes for Patrick Patterson, Andre Roberson, and Raymond Felton. Blake Griffin added 15 points on 4-for-13 shooting. Beverley, however, will be missed more on the defensive end, especially since he takes pride in antagonizing Westbrook. Whoever has the ball, we can't spectate. He's scoring at roughly his usage rate of 28.0 percent, and while Griffin is responsible for two of every seven Clippers turnovers, he's also provided nearly one of every three assists.

The Oklahoma City Thunder insist they are just going through some growing pains as their superstars and supporting staff learn to play alongside each other, but the losses are starting to get ugly.

"If we do force them to play a half-court game, we have to have game-plan discipline", Malone said. They opened 8-4 in 2011-12. That's the beauty of being in this league and having so many games. While Paul George is saying that the team will be OK, and that it's a matter of the players not making adjustments, it has to be on Billy Donovan too. Carmelo Anthony is one popular figure to point the finger at. The same can be said for Detroit's Tobias Harris. And Anthony is playing credible defense and has the luxury of a rim eraser in Steven Adams behind him.

The 2.13m Kiwi centre registered nine points and 11 rebounds in 30 minutes as the Thunder fell 102-94 on the road to the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Centre on Friday (NZ time). In the 15 games before that, he averaged 22.5 points and 10.1 rebounds while shooting 52.5 percent and posting nine double-doubles. The Nuggets snapped a five-game losing streak at home to the Thunder, including a 106-105 setback April 9 on a last-second 3-pointer by Russell Westbrook that eliminated Denver from playoff contention.

Westbrook's three-pointer trimmed the gap to 89-86 but Sacramento made three free throws and Justin Jackson added an emphatic dunk with one second left. Austin Rivers led the Clippers with 24 points. He has two triple-doubles and seven double-doubles in 33 lifetime matchups, averaging 19.2 points, 6.9 assists and 5.9 rebounds despite shooting just 28.6 percent from 3-point range and 39.0 percent overall.

Anthony has scored in double figures in all 36 games he's played against Los Angeles, averaging 24.4 points and 6.2 rebounds.

Trailing by as many as 11 points earlier, the Nuggets closed to within 53-51 at the half on a driving layup by Milsap in the final seconds of the second quarter. After the game - which dropped OKC to 0-6 this season vs. other Western Conference teams - reporters had to wait a while to talk to players and coaches. "I thought just coming down the stretch, we struggled".

Anthony has always shied away from setting screens, but on a team that needs the pick and roll with Westbrook to get the offense going (more on that in a couple of lines), having Anthony slide to get the ball at every opportunity is neutering the offense.

Ben Golliver (SI) on the welcome party being over for Paul George: "Put aside Chris Paul and Isaiah Thomas, both of whom are sidelined with injuries, and George has endured the rockiest start to 2017-18 of any prominent star traded this calendar year". The hedge is the Thunder find enough of it for a 114-108 win.

Jackson had 16 points for the Kings, and fellow rookie De'Aaron Fox finished with 10 points and eight assists. Tip-off time is 9 pm EST.



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