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Oklahoma City Thunder Destroy Both Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers Back-to-Back

Okay, so the Oklahoma City Thunder are good. Really good. They nipped both Los Angeles teams in the bud over the course of a few days, starting with a 108-104 victory over the Clippers in the Staples Center on Sunday. The game was overshadowed a bit by a scuffle between Serge Ibaka and Blake Griffin wherin Ibaka may or may not have punched Griffin below the belt, but the results spoke much louder volumes about the Thunder’s chances in the Western Conference this season. The Clippers turned the ball over an astounding 21 times, including 16 in the first half.
“That’s embarrassing. That’s crazy. That’s not like us,” Clippers point guard Chris Paul said afterward. “In the first half, they just did a good job of mucking the lane up. Every time I came down court, I saw a wall. They basically trapped me into ball screens. In the second half, we brought L.O. in and we went small, which opened the court up. And once we opened the court up, we could get into the lane and make plays and fire up shots.”
The Thunder were able to rack up their traditional huge offensive numbers between their two stars (Kevin Durant notched 35, Russell Westbrook scored 29), and Serge Ibaka chipped in 16. The Clippers were 1.5-point favorites in the game, but they trailed for almost the entire duration of the contest and looked utterly lost at times on defense in their zone packages. It’s never wise to bet against a team as good as the Thunder, particularly on a nationally-televised game in which they have a point to prove. Here were a few of the betting trends for both teams heading into the match, per the ever-invaluable OddShark.com:
Oklahoma City Thunder Trends:
• When playing on Sunday are 5-5
• Before playing LA Lakers are 9-1
• After playing Denver are 7-3
• After a loss are 8-2
Los Angeles Clippers Trends:
• When playing on Sunday are 2-8
• Before playing Milwaukee are 4-6
• After playing Cleveland are 6-4
• After a win are 7-3
A few Thunder at Clippers trends to consider:
• The total has gone OVER in 6 of Oklahoma City’s last 7 games when playing LA Clippers
• Oklahoma City is 16-8 SU in its last 24 games
• Oklahoma City is 8-15 ATS in their last 23 games when playing LA Clippers
• Oklahoma City is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games when playing on the road against LA Clippers
• LA Clippers are 8-1 SU in their last 9 games
• LA Clippers are 18-3 SU in their last 21 games at home
• The total has gone OVER in 6 of the LA Clippers last 7 games when playing Oklahoma City
• LA Clippers are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games when playing at home against Oklahoma City
Of course, the Thunder played another Los Angeles-based team this week, one with even more stars and a notable lack of success this season. On Tuesday night, Oklahoma City demolished the Los Angeles Lakers in front of a raucous home crowd to the tune of 122-105.
Russell Westbrook scored 37, Kevin Durant notched 26, and the Thunder bench got more involved in the scoring action than usual (Derek Fisher even scored in the double digits). Westbrook in particular blew the Lakers poor transition defense out of the water, burning them time and time again with his attacking mindset and blazing athleticism. The Thunder were favored by eight points in this one, a big spread for an NBA game, but they showed their ability to get up and down the floor and make older, slower teams look truly silly. If the Lakers do somehow limp into the playoffs (they’re currently on the outside looking in, in case if you hadn’t heard) they could get positively steamrolled by a young and hungry OKC squad in the first round.

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