The Oklahoma City Thunder fell to the Los Angeles Clippers 111-103 on Wednesday night, in an intense game that saw Serge Ibaka and Matt Barnes ejected, as well as a technical foul called on Blake Griffin.
For the Thunder, Kevin Durant led with 30 points and Russell Westbrook helped out with 19 more. Prior to his ejection, Ibaka was 6-for-6 on the night for 13 points, and had two blocks.
All of the Clippers’ starters had double-digit points on the night, and Blake Griffin led with 22. J.J. Redick, DeAndre Jordan, Chris Paul and Jared Dudley had 15, 15, 14 and 10 points, respectively. Jamal Crawford came off the bench and had 20 points, including a three-pointer in the final seconds to secure the win for the Clippers.
Los Angeles went up 8-0 in the early minutes of the first quarter, but a 9-0 run minutes later put the Thunder on top 15-14. The Thunder would hold onto that lead for much of the game, but the tussle in the second quarter really changed things for Oklahoma City.
It started when Griffin and Ibaka got locked up after Ibaka blocked Griffin’s shot. Ibaka pushed him off a bit aggressively, then Matt Barnes got involved. Ibaka clenched his fists as if he was going to throw a punch, though he did not ever do so. But for gesturing like he would throw a punch, he got ejected from the game.
It was a huge loss for OKC, as Ibaka had been on fire in the first half.
After things cooled down in the second half, the Clippers came back in the third quarter to take a 73-71 lead. They further extended it with a series of quick shots that put them up 85-78, and Los Angeles never looked back.
Durant did knock down a nice deep ball to cut the Clippers’ lead to nine, and later an aggressive finish at the rim by Westbrook cut the lead further, to just five points. But sloppy ball handling down the stretch would prevent a Thunder comeback.
Oklahoma City had 22 turnovers on the night.
With the loss, OKC suffers its first loss of the season and has a 5-1 record. They travel to Oakland, Calif. next to challenge the Golden State Warriors at the Oracle Area on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 10:30 PM ET