Stats & Info: los angeles Clippers

Clippers, Paul face unique offseason

May, 16, 2014
May 16

Richard Rowe/NBAE via Getty ImagesChris Paul and the Clippers have never made a Conference Finals.
Thursday night the Los Angeles Clippers were eliminated by the Thunder. In nine career seasons, Chris Paul has never made a Conference Finals. It will be a unique offseason for Paul and the entire team dealing with uncertainty in regards to the owner of the franchise.

The good news is that their talented nucleus is already signed through next season.

CP3 Heads Home Early
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Chris Paul’s seven All-Star appearances are tied for the fifth-most all-time for any player before appearing in their first Conference Finals.

Chris Paul has often been compared to some of the great point guards in NBA history. However his playoff track record doesn’t add up.

He has a postseason win percentage of .415 (22 wins, 31 losses). That number is significantly lower than Hall of Fame point guards Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson and John Stockton.

Speaking of great point guards, Paul is also one of seven players in NBA history to have 6,000 assists through their first nine seasons, according to Elias. Of those players, Paul is the only one not to reach the Conference Finals over that time span.

Looking Forward to Next Season
The current nucleus of the Clippers will still be under contract in the 2014-15 season.

Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, J.J. Redick and Matt Barnes were the five-man unit that played the most minutes together for the Clippers in the postseason. All five of them will be back next season (barring a trade).

Looking towards free agency, the Clippers have $66.3 million dollars worth of guaranteed contracts on the books next season. Darren Collison, Danny Granger and Glen Davis all have player options while Ryan Hollins and Hedo Turkoglu are unrestricted free agents.

With the luxury tax projected to climb to $77 million next season, the Clippers best free agency tool this offseason will likely be the non-taxpayer mid-level exception (can sign any free agent to a contract with a starting salary up to $5.3M)

Upcoming Draft Picks
The Clippers currently hold only the 28th overall draft pick in the 2014 draft, as their second round pick was traded to the San Antonio Spurs. Also, their 2015 first round draft pick will be sent to the Boston Celtics as compensation for acquiring Doc Rivers.

The Clippers in this draft may want to emulate the Spurs, who took Tony Parker in 2001 and Tiago Splitter in 2007 with the 28th pick. Some other notable players drafted 28th overall are Norris Cole, Leandro Barbosa, Ian Mahinmi and Greivis Vasquez.

Durant carries Thunder to Western Finals

May, 16, 2014
May 16

Richard Mackson/USA TODAY SportsKevin Durant started slow, but came alive to record his 9th 30-point game of this postseason.

Kevin Durant did it again. The NBA's 2013-14 MVP stepped up when his team needed its go-to guy. Durant netted his ninth 30-point game of the postseason. No other player has more than four this postseason.

With Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder advancing to the Western Conference Finals, here's how Durant (and the Thunder) got there and what to expect against the San Antonio Spurs.

Joins some exclusive lists
With his 39 points Thursday night, Durant joined a nice list. Durant trails only Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson for the most points per game averaged in potential series-clinching games.

Another impressive list? The last five players to record a 35-15-5 playoff game:

Durant (twice), LeBron James (twice) and Carmelo Anthony. Durant finished Game 6 with 39 points, 16 rebounds and five assists.

And one more. Since 1990, only three players have posted 35-15-5 in series-clinching wins. Durant, Hakeem Olajuwon (twice) and Michael Jordan.

Overcomes slow start
Durant was held to only three points on 1 of 7 shooting in the first quarter. In the final three quarters, Durant dropped 36 points on 11 of 16 shooting.

Durant found his success by figuring out Matt Barnes. Barnes shut down Durant in Game 5 (Durant shot 2 of 14 against Barnes, including 0 of 11 on jump shots). And Barnes was on his way to doing it again.

In the first quarter, Durant was defended by Barnes the entire time, extending his shooting slump to 3 of 21 in the last five quarters against the Clipper stopper. But in the final three quarters, Durant scored 19 points against Barnes (7 of 10 shooting).

On to San Antonio
Durant and the Thunder move on to the Western Conference Finals to face the San Antonio Spurs.

Durant and his teammates should be up to the challenge.

The Spurs "held" Durant to 26.3 points per game (his fewest against any opponent he faced more than twice) in their four meetings during the regular season.

However, the Thunder swept all four meetings against the Spurs, winning all four by at least six points.

Top stats to know: Thunder at Clippers

May, 15, 2014
May 15

AP Photo/Sue OgrockiCan Matt Barnes stop Kevin Durant again in Game 6 tonight?
After two improbable comebacks in the last two games, what will the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder give us tonight in a must-win Game 6 for the home team (10:30 ET on ESPN)?

The Clippers are trying to stave off elimination and force a decisive Game 7, while the Thunder are looking to advance to the Western Conference Finals for the third time in the last four seasons.

How to stop Durant
If the Clippers are going to have any chance of winning, they’ll have to slow down Kevin Durant. Durant is averaging 30.8 points per game in the playoffs this season, the highest scoring average among all players.

However, the Clippers can find some hope in that Durant missed 16 of his 22 shots in Game 5. Matt Barnes served as Durant’s primary defender on nearly 80 percent of his half-court plays in Game 5 and Durant went just 2 of 14 from the field against Barnes.

Barnes was especially effective at forcing Durant into jump shots and getting a hand in his face while shooting.

Durant settled for a jumper on 11 of his 14 attempts against Barnes, missing all 11 of those jump shots.

Barnes was able to effectively close down on Durant, as all of Durant’s jumpers in Game 5 versus Barnes were pull-up attempts and nine of those 11 jumpers were contested.

Historic Duo
Durant and Russell Westbrook have been a two-man show for the Thunder in the playoffs, accounting for a combined 58 points per game and 56 percent of the team’s total points.

Their combined scoring average would be the highest by any player-duo in the postseason since Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant combined for 59.1 points per game in the 2003 playoffs.

The two have been even better in this series, with Durant averaging 32.0 points and Westbrook putting up 29.6 per game.

If the two both average at least 30 points per game for the series, they’d become just the fourth pair of teammates in NBA postseason history to accomplish that feat, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Even by himself, Westbrook is having a historic postseason. Averaging 27.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 8.1 assists, Westbrook is on pace to join Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to average at least 27 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists in a single postseason.

Clippers long odds
Chris Paul has transformed the Clippers franchise since coming to L.A. three seasons ago – their 12 playoff wins since acquiring Paul are one more than they had in the previous 27 seasons combined.

Yet Paul and the Clippers still have one thing in common: they have never made a Conference Finals. The Clippers are 0-5 all-time in Conference Semifinal series while Paul has lost his two previous Conference Semifinal appearances.

If beating the MVP and the number two seed in the Western Conference isn’t hard enough, the Clippers also must overcome this looming statistic to reach their first Conference Finals: they are 0-5 all-time in best-of-7 series when trailing 3-2.

Keys to victory: Thunder 105, Clippers 104

May, 14, 2014
May 14
With each game in this series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers, the storylines get more and more remarkable.

This time, it was the Thunder’s turn. They capped their comeback win with a 17-3 game-ending run, scoring those points on nine memorable possessions.

There was controversy with regards to questions about the officiating, but it was an amazing triumph for the Thunder nonetheless.

How the heck did that happen?
What were the keys to the Thunder’s comeback?

Kevin Durant scored 10 of his 27 points in the final four minutes and had as many field goals (3) on five shots as he did on the 17 shots he attempted in the first 44 minutes of the game.

Five of the Clippers' six field goal attempts in the last four minutes were pull-up jump shots. They were 1 of 5 on such shots, which led to long rebounds.

Seven of Thunder's 17 points in the last four minutes came in transition, five of which came straight from Clippers' misses on pull-up jumpers.

Chris Paul turned the ball over five times in the game, including twice in the final 13 seconds. In 138 minutes in clutch time this season (less than five minutes left, and the score within five points), Paul turned the ball over only seven times.

Westbrook’s big game
Russell Westbrook finished with 38 points, his most in a game this postseason, including three free throws in the final seconds to put the Thunder ahead.

That Westbrook made all three was not that surprising. Westbrook is an 85 percent free-throw shooter in clutch-time situatons.
Up until the four minute mark of the fourth quarter, Westbrook had scored 18 of Thunder's 36 points in the second half. He was especially aggressive when guarded by Paul. Westbrook drove four times against Paul and scored on every one of his drives.

Of Westbrook’s 18 points during that time, 12 came when he did not defer to his teammates. He had nine possessions in which he initiated and finished the offense, compared to six possessions where there were passes involved in the play.

Overall, he was 7 of 12 in what we’ll call "one-man offense" compared to 4 of 11 playing within "team offense."

Keys to comeback: Clippers 101, Thunder 99

May, 11, 2014
May 11

The Clippers were the longest of longshots to win on Sunday.
The Los Angeles Clippers staged one of the most remarkable comebacks in NBA playoff history, coming back from a 29-7 deficit and a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 101-99, and even their series, 2-2.

The Clippers have been involved in each of the three comebacks from 20-point deficits in postseason play and have won two of them.

The Spurs have the other win-- they rallied to beat the Clippers in 2012.

The final quarter
The Clippers trailed by 12 points at the start of the fourth quarter but outscored the Thunder by 14 to win. How did they do it?

They made as many shots in the restricted area in the fourth quarter (12 out of 14 attempts) as they did in the first three (12 of 25).

Instead of settling for jump shots, they attacked the lane in the fourth quarter, scoring eight points on drives and an additional 14 in transition.

Blake Griffin replaced DeAndre Jordan with 8:44 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Clippers down by 14 points, joining Chris Paul, Darren Collison, Jamal Crawford and Danny Granger. During that time, the Clippers scored 33 points, shot 12 of 15 and outscored the Thunder by 16 points.

To try to combat this, the Thunder also went with a small lineup of Russell Westbrook, Reggie Jackson, Caron Butler, Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka. In the 5:47 they were on the court together, they were outscored 21-8, shooting 2 of 7 and committing three turnovers.

Durant scored five points in the fourth when guarded by Chris Paul, but also had three of his eight turnovers as the Clippers mounted their comeback.

Paint, bench scoring key
The Clippers outscored the Thunder 52 to 32 in the paint. The 20-point differential was the biggest of the series.

The Clippers' bench scored 40 points, the most it has scored in the series.

Clippers reserve Darren Collison scored 12 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. The 18 points was his second-highest total of postseason career.

Another way in which this was an unlikely win
The Clippers won despite making only 3 of 21 three-point shots.

In the last 25 seasons, teams that shot less than 14.5 percent from three-point range have won only three of 19 games.

The final shot
Westbrook missed the game-winning three-point attempt as time expired in Game 4.

Should Durant have had the ball in his hands in the final seconds?

Westbrook is now 1 for 8 on game-tying/go-ahead shots in the final 24 seconds of playoff games, while Durant is 5 of 15 on those shots.

Kevin Durant had one touch in the final 90 seconds of the game.

He had the ball for a total of one second in the final 90 seconds -- he was double-teamed as soon as he caught it and passed it right back out.

Keys to victory: Thunder 118, Clippers 112

May, 10, 2014
May 10
For the third straight time in the series, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers both topped 100 points, as the Thunder won 118-112 in Los Angeles.

The Thunder did something Friday that they had never done as a franchise. They won Game 3 on the road when the series was tied at a game apiece. They had lost the four previous times they played such a game.

Durant, Thunder dominant inside
Kevin Durant scored 30 points for the seventh time in this year’s playoffs. That’s as many as any other two players combined.

He was successful close to the basket on Friday, scoring 20 points from 10 feet and in, breaking his previous playoff high of 18 such points. He had only scored 12 such points in the first two games of the series.

Durant wasn’t the only player who was successful close to the basket. The Thunder scored a postseason high 52 points in the paint, outscoring the Clippers in the paint for the second straight game.

Russell Westbrook fell two rebounds short of recording his second straight triple-double, but he did reach double digits in assists in back-to-back playoff games for the first time in his career.

Paul comes up big in losing effort
In a losing effort, Chris Paul scored 21 points and handed out 16 assists without recording a turnover.

In the last 25 years, only two players have had 20 points, 15 assists and zero turnovers in a playoff game -- Magic Johnson in 1991 and Chris Paul twice (tonight and in 2008 against the Dallas Mavericks).

The only players to have more assists without a turnover in the playoffs in that span are Rajon Rondo (19 in 2009) and Magic Johnson (17 in 1991).

Looking ahead to Sunday
The Thunder are 1-0 when leading a best-of-7 series two games to one. The Clippers have lost all four series that the have trailed two games to one.

Keys to victory: Thunder 112, Clippers 101

May, 8, 2014
May 8
This was one of those days in which the combination of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook was just too much for their opponents to handle.

The Oklahoma City Thunder evened their semifinal with the Los Angeles Clippers with a convincing win in Game 2.

The Thunder snapped their five-game conference semifinal losing streak.

Westbrook takes it upon himself
Westbrook scored 21 of his 31 points when he did not pass the ball during the possession, including 17 of his 19 first-half points.

In the playoffs, he has been more effective when he has not deferred to his teammates, shooting 49 percent on possessions in which he doesn’t pass the ball and 37 percent on possessions in which he did pass it.

Westbrook had his third triple-double of the postseason. No one else in the NBA has any.

Westbrook is the fifth player in last 25 seasons with at least three triple-doubles in a single postseason (Rajon Rondo (twice), Jason Kidd, LeBron James and Magic Johnson)

Durant handles Barnes
Kevin Durant had his 28th career postseason game scoring at least 30 points, his sixth this postseason (the most in the NBA).

Durant was 8 for 11 for 21 points against Matt Barnes, after being held to 4 of 9 and 11 points by Barnes in Game 1.

Ibaka thwarts Griffin
Serge Ibaka continued his defensive excellence against Blake Griffin, who scored 7 points on 3-of-11 shooting when guarded by Ibaka in Game 2. Ibaka has held Griffin to 6 of 21 shooting and one field goal inside 10 feet this series. Griffin led the league with 6.6 such makes per game during the regular season.

Griffin is 6 for 8 against other defenders in this series.

Looking ahead
There have been 203 best-of-7 series that have been tied 1-1. The Game 3 winner goes on to win the series 76 percent of the time (154-49).

Keys to victory: Clippers 122, Thunder 105

May, 6, 2014
May 6
The Los Angeles Clippers had a surprisingly easy night in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Clippers snapped the Thunder’s six-game winning streak in Game 1s played at home with an easy win.

Difference-Maker: Chris Paul
Clippers point guard Chris Paul had arguably the best game of his NBA career, making 12 of 14 shots, including a career high eight three-pointers (he’d never made more than five in any game.

He finished with 32 points and 10 assists.

Paul is the first player to have 30 points, 10 assists and shoot 75 percent or better from the field in a playoff game since Michael Jordan for the Chicago Bulls in 1991.

Paul made pull-up jump shots against eight different Thunder defenders in the game.

Paul went 51 for 156 from three-point range in his first 53 games of the season. In the last 17, he is 52 for 102.

Durant and Westbrook can’t get it done
Kevin Durant scored 25 points for the Thunder, but the team was outscored by 26 points with him on the floor. The minus-26 was a career postseason worst for him.

Including playoffs, Durant has had a plus/minus of minus-10 or worse 109 times in his career, and the Thunder have lost every single one of those games.

Russell Westbrook finished with 29 points, but they were of little impact.
The Thunder are 0-4 this postseason when Westbrook scores more than 27 points (4-0 with 27 or fewer points).

Thunder don’t play their best defense
The Clippers shot 55 percent in the half court in Game 1. The Thunder held opponents to 43 percent shooting in half court situations during the regular season, fourth best in the NBA.

Next Level nuggets from Saturday

April, 20, 2014
Apr 20
It was a wild opening to the NBA playoffs. Three of the four games were won by road teams, just the second time in NBA history that three road teams won Game 1 of the First Round on the first day of the postseason. It also happened in 1996.

Playoff games are all about matchups. Here are the biggest ones from the four Saturday games.

Nets 94, Raptors 87

Paul Pierce
The story of this game was Paul Pierce, who scored nine of his 15 points in the 4th quarter. Seven of those nine points were scored when Patrick Patterson was the primary defender.

DeMar DeRozan, however, had a much more disappointing day. He was 3-for-13 from the floor, including 1-for-9 on jump shots.

DeRozan averaged 9.6 points per game on jump shots during the regular season, tied for seventh best in the NBA..

Warriors 109, Clippers 105

Chris Paul scored 28 points Saturday, but struggled with Klay Thompson as his primary defender. Paul missed his first eight shots when guarded by Thompson, who also forced three of his six turnovers.

But Doc Rivers and the Clippers shouldn't want Paul to score that much. They now have seven wins and five losses this season when Paul scores 25 points or more. They're 37-12 when Paul scores fewer than 25.

Hawks 101, Pacers 93

Jeff Teague helped to snap the Hawks eight-game road playoff losing streak, scoring 28 points, a new playoff career high. 78 percent of his field goal attempts came on drives, and he scored 20 points on those shots (including free throws).

Teague averaged just 5.6 points per game on drives during the regular season.

Roy Hibbert, however, continued to struggle. Hibbert was 4-for-9 from the floor Saturday and has not made a shot outside the paint since April 4.

In his first 77 games this season, he shot 40 percent on such shots.

Thunder 100, Grizzlies 86

Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant had 33 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. That makes nine straight postseason games where Durant had 20 points, five rebounds and five assists, tied for the fourth-longest streak in NBA history.

The only Grizzlies player that could contain Durant Saturday was Tony Allen. He held Durant to 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting (36 percent) Saturday, but Durant scored 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting (73 percent) against everyone else.

But we all knew Durant is good and would be tough to stop. What we didn't know was how bad the Grizzlies would be outside of the paint.

Memphis missed its first 18 shots from outside the paint Saturday before hitting their last attempt of the second quarter. The Thunder outscored the Grizzlies 23-3 outside the paint in the first half, making up most of Memphis' 22-point halftime deficit.

"Wow Stats" for every NBA Playoff series

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty ImagesKevin Durant has the fourth-highest postseason scoring average in NBA history.
The NBA playoffs get underway on Saturday. Before they do, here’s a stat you should know on each of the eight first-round series.

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs (8) Dallas Mavericks

• 29: The Spurs and Mavericks have played 29 playoff games dating back to the 2000-01 season, one behind the Spurs and Lakers for the most playoff games between two teams in that time. Dallas and San Antonio are separated by just 33 points over those 29 meetings, just over one point per game.

(2) Oklahoma City Thunder vs (7) Memphis Grizzlies
• 28.6: Kevin Durant is averaging 28.6 points per game in his playoff career. In NBA history, the only players with a higher playoff scoring average are Michael Jordan (33.4), Allen Iverson (29.7) and Jerry West (29.1).

(3) Los Angeles Clippers vs (6) Golden State Warriors
• 484: The “Splash Brothers”, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, have combined for 484 3-pointers this season, the most by a pair of teammates in a single NBA season. Whose record did they break? Their own (483 last season).

(4) Houston Rockets vs (5) Portland Trail Blazers
• 45.6: The Blazers allowed 45.6 points in the paint per game this season, the worst of any playoff team. Houston’s Dwight Howard averaged 13.1 paint points per game this season, fifth-most in the league.

(1) Indiana Pacers vs (8) Atlanta Hawks
• .480: Both teams went 12-13 in their final 25 games for a .480 winning percentage. Only two teams in NBA history were under .500 in their final 25 games and went on to win the NBA championship: the 1957-58 Hawks and 1994-95 Rockets.

(2) Miami Heat vs (7) Charlotte Bobcats
• 15: The Heat and Bobcats have met 15 times since LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh joined forces before the 2010-11 season. Miami has won all 15. In that same time, Miami is 14-0 against the Raptors, a possible opponent in the next round.

(3) Toronto Raptors vs (6) Brooklyn Nets
• 2 and 3: On the morning of January 1st, the Raptors and Nets both had a losing record. Since then, however, they’ve been two of the Eastern Conference’s best. The Nets have the second-best win percentage since January 1 (.667), the Raptors are third (.642).

(4) Chicago Bulls vs (5) Washington Wizards
• 7.8: Nobody dominated the ball like John Wall this season. He averaged 7.8 minutes of possession per game, most in the league. That’s roughly 16 percent of a regulation game.

A rare matchup of point guards

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY SportsThe Warriors-Clippers series could be decided at the point guard spot.
The NBA playoffs kick off Saturday afternoon and one of the more intriguing first round matchups will take place in Los Angeles.

The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers have already exchanged pre-series barbs making it clear the two teams are not fond of one another. But this series should be just as entertaining on the court, as it features two of the league’s best point guards – Chris Paul and Stephen Curry.

Elite point guards
Paul and Curry both averaged at least 19 points and eight assists per game this season.

The last time two point guards faced off in the playoffs with such averages? The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that it was in 1991.

That would be Magic Johnson and Tim Hardaway. The two faced off in the 1991 Western Conference Semifinals, with the Lakers winning the series four games to one.

And the point guards did not disappoint. In game two of that series, the Warriors won 125-124 with Hardaway totaling 28 points, 14 assists and eight steals. Johnson? Well he put up 44 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists in the loss.

Postseason form
Curry and Paul have stepped their games up during the playoffs.

Last postseason, Curry averaged 23.4 points per game and 8.1 assists, while making 3.5 three-pointers per game. That is the third-highest single postseason average all-time (minimum five games in that postseason).

Most memorable was Curry’s 44-point, 11-assist performance in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Spurs last season.

Paul, on the other hand, is one of two players all-time with averages of 20 points and nine assists per game in the playoffs (Deron Williams).

Inside the matchup
There are a few key spots in which this matchup could be determined.

Curry averages an NBA-high 10.3 pull-up shots per game, shooting 43.6 percent on such shots according to player tracking.

Turnovers, however, have been an issue for Curry. He was tied for the league-lead, averaging 3.8 turnovers per game this season. That bodes well for Paul, as he led the NBA averaging 2.5 steals per game. In fact, during their first meeting this season, Curry committed 11 turnovers and Paul had six steals.

This season Paul averaged an NBA-best 8.8 points per game as the pick-and-roll ball handler. That could be a way in which Paul could exploit Curry’s defense. For example, in Game 5 of the 2013 Western Conference semifinals, the Spurs made 11-of-16 shots and scored 30 points when Curry was the on-ball defender.

Two of the West's best face off in L.A.

April, 9, 2014
Apr 9

Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty ImagesKevin Durant's streak might be over, but he will look to get the best of the Clippers Wednesday night.
The Oklahoma City Thunder will be in L.A. to face the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. These teams have been two of the NBA's best this season, but lately they have been heading in different directions.

The Clippers are 18-3 over their past 21 games, outscoring opponents by 10.6 points per game. Oklahoma City, on the other hand, entered the All-Star break at 43-12 but is 13-9 since.

The Thunder have lost three of their past four road games, whereas the Clippers have won nine of their past 10 home games.

The streak is over, but still much to be done
Kevin Durant’s streak of scoring at least 25 points ended Tuesday night against the Sacramento Kings. The 41-game streak is the third-longest single-season streak in NBA history.

But there is still plenty for Durant to accomplish this season.

He is averaging 32.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists. Durant is seeking to become the fourth player in NBA history to average at least 32 points, 7 boards and 5 assists in a single season.

Leading Carmelo Anthony by 4.5 points per game, Durant is a virtual lock to become the fifth player in NBA history to win at least four scoring titles. His per-game lead over Anthony would be the third-largest gap between first and second in scoring average dating to 1969-70.

A new vibe in L.A.
The Clippers’ first season in Los Angeles was 1984-85. From that point through the 2010-11 season, they posted a .349 win percentage -- worst in the league during that span.

Since trading for Chris Paul, they have won nearly 67 percent of their games, the fourth-best mark in the NBA. And this season is no different.

Last year, the Clippers set a franchise record with 56 wins. They are at 55 wins with four games to play this season.

Thunder cooling off?
A main reason for the drop-off from the Thunder's pre-All-Star pace has been Oklahoma City's defensive struggles.

The Thunder allowed 99.3 points per 100 possessions before the break (third best), but have yielded 104.6 since (14th). Opponents are cashing in at the 3-point line, making 9.7 per game on an efficient 39.5 percent shooting, both of which rank second highest in the league during that span.

In losses, the defense has failed Oklahoma City even more. The Thunder are allowing 116.2 points per game in losses since the All-Star break.

Tuesday night, the Thunder beat the Kings, but that doesn't necessarily bode well for them. Oklahoma City is 7-6 on zero days' rest this season.

Series matchup
The Clippers are 2-1 against the Thunder this season, but Durant has had his way with L.A.

Durant is averaging 34.3 points and 9.3 assists in the three games against the Clippers this season. He has scored 30 or more points in five of the past six meetings between the teams.

US PresswireChris Paul (right) and Blake Griffin led the Clippers to an historic blowout of the Lakers.
The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 142-94 on Thursday, a blowout of historic proportions. Let’s not waste any time breaking it down.

• It’s the largest win in Clippers franchise history and the largest loss in Lakers history.

• It’s the most points the Clippers have ever scored against the Lakers, and it’s the most points they’ve ever scored in a road game (it was in their home arena, but the Clippers were the road team).

• It’s the most points the Clippers scored since March 13, 1998, a 152-120 win against the Toronto Raptors.

• The Clippers’ four largest wins since moving to Los Angeles in 1984-85 have come this season, and two of them have been against the Lakers.

• The Clippers’ starters outscored the Lakers’ starters, 88-51, and none of them played in the fourth quarter (it was 88-39 through three quarters).

• The Clippers had three reserves score in double digits (not to mention all five starters), as many as the Lakers had altogether.

• The Clippers outscored the Lakers 44-13 in the second quarter and outrebounded the home team 22-5. Darren Collison outscored the Lakers by himself in that quarter, 14-13.

His 14 points in the quarter are more than he’s scored in 45 games this season.

• The Clippers have won six straight games, the longest active win streak in the NBA.

Similar styles set to clash in L.A.

February, 26, 2014
Feb 26

AP Photo/Mark J. TerrillThe Clippers and Rockets like to get out and run, as they both rank in the top five in transition scoring.
The Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers meet for a third time this season Wednesday night (ESPN, 10:30 p.m. ET), and chances are the match-up will be fun to watch.

Off to the races
There will be no shortage of high-flying dunks and fast breaks, as the Clippers and Rockets rank one and two in the league in dunks, respectively. They also play at almost the same exact pace and both rank in the top five in the league in transition scoring.

James Harden scored 20 of his 43 points in transition Tuesday night against the Kings, adding to his league-leading average of 7.8 points per game in transition.

The Clippers have been able to keep Harden in check this season, though. In the first two matchups against the Clippers this season, Harden scored 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting in transition.

Blake Griffin leads the Clippers, and all NBA power forwards/centers in transition points and assists this season.

The Rockets enter Wednesday night’s game as one of the hottest teams in the NBA.

Houston is an NBA-best 18-5 since January 1. Fresh off a 26-point win against the Sacramento Kings, the Rockets have won 10 of its last 11 overall.

The Rockets entered January sitting in sixth place in the Western Conference. But Houston now sits in third place after a couple hot months and is one-and-a-half games back of the San Antonio Spurs.

Repeat performance?
The Clippers are 2-0 this season against the Rockets, winning by an average of 16.0 points per game.

Los Angeles found success against the Rockets by shooting well from long range, as well as having a balanced attack.

The Clippers averaged 12.0 three point field goals per game and show 38.7 percent from that distance in the first two meetings. Houston averaged 7.0 three point field goals and shot just 27.5 percent from that range.

In those two meetings four Clippers averaged 18+ points per game – J.J. Redick (24.0), Griffin (20.0), Jamal Crawford (18.5) and Chris Paul (18.5). Paul also dished out 15.0 assists per game.

L.A.’s success against Houston extends beyond this season, as the Clippers have won seven of their last eight games against the Rockets.

Clippers run away from Thunder

February, 23, 2014
Feb 23
Kevin Durant did something that he had never done in his career before today, but it was not enough as the Clippers beat the Thunder 125-117 in Oklahoma City on Sunday afternoon.

The Clippers handed the Thunder their second straight home loss, just the second time that OKC has lost consecutive games at the Chesapeake Energy Arena this season.

Los Angeles avoided its third straight loss and still has not lost three games in a row this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the furthest into any season that the Braves/Clippers franchise has gone without a three-game losing streak.

What were the keys to the Clippers second win in their last six games against the Thunder?

Clippers on the run
The Clippers were at their best when pushing the pace, tying a season-high with 34 fastbreak points, including 27 in the first half. They made 13 of 14 shots on the break, turning it over just once. The Clippers are averaging 17.8 fastbreak points per game, third-most in the league.

It was the most fastbreak points the Thunder have allowed in more than five years, since the Phoenix Suns had 37 against them on February 20, 2009.

Paul dishes to Crawford, Barnes
Chris Paul created 30 points off 12 assists Sunday. According to player-tracking data, Paul leads the NBA creating 25.1 points per game.

The main beneficiaries from his assists were Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes who knocked down five shots apiece.

Crawford and Barnes combined for 33 points from behind the arc Sunday, finding particular success when those shots were guarded. Crawford shot 5 of 8 and Barnes shot 4 of 5. Entering the game, the duo had shot a combined 33.5 percent on three-pointers.

A first for Durant
Durant finished the game with 42 points and 10 assists, the first time he’s ever reach those totals in a game.

He is just the second player in Thunder/Sonics history with a 40-10 game, joining Gary Payton, who had two such games according to Elias.

Durant now has nine 40-point games this season. No other player even has five of those.

Durant’s aggressiveness keyed his scoring outburst, driving to the basket 11 times while scoring 15 of his 40 points on those drives. Entering the game, Durant was averaging only six drive points on 5.7 drives per game.

Thunder go cold from mid-range
The Thunder made only 7 of 24 attempts from the mid-range area, tied for their third-worst percentage in a game this season. The Thunder lead the league in mid-range shooting this season, making 44 percent of their shots.

Los Angeles has been effective in limiting the Thunder's mid-range accuracy this season, as two of the Thunder’s four worst shooting games from this area have come against the Clippers.