PLAYA VISTA, Calif. – The Los Angeles Clippers (55-23) head into Wednesday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder (56-21) acknowledging how important is is in terms of preparing for the playoffs. With just four games left in the regular season, a matchup against the team right above them in the rankings is the perfect opportunity to inch up closer to the No. 2 spot in the West.
“Yeah, definitely is something to it [meaning of game vs OKC],” Chris Paul said before Tuesday morning’s practice. “It’s a big game for us, I think we’re up 2-1 right now [in the season series]. Obviously being one game behind, always wanna move up as much as possible to get home court if it comes to it.”
Standing in their way will be the consistently dominant Kevin Durant whose streak of 25-point games came to an end after 41 games Tuesday against the Sacramento Kings. He’s deadly from any spot on the court and puts pressure on the defense by attacking the rim often. According to NBA.com’s Player Tracking Data provided by SportsVU, Durant shoots a remarkable 58 percent from the field on drives.
“You gotta know where he’s at all times, ” Blake Griffin said before Tuesday morning’s practice. “You just make it a little tough for him. Can’t give him easy, open looks. He’s gonna make shots, he’s gonna get his points. He’s just the best scorer in the world, in my opinion. So you know, it’s just a matter of trying to make it tough for him, not really trying to ‘stop’ him.”
While the national spotlight might shine a little brighter on Durant, Griffin’s improvement through hard work and persistence has earned him some high praise from teammate J.J. Redick.
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