LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Clippers stunned the Oklahoma City Thunder in the fourth quarter of Wednesday night’s matchup, erasing a 17-point fourth quarter deficit to win 123-118.
The Thunder went into the second quarter with a 13-point lead and halftime with 22-point lead. OKC had a 17-point lead heading into the final quarter, hoping to rest some of their starters with Golden State on the slate on Thursday.
That plan completely went out the door with OKC’s collapse as the Clippers finished the game on a 23-3 run.
“I just go back to the energy,” head coach Doc Rivers said about the fourth quarter comeback. “I thought they had it for two and a half quarters. That one group came in and changed the energy of the game. I thought from that point on, everybody was locked in. Obviously, you have to be that way all game, especially against a team like that. You cannot hope to win games like this every night, but it is good to get one where we didn’t really have it for two and a half quarters.”
Oklahoma City shot just 4-of-18 from the field in the final 12 minutes and a dismal 0-of-7 from beyond the arc.
If there was one main culprit though for OKC, no need to look any further than Kevin Durant. He shot 1-of-4 from the field (plus 1-of-2 from the line) down the stretch and turned it over twice in the final four minutes.
“It’s tough. They made plays, we didn’t,” Kevin Durant said after the game. “They were disciplined and we weren’t. We want to win a bunch of games in regular season, but we can’t keep this up.”
OKC has now lost 9 games this season when leading entering the fourth quarter, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Only the Philadelphia 76ers have more fourth-quarter collapses.
The result now puts the Clippers just 1.5 games behind the Thunder for the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference playoff standings.
“We came in at halftime and said ‘That was not us, the way we were playing.’ We are way better than that and we have to be able to play against teams like this, these caliber teams, like we did the last eight minutes for the entire game. That is what great teams do, and we have to continue to get better.”