NBA Best Record Holders Oklahoma City Thunder Visiting Los Angeles Clippers
Monday, January 30, 2012
Oklahoma City not only sports the best record in the NBA (16-3) but also has the best road record (8-2). Chauncey Billups lit up his former Nuggets team with a season-high 32 points, including 18 on 3-pointers. Chris Paul scored 25. Thunder coach Scott Brooks, a former point guard, is awed by Paul and cringes at the thought of defending him and Blake Griffin.
“The guy is one of the best,” Brooks said. “He's clever. He's tough. He's a coach on the floor. He will make Blake better because he finds him in the right spots.” Kevin Durant scored a season-high 37 in Oklahoma City’s 120-109 road victory at Golden State on Friday, helping the Thunder win its fourth in a row and nine of its last 10.
Oklahoma City Thunder (16-3): Guard James Harden is one of the early favorites for NBA Sixth Man of the Year and is producing the best statistics of his career. He leads all reserves with a 16.8 scoring average. He has started only one of 19 games this season and scored in double figures 18 times. He has also scored 20 or more points in six games and is averaging 4.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 29 minutes. In his last five games, Harden is shooting 58.1 percent from the field.
Los Angeles Clippers (11-6): Billups can only hope his return to his current home is as productive as his return to Denver, his hometown. In his first game back since a trade that sent him and Carmelo Anthony to New York last February, Billups received a standing ovation and several highlights of his Nuggets days were shown on video scoreboards. Backup guard Eric Bledsoe was called up from Bakersfield of the Development League but did not play against Denver.
1. Oklahoma City leads the league in free-throw shooting at 80.9 percent.
2. Oklahoma City is 8-0 when outrebounding the opposition.
3. Billups reiterated that he is trying to get former Denver teammate Kenyon Martin to join the Clippers. Martin is playing in China, but his season should end by mid-February.
NBA BASKETBALL PREDICTION: Thunder 108, Clippers 102
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