NBA

Thunder-Clippers Preview

The Los Angeles Clippers are 0-3 against the teams ahead of them in the Western Conference and don't sound too confident as they get ready to face another one.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have won seven of eight ahead of Monday night's matchup in which Kevin Durant will play a road game against the Clippers for the first time since the 2014 playoffs.

The only teams ahead of Los Angeles (16-12) in the West are Golden State, San Antonio and Oklahoma City.

The Clippers lost twice to the Warriors in November and fell 115-107 on the road to the Spurs on Friday. They're allowing 49.3 percent on 3-pointers in those games.

Los Angeles feels like it is not at the level of those teams.

"We're not as good as San Antonio and Golden State," guard J.J. Redick said. "Obviously, Monday will be a test, but we're not there. We know that."

The Clippers are coming off Saturday's 107-97 defeat at Houston in their seventh road game in the last eight. This will be one of only three contests for them in Los Angeles in a 14-game stretch.

"I just thought we were flat, lacked energy but we've been on a helluva trip," coach Doc Rivers said.

Oklahoma City (18-9) will play back-to-back games at Staples Center, with what figures to be a mismatch with the Lakers on tap Wednesday. The Thunder crushed a Los Angeles team that played without Kobe Bryant on Saturday, 118-78.

Durant scored 22 points in three quarters and Enes Kanter added 19 and 14 rebounds off the bench as Oklahoma City led by 20 after one period and was never threatened.

''We just tried to make the right play every time down and defensively, we just tried to cover for each other,'' Durant said. ''We came in at halftime and coach (Billy Donovan) said we've got to still stick with our principles and still play the game the right way and I think we did a good job.''

No one on the Thunder reached 30 minutes in the blowout. Russell Westbrook had 13 points and 11 assists in 27 minutes.

The Clippers took two of three from the Thunder last season, with Durant and Blake Griffin each playing only once. Durant missed Oklahoma City's only visit to Los Angeles.

Durant was sensational in the 2014 Western Conference semifinal series between these teams, averaging 38.3 points in three road games as Oklahoma City won in six. That included a 39-point, 16-rebound effort in the clincher in Los Angeles.

Westbrook is second in the league with 9.5 assists per game and Chris Paul is not far behind at 9.0. Paul averaged 24.3 points and 9.7 assists in the 2014-15 season series and Westbrook averaged 15.0 points, 5.3 assists and 6.0 turnovers.

The center matchup pits two of the league's top shot blockers. Los Angeles' DeAndre Jordan averages 2.5 and Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka averages 2.4.

The Thunder lead the NBA in rebound margin at plus-8.0 while the Clippers are one of the league's worst teams at minus-4.8.

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