Courtesy of Oklahoma City Thunder Public Relations:
The Oklahoma City Blue fell to the Agua Caliente Clippers 108-107, on Friday evening.
The Blue held a one-point edge with just under three minutes to play before back-to-back buckets from J.J. Avila put Agua Caliente on top at 106-102. Then a driving layup from Abdul Gaddy trimmed the deficit to two with 45.8 seconds on the clock. A steal and score by Desi Rodriguez with 11.0 seconds left followed, and despite a three-point jumper from DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, the Clippers secured the road win.
“I was happy with our effort and our ability to play different ways given who we had on the roster tonight,” Head Coach Grant Gibbs said. “I thought we didn’t execute enough plays down the stretch. Give Agua Caliente credit, they made a lot of shots and played well. We need to continue to learn from these tough losses and continue to look forward to opportunities to get better and grow.”
The Blue led 56-51 at halftime courtesy of 45 percent shooting from the field, as they went 11-of-23 on three-point attempts. Agua Caliente outscored Oklahoma City 36-20 in the third and led by as many as 13 points before the Blue stormed back to take a 99-98 lead with 4:15 remaining in the game.
Five players finished in double figures for Oklahoma City, led by Akoon-Purcell, who generated 25 points on 5-of-9 three-point shooting and nine rebounds from the bench. Gaddy logged an 18-point and 11-assist double-double.
Thunder assignment player Justin Patton posted 10 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and five blocks. Markel Brown was nearly perfect from the floor as he shot 6-of-7 from the field and 5-of-6 from beyond the arc en route to 17 points in just 16 minutes of action.
The Clippers’ Xavier Rathan-Mayes led the way with a game-high 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field, with 14 of those coming in the third quarter. Five other Clippers scored in double-figures to lead a balanced scoring attack.
The Blue (5-12 )will return to action on Sunday, Dec. 29, at 2 p.m. as they face Sioux Falls at the Cox Convention Center.