Amir Kofi finished with 32 points, 13 rebounds and made seven 3 points, all career highs, when the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 138-88 on Sunday night at Crypto.com Arena to end the regular season.
The Clippers (42-40) ended their successful regular season with a five-game winning streak all year without injured star Cowie Leonard, while his partner Paul George recently returned to the squad after missing 43 games with an elbow injury like LA finished with a record break for the 11th consecutive season.
“It was a total team effort. “It was about winning as many games as possible until we got help,” said Clippers coach Tai Lu.
With the NBA playoffs and playoffs already set, Los Angeles chose to take a break from George and Reggie Jackson, while Norman Powell, who recently returned to the squad, did not line up for safety reasons as he recovered from a concussion injury. left leg.
Luke Kennard scored 20 points, Brandon Boston Jr. scored 18 and Ivica Tooth added 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers, who will now prepare to face seventh-placed Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. . on the road.
“We did a good job of playing the right way on both sides of basketball,” Loue said. “The bench was really strong, 34 assists, moving bodies, that’s what we wanted to see in the match.
Kofi was awarded the championship belt after the match, admitting that he is not surprised how well he performed this year, as the Clippers turned Kofi from a two-way contract into a standard contract for the rest of the season.
“I’m sleeping next to him tonight,” Kofi said on his belt. “I’ve always been a person who tries to stay in the moment, but looking back over the last few years, seeing my progress, it’s a good feeling. I have to keep working, I’m just starting. “
Xavier Moon, who signed a two-way contract with the Clippers, finished with 17 points, seven assists, one block and one theft.
“I love him. Everyone is here for each other, from top to bottom. Not just here, but in the G-League. That’s how an organization should be run,” Moon said.
The Oklahoma City Thunder (24-58) ended their season with a three-game losing streak and injuries, and many two-way players had the opportunity to show off their skills for the first time this season.
Zavier Simpson and George Kalaytsakis scored 17 points each for the Thunder, while Jaylan Howard finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds.
Los Angeles made five 3 points in the first period and led 39-18 in 12 minutes of play. Oklahoma City overtook the Clippers by four in the second, reducing their deficit to 15, 66-51 at halftime.
The Clippers continued their 18-4 run, scoring 16 consecutive points in the third to capture a 95-67 lead, heading for the fourth just before scoring 43 points in the final to win a landslide 138-88 victory.
“We’re ready. That’s what it is, three games in four days,” Lue said, about playing a few games before continuing in the playoffs.
The winner between the Clippers and Timberwolves on Tuesday will win number 7 and play the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, April 16 at 12:30 p.m.
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