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Rested Thunder Should Handle Clippers: Fan Take
The Oklahoma City Thunder have had two days off since their 120-109 thumping of the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 27. The Thunder stay in California as they take on the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 30.
Oklahoma City has the advantage for several reasons.
The Clippers just played in Denver against the Nuggets on Jan. 29. Less than 24 hours later, they turn around and play the Thunder in Los Angeles. The time and travel involved may make the Clippers weary and more tired than their opponents who have rested for two full days without playing. That extra rest will be crucial. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook played over 40 minutes against Golden State.
The Clippers just came off an emotional game. Superstar Chauncey Billups used to play in Denver. He earned a season-high 32 points in his return to Colorado where he used to call home. The Clippers won 109-105. Towards the end of the game, Billups was on the receiving end of a controversial call that could have swayed the game to the home team. The Clippers ended Denver's six-game winning streak.
Los Angeles played a good opponent in their most recent game. The Thunder played a decent team, but one that was more easily handled. Granted, two starters had a lot of minutes. But those players will have at least 72 hours of rest, not less than 24, before the next game. It's not like the Thunder went to triple overtime against the Chicago Bulls.
Meanwhile, the Thunder continue to pound out victories. They are the best team in the NBA at 16-3. Oklahoma City has a four-game winning streak on the line. They've already spent half of a week in California and won't have jet lag or any weak legs from having recently played a big game against a quality opponent.
The game in the Staples Center will be entertaining for sure. However, the Thunder will trounce the tired Clippers by at least 15 points. My prediction is for a 105-90 win at least. Serge Ibaka is finding his offense and James Harden will have key minutes off the bench to help Durant and company win.
William Browning is a fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder ever since the team relocated from Seattle. As the closest NBA team to Branson, Mo., the Thunder serve as the regional team for southwest Missouri.
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