Cincinnati.com
National Basketball Association
Preview
Oklahoma City at L.A. Clippers
When: 10:30 PM ET, Friday, October 19, 2018
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

The Oklahoma City Thunder ruled out star point guard Russell Westbrook for Friday's road contest but Doc Rivers isn't buying it. The Los Angeles Clippers coach said he has been tipped off that Westbrook will be making his season debut when the teams meet at Staples Center.

Thunder coach Billy Donovan said Thursday that nothing has changed per the condition of Westbrook, who missed Tuesday's 108-100 season-opening loss to the Golden State Warriors while recovering from right knee surgery. However, Rivers had this to say: "We're just preparing for West. We have inside sources. I'm breaking it now West is going to play." The Clippers lost their opener 107-98 to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday and are playing the middle contest of a three-game homestand that concludes against the Houston Rockets on Sunday. Oklahoma City is looking to split a two-game West Coast swing before returning for four at home, a stretch that ends with a rematch against the Clippers.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, FS Oklahoma, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)

ABOUT THE THUNDER (0-1): Westbrook underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Sept. 12, a procedure that was billed as minor in nature. The offseason acquisition of Dennis Schroder (19.4 average for Atlanta last season) gives Oklahoma City the ability to be patient and Schroder played well in the opener with 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists against the Warriors. "There's a lot of positives," Schröder told reporters. "We played as a unit. We did a great job playing defensively, running, moving the ball, but we can still improve on a lot of things as well."

ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (0-1): First-round pick Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has impressed the coaching staff and the point guard's debut was solid with 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting and four assists in 28 minutes. "I thought he did the best job of going downhill, getting into the paint, and either finishing or making plays," Rivers told reporters of the 20th overall pick. "Shai stood out as one guy who kept making the right plays." Forward Tobias Harris contributed a double-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Thunder won all three of last season's meetings and prevailed in seven of the past nine matchups.

2. Los Angeles PG Patrick Beverley missed all eight shots in 20 scoreless minutes against Denver.

3. Oklahoma City SF Paul George scored 27 points in the opener against Golden State but committed five turnovers.

PREDICTION: Clippers 99, Thunder 95
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Oklahoma City 0-1 L1 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-1
L.A. Clippers 0-1 L1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-1
Last Meeting
Oklahoma City L.A. Clippers
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
3/16/18 LAC 113 OKC 121 121 46 48.9 113 48 48.8
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Oklahoma City C. Brewer 22 58.3 6
L.A. Clippers T. Harris 24 50.0 0
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Oklahoma City S. Adams 14 10 4
L.A. Clippers D. Jordan 21 7 14
Assists Player  
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 11
L.A. Clippers T. Harris 6
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Oklahoma City P. George 98 41.4 28
L.A. Clippers T. Harris 60 47.5 15
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Oklahoma City S. Adams 50 25 25
L.A. Clippers B. Marjanovic 28 12 16
Assists Player  
Oklahoma City D. Schroder 28
L.A. Clippers P. Beverley 15
Quickchart Matchup
Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Off vs  L.A. Clippers L.A. Clippers Defense
Oklahoma City Off vs L.A. Clippers - Points For 100.0 Points For
Oklahoma City Off vs L.A. Clippers - Points Against 107.0 Points Against
Oklahoma City - FG% 36.3 FG%
L.A. Clippers - FG% 37.9 FG%
Oklahoma City - Reb 45.0 Reb
L.A. Clippers - Reb 56.0 Reb
L.A. Clippers L.A. Clippers Off vs  Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Defense
L.A. Clippers Off vs Oklahoma City - Points For 98.0 Points For
L.A. Clippers Off vs Oklahoma City - Points Against 108.0 Points Against
L.A. Clippers - FG% 40.2 FG%
Oklahoma City - FG% 44.2 FG%
L.A. Clippers - Reb 47.0 Reb
Oklahoma City - Reb 58.0 Reb