Two of the Western Conference's top four teams clash when the Oklahoma City Thunder visit the Los Angeles Clippers in a nationally-televised matchup on Tuesday, January 16.
The Clippers and Thunder have built their rosters in opposite ways: LA has four multi-time All-Stars over the age of 30, while the oldest player in the Thunder's starting lineup is 25-year-old Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
This game features Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and James Harden facing their former team, while Gilgeous-Alexander returns to the city where he spent his rookie season. SGA was part of the trade package that landed George in LA.
|10 PM ET, Tuesday, January 16
|Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
|How to watch
Oklahoma City Thunder: All OKC players are available to play on January 16.
Los Angeles Clippers: Ivica Zubac (calf, out); Moussa Diabate (hip, out)
Three former Thunder players now play for the Clippers, and two former Clippers now play for the Thunder.
Both rosters were heavily shaped by the trade that sent Paul George to Los Angeles in return for Gilgeous-Alexander, Isaiah Joe, and plenty of draft picks. Plus, Russell Westbrook spent 11 seasons in OKC, and James Harden spent his first three NBA seasons there.
Both teams have points to prove: the Clippers have won eight of their last 10 and want to keep the good times rolling after going through an adjustment period with the early-season acquisition of Harden, while the Thunder want to show their young team is the real deal and can hang with - or even outplay - a team that has six players with over a decade of NBA experience.
This is the Thunder's second game in as many days, entering this game coming off a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Clippers had Monday off, with their last game being a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.
The Clippers and Thunder both have great offenses, and they each have a very different way of scoring points.
The Thunder turn defense into offense: they rank in the top two league-wide in steals and blocked shots, and they play with the eighth-fastest pace in the league. They score the fourth-most points in the paint per game (54.7), mainly thanks to SGA's driving ability and the size of centers Chet Holmgren and Jalen Williams. Plus, they rank in the top five in three-point percentage, free throw percentage, and field goal percentage.
The Clippers are fifth in the league in steals per game, but they play with the NBA's 25th-fastest pace. They have the best three-point percentage in the league, attempt more shots off of isolation plays than any other team, and attempt fewer catch-and-shoot shots than any other team.
Simply put, this is a clash of styles featuring two of the NBA's premier teams.
Tyronn Lue's Clippers like to let their stars dribble the ball and make things happen, while Mark Daigneault's Thunder will look for spots to steal the ball and run against the second-oldest team in the NBA by average age.
These two franchises - dating back to when the Clippers were called the Buffalo Braves and the Thunder were the Seattle Supersonics - have met 229 times in NBA history. The Thunder have 144 wins, while the Clippers have 85. These teams last met in December 2023, when the Thunder won 134-115. They will meet again on February 22.
Odds mentioned in this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.