Read a preview and watch a live stream of the Thunder vs the Clippers…
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles.
When: Friday October 31, 02:30 (UK time)
Watch live: Click here to watch on BT Sport online!
The Los Angeles Clippers get their season underway on Thursday night when they welcome a decimated Oklahoma City Thunder to the Staples Center.
With new ownership and new focus at the franchise ahead of the new campaign, coach Doc Rivers and the Clippers will be determined to improve on last year’s showing.
The Donald Sterling controversy undoubtedly effected the entire franchise during a critical point of the season during the playoffs, and ultimately they fell short against Thursday’s opponents.
However, with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan a year wiser together, they will be confident in their ability to compete at the top of the Western Conference again, but the same can’t be said for the OKC.
The Thunder lost their opening game on Wednesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, and a big concern for coach Scott Brooks at this stage is getting through the early games until they start to recover some of their injured stars.
Kevin Durant is out for six to eight weeks after undergoing foot surgery, while the likes of Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb and Anthony Morrow remain sidelined with various ailments.
As a result, the responsibility falls mostly on point guard Russell Westbrook’s shoulders, but even a 38-point performance on Wednesday wasn’t enough to stop the Blazers.
Oklahoma City entered the fourth quarter with a two-point lead, but they were unable to hold on to it as Westbrook also struggled going 1-of-6 shooting in the final period. Lance Thomas and Serge Ibaka were the only other two Thunder players to score double digits, and it will be a concern again in Los Angeles.
With the absence of Durant coupled with being at home, the Clippers will fancy their chances of starting the season with a victory.