OKLAHOMA CITY — — The Thunder have done it again.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 24 points and Oklahoma City earned its second straight win over the Clippers, beating Los Angeles 118-110 on Thursday night.
It was a breakout game for Dort, who entered shooting 26% from the field for the season. He made 9 of 15 shots, being the primary defender on a Clippers All-Star Paul George.
“For him, it’s a good confidence boost,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “I knew this would happen later. He works so hard, and when you work hard and you play as hard as he does, good things happen.”
The Thunder shot 49.5% from the field.
“We just have to be able to guard point of attack,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. “They just line us up one-on-one, and guys can get whatever they want.”
Scissors ahead Kawhi Leonard missed both games against the Thunder while managing his previously injured right knee. George played Thursday after sitting out Tuesday with an illness and finished with 10 points on 4-for-12 shooting.
The Thunder scored 31 points from 20 Clipper turnovers two days after scoring 23 points from 19 Los Angeles turnovers.
“The turnovers are killing us,” Lue said. “We just have to clean that up.”
The Thunder led 30-12 in the first quarter, but the Clippers rallied and led 60-53 at halftime behind 12 points each from Wall and Jackson.
“You know, that’s a really good team,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. “They’re not going to lay down. And I thought we really came out with a sense of purpose and obviously threw the first punch. And it’s a good lesson for us that a good team isn’t just going to accept that.”
Gilgeous-Alexander picked up his fourth foul with 4.6 seconds left in the second quarter, and he started the second half on the bench. The Thunder rallied without him and took a 71-70 lead before he returned midway through the third quarter. The Thunder led 89-87 going into the fourth.
Wall’s driving dunk at the start of the fourth quarter tied the game at 89, but the Thunder pulled away late. Pokusevski hit a 3-pointer, then less than a minute later, Three Man walked into a fast break 3-pointer that gave the Thunder 116-104 with 2:55 remaining.
Oklahoma City did not attempt a free throw until 10:22 remained in the fourth quarter, but the Thunder went 7 for 8 from the line in the final period.
Daigneault didn’t like the free throw situation, but he liked the way the game turned out.
“I wasn’t particularly happy about it, but we got through it,” he said. “And at the end of the day, it’s not easy one way or the other. There’s going to be things you’re going to have to deal with, things you’re going to have to overcome. And I just thought we played right through it tonight. It didn’t distract us . And we just — we kept at it and it obviously came out. It was good.”
UNENGAGEMENTS OF GILGEOUS-ALEXANDER
Gilgeous-Alexander made both of his free throws Thursday, leaving him one short of the Thunder record for consecutive free throws made to start a season.
Gilgeous-Alexander has already passed the likes of Patrick Patterson (17 during the 2017-18 season) and Kevin Martin (16 during the 2012-2013 season). Corey Brewer made his first 17 since being traded to the Thunder in 2018.
Clippers: F Marcus Morris sat out his second straight game for personal reasons. … The Clippers shot 53.7%. … Los Angeles made just 9 of 28 3-pointers.
Thunder: G Josh Giddey sat down with a sprained right ankle. … Went 6 for 10 from 3-point range in the first quarter to take a 34-24 lead. They finished 17 for 38 on 3-pointers after going 4 for 30 in Tuesday’s game.
Clippers: Host the New Orleans Pelicans on sunday
Thunder: Visit the Dallas Mavericks on saturday
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: twitter.com/CliffBruntAP