Paul George leads Clippers to win over Thunder, 128-117

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles forced Oklahoma City to drop their second straight game.

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Clippers started out Tuesday with a press conference, announcing their plan to host the 2026 NBA All-Star Game. 

As well as the day started, Tuesday night was just as good for the Clippers after the team defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder at Arena. 

With their most recent win, the Clippers moved to 26-14 for the fourth seed spot in the Western Conference standings. They even up their season series with Oklahoma City after losing 115-134 back on Dec. 21. The final meeting between the two teams is set for Feb. 22. 

LA made a season-high 20 three-pointers against the Thunder.

Paul George has a season-high night

Paul George had an impressive outing after an initial slow start Tuesday.

George started the game 1-6 from the field, but bounced back to 15-24 (62%) to end the night. In 34 minutes against OKC, he scored 38 points to lead the Clippers. The Clippers forward also added seven rebounds, five assists and three steals all on zero turnovers for LA.

The Clippers star also managed to break league records Tuesday. George made his 2,144th three-pointer during the second quarter and passed Paul Pierce for 12th on the NBA’s all-time three-pointers made list.

James Harden hoping for long-term contract

James Harden allegedly wants to sign a long-term deal to end his career with the Los Angeles Clippers, TNT’s Chris Haynes reported Tuesday. Harden will become an unrestricted free agent following the 2023-24 season. 

He’s averaging 17 points and 8.4 assists per game with LA. Since acquiring Harden, the Clippers are 23-7 after starting 0-6 with him. 

Harden also made NBA history Tuesday. The 34-year-old point guard scored his 25,280th point in the second quarter to pass Reggie Miller for 22nd on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. 

Chris Haynes on TNT says that James Harden “wants to sign a long-term deal to end his career with the Los Angeles Clippers.” Since acquiring James Harden, the Clippers are 22-7 after starting 0-6 with him. 

“I want to be able to keep a core together for a few years,” said Harden. “Things are going well and I’m happy.”

Ivica Zubac out for four weeks

Clippers center Ivica Zubac will miss at least a month of action due to a right calf strain,  The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Tuesday. Zubac was treated for his calf last Friday following the Clipper’s bout with the Memphis Grizzlies. He then sat out in the team’s most recent game Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

The 7-foot-Croatian native has appeared in 38 starts this season, averaging 12.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in 27.1 minutes per game. 

Mason Plumlee and Daniel Theis picked up the pieces in Zubac’s absence. Plumlee, who started in place of Zubac, finished Tuesday with 14 points, five rebounds, two assists and three blocks in 28 minutes.  Meanwhile Theis collected nine points, eight rebounds and three blocks off the bench in 20 minutes.

Up next, the Clippers will have the next four days off before playing in four games next week. First the team will stay at Arena to host the Brooklyn Nets Jan. 21 and the Lakers Jan. 23. Then, Los Angeles will head to Toronto and Boston to face the Raptors and Celtics in a back-to-back on Jan. 26 and 27.