Chet Holmgren has highlight dunk as Thunder end Clippers’ 9-game win streak

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points, Chet Holmgren gave Oklahoma City the lead for good with a dunk he threw off the backboard to himself, and the Thunder beat the Clippers 134-115 on Thursday night, ending Los Angeles’ nine-game winning streak.

Holmgren finished with 23 points and Lu Dort added 21 for the Thunder, who shot 58.6% from the field to win for the fifth time in six games. Oklahoma City (18-8) is second in the Western Conference.

James Harden scored 23 points and Paul George added 22 for the Clippers, who hadn’t lost since falling at Golden State on Nov. 30. Los Angeles forward Kawhi Leonard was out with a bruised right hip.

Former Thunder star Russell Westbrook got a standing ovation and was cheered loudly after entering the game as a reserve for the Clippers with 6:51 remaining in the first quarter. He finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

The Thunder trailed 73-72 when Holmgren faked out the Clippers’ Ivica Zubac, tossed the ball underhand high off the backboard and slammed it home with 8:43 left in the third quarter. That sparked a 13-0 run, and Oklahoma City took a 109-92 lead into the fourth.

Thunder guard Josh Giddey fell hard late in the second quarter and left the game with a sprained left ankle. He did not return. Giddey scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting.

Harden made just one of his first 10 shots, but he turned it around late in the first half to help the Clippers trim a 14-point deficit to 64-59 at the break. He made his final three field goals in the half and had 11 points at halftime.

Harden hit a 3-pointer early in the third quarter to put the Clippers ahead for the first time, 70-69. Holmgren responded with a 3 and then wiped out LA’s only other lead with his dunk.

Gilgeous-Alexander’s steal and two-handed dunk over Daniel Theis put the Thunder ahead 123-104 with just under five minutes remaining.

UP NEXT

Clippers: Host Boston on Saturday.

Thunder: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday.

Reporting by The Associated Press.


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