Closing out games has been a problem this season for the Clippers, as evidenced by the fact they'd coughed up nine- and 22-point leads in their previous two games.
But on Sunday night against Oklahoma City, after watching a 13-point lead dissipate, Los Angeles came away with a victory.
Baron Davis scored 24 points, including a key 3-pointer in the final minute, and the Clippers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 101-93 win over the Thunder.
Kaman added 25 points on 10-for-15 shooting and had seven rebounds for Los Angeles (4-7), which avenged a loss to Oklahoma City (5-5) on the Clippers' home court four days earlier. He said his black eye came from an inadvertent shot from the Thunder's Jeff Green after Green lost the ball.
"Just any win right now is a big win, being 4-7," Kaman said. "Last time getting beat by Oklahoma City was frustrating. It is good to sneak away with a win on the road.
"We watched the film from the last game and we lost it at the end in the fourth quarter. I thought we did a good job tonight in the fourth quarter finishing the game."
Kevin Durant scored a season-high 40 points and had eight rebounds for Oklahoma City, which was seeking what would have been only its second three-game winning streak since the franchise moved from Seattle before last season. Oklahoma City had road wins over the Clippers and the San Antonio Spurs in its previous two games.
"They have a pretty good team," Los Angeles coach Mike Dunleavy said of the Thunder. "We have the ability to play with anybody and win anywhere. It's really up to us just trying to cut down on our mistakes."
In a game that had 25 lead changes and 18 ties, Kaman put the Clippers ahead for good at 94-93, taking a pass from Davis and scoring with 1:46 left. After the teams traded turnovers, Russell Westbrook missed an 18-footer for Oklahoma City, and Davis followed with the 3-pointer to give Los Angeles a 97-93 lead.
Green missed a 3-point attempt for Oklahoma City, and Al Thornton scored on a breakaway dunk for the Clippers with 29.2 seconds left to seal the win.
"We still have to find a way to get into a better rhythm offensively," Davis said. "We are too congested sometimes and that is how some teams get back in the game on us. ... Hopefully this road trip will be a learning curve for us and we can take what we learn and apply it to the rest of the season."
Westbrook had 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for Oklahoma City, which shot 33.8 percent from the field and went 3 of 20 from 3-point range.
"I thought we fought," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "We just didn't fight hard enough. We didn't start the game and we didn't sustain."
Rasual Butler's 3-pointer in the final minute of the first quarter put the Clippers ahead 25-23 and they didn't relinquish the lead for the rest of the half. Los Angeles twice built its lead to 10 points and was up 49-41 at halftime.
The Clippers led 54-41 a minute into the second half and 58-46 after Thornton's dunk a little more than a minute after that, but Oklahoma City went on a 15-2 run, highlighted by seven points from Westbrook, to go up 61-60. The Thunder led 76-75 entering the fourth quarter but never could stretch their lead beyond three points.
Thornton scored 20 points for Los Angeles, which shot 48.1 percent from the field against a team that ranked fifth in the NBA in scoring defense.
"This was a bad loss for us but we're going to learn from it," Durant said.
|Kevin Durant pours in 40, but all for naught as the Thunder fail to win their third in a row. (Getty Images)|
|L.A. Clippers (4-7) «||26||23||26||26||101|
|Oklahoma City (5-5)||23||18||35||17||93|
|LAC:C. Kaman 25 Pts
LAC:M. Camby 9 Reb
LAC:B. Davis 6 Ast
|OKC:K. Durant 40 Pts
OKC:R. Westbrook 9 Reb
OKC:R. Westbrook 7 Ast
|Players of the Game|
|Oklahoma City||Los Angeles|
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|C. Kaman, C||37||10-15||5-5||7||1||2||25|
|B. Davis, PG||36||9-20||4-4||5||6||5||24|
|M. Camby, C||34||3-6||0-0||9||2||2||6|
|A. Thornton, SF||33||7-16||6-9||5||1||4||20|
|R. Butler, SG||23||3-8||0-0||4||0||2||8|
|K. Rush, SG||29||4-8||0-0||3||2||4||9|
|C. Smith, PF||15||1-2||2-4||4||2||1||4|
|S. Telfair, PG||13||0-1||3-4||2||3||0||3|
|S. Novak, SF||12||0-1||0-0||0||0||0||0|
|D. Jordan, C||10||1-2||0-2||3||0||1||2|
|R. Davis, SG||Did Not Play|
|B. Skinner, PF||Did Not Play|
|M. Collins, PG||Did Not Play|
|B. Griffin, PF||Did Not Play|
|E. Gordon, SG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|K. Durant, SF||44||14-25||10-11||8||1||2||40|
|R. Westbrook, PG||37||5-17||6-6||9||7||1||17|
|T. Sefolosha, SG||30||1-9||2-3||8||2||4||4|
|N. Krstic, C||30||5-9||0-0||5||1||3||10|
|J. Green, SF||21||3-7||1-1||1||0||4||7|
|N. Collison, C||27||2-3||0-0||7||0||6||4|
|E. Thomas, C||18||1-4||1-2||5||0||3||3|
|J. Harden, SG||18||0-8||4-4||3||2||1||4|
|K. Ollie, PG||11||2-3||0-0||1||0||1||4|
|S. Ibaka, PF||3||0-0||0-2||1||0||0||0|
|R. Bowen, SF||Did Not Play|
|B. Mullens, C||Did Not Play|
|S. Livingston, PG||Did Not Play|
|K. Weaver, SG||Did Not Play|
|D. White, PF||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|