Though he’s played in just five NBA games, rookie point guard Eric Bledsoe has had a huge impact for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Bledsoe scored 17 points and dished out eight assists to help lead the Clippers to their first win of the season, a resounding 107-92 triumph over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Bledsoe, filling in for the injured Baron Davis and Randy Foye, dictated the tempo from the start, and ran L.A.’s up-tempo offense in ideal fashion.
He was also an effective presence on the defensive end of the floor, helping to hold Russell Westbrook, a member of this summer’s World Championship team, to 16 points on 5-16 shooting from the field.
Even when Davis and/or Foye return, it’s going to be tough to keep Bledsoe on the bench.
The Clippers outscored the Thunder in each of the four quarters, and were certainly aided by an off night from Kevin Durant.
Durant, the NBA’s leading scorer coming into the game, scored 16 points on just 6-24 shooting, including an abysmal 0-10 mark from behind the three-point line.
Jeff Green led the Thunder with 19 points (13 in the second quarter) and nine rebounds.
Blake Griffin, the Clips’ more high-profile rookie, chipped in with 18 points and nine rebounds. Eric Gordon led all scorers with 27 points.
Despite another subpar performance from Chris Kaman, the Clippers outscored the Thunder 58-42 in the paint.
Oklahoma City, who was 2-1 entering the game, could never find a rhythm offensively, and shot just 4-26 from three-point range.
The Thunder came into the game shooting just over 20 percent from deep, good for last in the NBA.
Los Angeles was boosted by a 25-6 run starting late in the first quarter, and Oklahoma City was never able to fully recover.
The Clippers, now 1-4 on the season, will now set off on a four-game road trip that will take them to Denver, Utah, New Orleans and San Antonio, before returning home November 12 to take on Detroit.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers.