Thunder vs. Clippers Preview: Two Early MVP Favorites Go Head to Head

By Ryan Heckman
Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports

When the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers duke it out on Thursday night, fans will be in for a treat as they know two of the league’s biggest stars will be in action. For the Thunder, Kevin Durant has been lights out this season and is leading the league in scoring at just under 30 points per game. Los Angeles, meanwhile, just witnessed Chris Paul make history.

Heading into Wednesday night’s game with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Paul was tied with Magic Johnson for the most games to start a season with a point/assist double-double in every contest. Last night, Paul broke Johnson’s record as he finished his 12th game straight to open the season with another double-double.

On the season, Paul and Durant have been spectacular in their own way and each of them could wind up high in the MVP voting by the end of the season. Durant, on one hand, is averaging 29.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game while shooting over 45 percent from the field.

Paul has been just as good in doing what he does best, and that is dishing the rock. On the year, Paul is averaging 19.5 points, 12.5 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game. Leading the league in assists and only second in steals, Paul has been doing it all.

On Thursday night, Paul and Durant may be the headliners, but both teams feature a couple other guys who are pretty good themselves. Clippers forward Blake Griffin is having a big year as he’s averaged 22.7 points and 10.8 rebounds per game while shooting just short of 57 percent. Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook is back in action now and has put up 22.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.1 assists each game, and like Paul has been doing a bit of everything.

I would not be shocked if this one ends up either going into overtime or features both teams scoring over 110 points. Both could wind up happening with ease, the way these two teams have opened the season. For the fans, they’ll just be excited to witness fast-paced, athletic basketball with some of the league’s biggest stars in action.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.



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