Amir Coffey finished with 32 points, 13 rebounds and made seven 3-pointers, all career-highs as the Los Angeles Clippers blew out the Oklahoma City Thunder 138-88 on Sunday night at Crypto.com Arena to cap the regular season.
The Clippers (42-40) ended its successful regular season on a five-game winning streak, playing a full year without injured star Kawhi Leonard while co-star, Paul George recently returned to the lineup after missing 43 games with an elbow injury as LA finished with a winning record for an 11th straight season.
“It was a total team effort. It was about winning as many games as we could until we got help,” Clippers coach Ty Lue said.
With the NBA play-in and playoffs seeding already set, Los Angeles opted to rest George and Reggie Jackson, while Norman Powell, who recently returned to the lineup did not suit up due to precautionary reasons as he recovers from a left foot injury.
Luke Kennard had 20 points, Brandon Boston Jr. scored 18 and Ivica Zubac added 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers, who will now prepare to face the seventh-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday at 6:30 PM in a play-in matchup on the road.
“We did a good job of playing the right way on both sides of the basketball,” Lue said. “The bench was really strong, 34 assists, moving bodies, that’s what we wanted to see going into the play-in game.”
Coffey was rewarded a championship belt postgame, admitting he was not surprised how well he performed this year as the Clippers converted Coffey from a two-way contract to a standard contract for the rest of the season.
“I’m sleeping next to it tonight,” Coffey said on the Belt. “I’ve always been a guy that tries to stay in the moment, but looking back the last few years seeing my progression, it’s a good feeling. I got to keep working, I’m just getting started.”
Xavier Moon, who signed a two-way contract with the Clippers finished with 17 points, seven assists, one block and one steal.
“I love it. Everybody is here for each other, top to bottom. Not just here, but the G-League as well. That’s how an organization is supposed to be run,” said Moon.
The Oklahoma City Thunder (24-58) ended their season on a three-game losing streak and were injury riddled as well as many two-way players had an opportunity to showcase their skills for the first time this season.
Zavier Simpson and Georgios Kalaitzakis scored 17 points each for the Thunder while Jaylen Hoard finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds.
Los Angeles made five 3-pointers in the first period and led 39-18 through 12 minutes of play. Oklahoma City outscored the Clippers by four in the second cutting their deficit to 15, 66-51 at halftime.
The Clippers went on a 18-4 run, scoring 16 points in a row in the third to capture a 95-67 advantage heading into the fourth only before scoring 43 points in the final period to earn a convincing 138-88 win.
“We’re ready. It is what it is, three games in four days,” said Lue, on possibly playing multiple games before advancing into the playoffs.
The winner between the Clippers and Timberwolves on Tuesday will earn the No. 7 seed and will play the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, April 16 at 12:30 PM.