OKLAHOMA CITY — — The Thunder have done it again.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 24 points and Oklahoma City earned its second straight victory over the Clippers, beating Los Angeles 118-110 on Thursday night.
Lu Dort scored 21 points and Aleksej Pokusevski added 15 for the Thunder, which beat the Clippers 108-94 on Tuesday.
It was a breakout game for Dort, who entered shooting 26% from the field for the season. He had 9 of 15 shots, while being Clippers All-Star Paul George’s leading defenseman.
“For him, it’s a good burst of confidence,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “I knew this would eventually happen. Lu works so hard, and when you work hard and play as hard as he does, good things happen.
The Thunder shot 49.5% from the field.
“We just have to be able to keep the point up front,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. “They just line us up one-on-one, and the guys can get what they want.”
Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard missed both games against the Thunder while managing his previously injured right knee. George played Thursday after sitting out Tuesday with illness and finished with 10 points on 4-for-12 shooting.
Norman Powell led the Clippers with 21 points. Reggie Jackson scored 18 and John Wall added 17 for Los Angeles, which lost its third straight.
The Thunder scored 31 points on 20 Clippers turnovers two days after scoring 23 points on 19 giveaways from Los Angeles.
“Live turnovers kill us,” Lue said. “We just have to clean this up.”
The Thunder led 30-12 in the first quarter, but the Clippers rallied and led 60-53 at halftime behind 12 points apiece from Wall and Jackson.
“You know, they’re a really good team,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. “They’re not going to give up. And I think we really came out with a sense of purpose and obviously threw the first punch. And that’s a good lesson for us that a good team isn’t just going to accept that. .
Gilgeous-Alexander committed his fourth foul with 4.6 seconds left in the second quarter, and he started the second half on the bench. The Thunder rallied without him and took a 71-70 lead before coming back midway through the third quarter. The Thunder led 89-87 going into fourth.
Wall’s driving dunk early in the fourth quarter tied the game at 89, but the Thunder pulled away late. Pokusevski hit a 3-pointer, then less than a minute later Tre Mann entered a fast 3-point break that gave the Thunder a 116-104 with 2:55 remaining.
Oklahoma City didn’t attempt a free throw until 10:22 into the fourth quarter, but the Thunder went 7-for-8 from the line in the final period.
Daigneault didn’t like the free throw situation, but he liked the way the game went.
“I wasn’t particularly happy with that, but we resisted,” he said. “And at the end of the day, it’s not easy one way or the other. There will be things that you will have to face, things that you will have to overcome. And I just thought that we had played until at the end tonight. It didn’t distract us. And we just – we carried on and obviously emerged. It was good.”
Gilgeous-Alexander made his two free throws on Thursday, leaving him short of the Thunder’s record for consecutive free throws to start a season.
The record holder? Not Russell Westbrook or Kevin Durant. Not even George, a former Thunder star. It was Danilo Gallinari, who opened with 23 straight games to start the 2019-20 season.
Gilgeous-Alexander has already passed Patrick Patterson (17 in the 2017-18 season) and Kevin Martin (16 in the 2012-13 season). Corey Brewer made his first 17 after being traded to the Thunder in 2018.
Clippers: F Marcus Morris missed his second straight game for personal reasons. … The Clippers shot 53.7%. … Los Angeles made just 9 of 28 3-pointers.
Thunder: G Josh Giddey sat out with a sprained right ankle. … Went 6-for-10 from 3-point range in the first quarter to take a 34-24 lead. They finished 17 for 38 on 3-pointers after going 4 for 30 in Tuesday’s game.
Clippers: Host the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday.
Thunder: Visit the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: twitter.com/CliffBruntAP
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