• The Thunder will be without starting center Kendrick Perkins when they take on the Clippers tonight in a battle of top Western Conference teams at Staples Center. Perkins, who is averaging 3.0 points and 3.8 rebounds in 16.6 minutes this season, has returned to Texas after the death of his grandfather and will also miss Thursday’s game at Golden State. Steven Adams, a rookie out of Pittsburgh, will start at center for the Thunder, the second-best rebounding team in the NBA. Look for 7-3 center Hasheem Thabeet to get his first playing time of the season as well. Thabeet, chosen second overall by the Grizzlies in 2009, is playing for his fifth team in five NBA seasons. 
  • Clippers point guard Chris Paul will be a key figure in a featured matchup for the second straight home game. Paul, a six-time All Star, will go head-to-head with three-time All Star Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City. Paul has produced double figures in points and assists through the first eight games of the season, the first player to accomplish that feat since John Stockton of the Jazz in 1991. Paul is coming off a 21-point 11-assist effort Monday night against Ricky Rubio and the Timberwolves, leading L.A. to a 109-107 victory. Rubio, coming off a triple-double the night before against the Lakers, was held to five points.

Dan Arritt

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