In Sunday’s win, the Los Angeles Lakers trailed by 18 points before shocking the Oklahoma City Thunder with a comeback victory. On Thursday, the Lakers trailed by 23 points halfway through the second quarter. This time, they played in Oklahoma City, and there was no comeback.
As much as Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni’s style of play may inflate statistics for his teams, it also seems to have the same effect for the opposition. Serge Ibaka teased an unconventional triple-double with 15 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks. As would be expected, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook added healthy contributions with 29 points each.
Predictably, Jodie Meeks did not score 42 points for the second game in a row. Thus, the Lakers lost by 29 points, and they never really threatened Oklahoma City.
Less than nine minutes into the game, Durant and the Thunder took their first double-digit lead, and LA never narrowed the game to single digits again.
Thursday night was a comfortable win for the home team.
For the Lakers, Meeks again led the way with 19 points, and Kent Bazemore added 16 points off the bench. Ryan Kelly, once again, displayed an ability to find open players and pass the ball. At a time when players are expected to play selfish, the 6-foot 11-inch rookie demonstrated his passing ability and finished with six assists--tied with Kendall Marshall for team best. Kelly also added 12 points, four rebounds and two blocks to fill out a nice box score in the loss.
The final difference was 29 points, and 131-102 looked ugly in any light. The Lakers allowed over 130 points for the fourth time in their last five games. No coincidence, the Lakers have lost all four of those games.
Quote of the night
“Probably because they’re longer, taller, stronger, faster, better jumpers—that and we missed a lot more shots.” –Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni when asked to explain rebounding disparity of 60-37.