Los Angeles Lakers drop Oklahoma City Thunder 108-104
The Los Angeles Lakers earned their 21st victory of the season by defeating Russell Westbrook and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Lakers center Brook Lopez had 20 points, including four 3-pointers; Brandon Ingram posted 16 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
The Thunder received all-star performances from Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony as the trio combined to score 72 points.
The two teams were nearly identical in every category, but the Lakers had more contributions from their roster. OKC relied heavily on their big 3.
LA shot 43.3% from 3-point range as the Thunder shot 28% from downtown.
Jordan Clarkson was a spark plug off the Lakers bench. The shooting guard racked up 18 points and was 4-7 from long-range.
It was a close game throughout, but with 2:44 remaining, the Lakers led by 12 points thanks to a Lopez 3-pointer.
Westbrook missed a three-ball with nine ticks left on the game clock.
The Los Angeles Lakers have won six of the last eight games and seem to be playing better since the job status of head coach Luke Walton came into question by the media. LA is third in the Pacific division.
The Thunder have lost four in a row and are currently three games back of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota is sitting atop the Northwest division.
If OKC wants to improve in the West, then they’ll need to upgrade their bench and figure out how to create better flow on offense. However, losing Andre Roberson for the rest of the season is not going to be easy to deal with.
So the Lakers will need to continue to play well as a unit. They’ll also need to produce on defense by grinding out games and crashing the boards.
Ingram is taking tremendous strides this season and looks as though he is a franchise player the Lakers can build around going forward.
LA (21-31) will play again on Tuesday as they will host the Phoenix Suns (18-36).
OKC (30-24) will visit the Golden State Warriors (41-12) on Tuesday.