LA Lakers Picked Apart By Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 1007-104 outscoring the Lakers in the fourth quarter 35-24. Leaving the L.A. Lakers scratching their collective heads over what happened.
The Thunder seemed to bring the competition to the Lakers, with a rigor they seemed ill-equipped to meet at the moment.
“Defensively we were all over the place,” said Anthony Davis, whose 29 points, 18 rebounds, and 5 assists weren’t enough to lift the Lakers to the win.
While the Lakers have had more than their fair share of injuries bogging down their fresh beginning — LeBron James missed his third game of the season already. This time with an abdominal strain that is expected to keep him out at least another week.
Davis suffered a sprained right thumb in the first half but played through it — there’s something else working against them.
Teams, no matter their record, seem to bring the competition to the Los Angeles Lakers, with a rigor that the Lakers seem ill-equipped to meet at the moment.
“It’s something that we discuss. We talk about it all the time. Just understanding and owning the fact that guys will play, teams will play differently when they play against us,” said Anthony, who scored 21 and saw L.A. lose for the first time in four games that he has scored 20-plus. “So that’s [not] the elephant in the room. That’s not something that we don’t speak about. We know that we talk about it, we discuss it.
“I mean, you look at like tonight for an example, [Darius] Bazley, right? I don’t want to say his stats, but we go over that stuff, we scout that. But he comes against us and he makes most of his 3s against us. So, it’s going to happen. We just got to own that. We got to accept that and just make sure we cut people’s water off when that time comes.”
Bazley was 8-for-37 from deep coming into Thursday and went 2-for-3 against the Los Angeles Lakers.
From targets on their backs to finger-pointing, to a broken thumb for Talen Horton-Tucker and now sprained thumb for Davis, and a handful of other injuries to expected rotation players, the issues are mounting for a Lakers team clear in its intention to win a championship this season.
It’s been an uneven start at best. But there’s plenty of basketball to go before the finish line.
“It’s interesting,” Westbrook said when asked about the injury woes. “But you know … I’m a person that you play the cards you’re dealt. Whatever it is, whatever that’s available, that’s what we work with. We also haven’t had our full team one time — not even close actually.
“So, we just got to take whatever it is that we have and make the best out of it and compete to the best of our abilities.”