Coming off one of their best performances of the year, the Lakers are trying to replicate the same success after three days off as they took on the same Oklahoma City Thunder.
Jodie Meeks dropped a career-high, 42 points on Sunday to lead the team and the Lakers will need everybody at their best to get a win on the road.
With news that both Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash will miss the remainder of the season, the rest of this team knows it is up to them to turn things around for this Lakers team.
Westbrook got things going quickly for the Thunder with the first five points. Three-pointers by Meeks and Kelly kept things close at 7-6 early. The Thunder defense made it tough for the Lakers early as they blocked a number of shots and took a 17-12 lead behind 11 early points from Westbrook. The Lakers offense became stagnant during the latter part of the quarter as the Thunder began to push the lead out. Bazemore made a couple of tough layups, but a Perry Jones tip in gave the Thunder a 14 point lead to end the quarter.
After giving up the first four points, the Lakers would score seven straight points, capped by a Bazemore three, to cut the lead to 11. Turnovers began to hurt the Lakers as the Thunder would push the lead right back to 19. Kendall Marshall scored five straight points for the Lakers, followed by a steal and layup from Meeks and another basket from Marshall. The Thunder got way too many easy baskets as they continued to keep the lead above 20 points. A quick run by the Lakers cut the lead to 13, but a Westbrook free throw pushed it to 14 at halftime.
The Lakers got off to a rough start in the third. Though they hit a couple of early shots and forced Durant into his fourth foul, the defense struggled and they were unable to cut into the lead in the first four minutes. The Lakers finally began to turn things around as a Kelly three-pointer cut the lead to 11. But the Thunder pushed it right back after a timeout, with a 14-2 run including nine straight points from Westbrook, to take a 23 point lead. Things continued to get away from the Lakers as the lead stretched to as many as 27. Every time the Lakers made a run, the Thunder answered and the quarter would end with an Ibaka block and a Butler three to put the Thunder up 24.
Kent Bazemore scored the first four points of the quarter for the Lakers as they started on a 7-2 run. Kevin Durant would quickly get going as the Thunder pushed the lead back to 23 and essentially out of reach for the Lakers. They continued to fight behind Farmar and Bazemore, who each hit looking jumpers. But it simply wasn’t enough as the Thunder would eventually empty their bench. The Lakers would fall to the Thunder 131-102.
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