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Game Recap: Lakers Outmatched, Blown Out By Thunder Reviewed by Momizat on . The Lakers tip off a four-game road trip in Oklahoma City against one of the NBA's best in the Thunder. The Lakers have lost their first two games since Kobe Br The Lakers tip off a four-game road trip in Oklahoma City against one of the NBA's best in the Thunder. The Lakers have lost their first two games since Kobe Br Rating: 0
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Game Recap: Lakers Outmatched, Blown Out By Thunder

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The Lakers tip off a four-game road trip in Oklahoma City against one of the NBA’s best in the Thunder. The Lakers have lost their first two games since Kobe Bryant returned from his Achilles injury and now must make more rotation changes with Steve Blake being sidelined for six weeks.

The Thunder continue to be one of the best teams in the league thanks to the consistent greatness of Kevin Durant. Russell Westbrook made a much quicker than expected return from a torn ACL and the Thunder are full of young players capable of making an impact. It will be a tough road for the Lakers to win one on the road.

First Quarter

Sloppy play from both teams started the game before Westbrook got the scoring going with a three pointer. Wesley Johnson had steal and dunk followed by another transition layup. Meeks hit a nice reverse layup and the Lakers took an early 10-7 lead. Durant made Johnson look silly in blowing by him for a dunk, followed by a Durant jumper and a Westbrook fast break dunk and the Thunder quickly tied the game. Thunder had a 12-1 run to take a five point lead, but Gasol worked one of his best post moves of the season for a nice basket over Kendrick Perkins.

The Thunder’s speed and athleticism was absolutely killing the Lakers as they are in the midst of an 18-3 run that pushed the lead to nine. Bryant had a nice steal and layup to cut the lead to five, but an Ibaka offensive rebound and put back followed by a Durant four-point play and the Thunder lead by 11. The Thunder flirted with 40 points in the first quarter. The Lakers struggled defensively but Young somehow kept the Lakers within striking distance and the Thunder led 38-28 after the first.

Second Quarter

Lakers did not start the quarter well as Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb scored five quick points. Wesley Johnson hit a big three-pointer, but Jackson answered with a jumper of his own. Durant blocked Henry’s layup and hit a three on the other end followed by a Westbrook transition layup giving the Thunder an 18-point lead. Kobe came back in the game with about five minutes left and found Shawne Williams for an easy jumper. Bryant would then hit Gasol for a short jumper to cut the lead to 14 as the Lakers continued to try and fight. Henry almost slamed it home over Perkins and the shot still fell in plus the foul. At the end of the half and the Lakers trail 66-51.

Third Quarter

The Thunder scored the first six points of the third before Meeks hit a three to start the scoring. Defense and rebounding continued to kill the Lakers as the Thunder got every shot they wanted. Bryant started out a little more aggressive in this quarter as he barely missed a couple of jumpers, but passed the ball nicely and hit Jordan Hill for a big dunk. Despite being clearly outmatched, the Lakers continued to play hard and compete, but the turnovers continued to plague them as some of Bryant’s passes were tough or impossible to handle. Westbrook continued his great game with a couple of nice assists that basically put the game out of reach. Henry took a hard fall at the end of the quarter but hit two free throws to end the quarter as the Lakers trailed by 20.

Fourth Quarter

Chris Kaman entered the game for the first time in nine games to start the quarter. The Thunder put their bench in to start the quarter, but the results remained the same. Jeremy Lamb and Reggie Jackson got to the paint at will to start the quarter as the lead  grew to 27. The Lakers rebounding woes continued as even the Thunder bench players controlled the offensive glass. Henry took another hard fall but stayed in the game and Perry Jones threw down a vicious slam. Kaman hit a jumper to register his first points. The Thunder with some more offensive rebounds leading to a basket. Despite the deficit, and hard falls taken, Henry continued to attack the basket with reckless abandon. During a timeout Bryant left the bench to go into the locker room early. Ryan Kelly got some action and scored a layup and a block but the Lakers were far out of this game as the Thunder won 122-97.

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The Kobe Prelude Experience: Prelude 1


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About The Author

Corey is currently a full-time staff writer for Lakers Nation. He is a passionate follower of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Cowboys and can usually be seen arguing the merits of Kobe Bryant or cursing the decisions of Jerry Jones. He is also a former producer and associate producer for Sirius XM Sports Radio. Follow him on twitter @TheeCoreyH

Number of Entries : 792
  • Lakers Fan

    Let’s be honest. We had no chance to win tonight. It’s just the truth. We’re going up against the best duo in basketball and one of the best teams, we have no clue what defense is, and we have no point guards. I expected us to get blown out, and I’m just being honest. If we continue to struggle throughout December, the playoffs are out the picture. Hate to say it, but it’s time to face reality. The West is ridiculously deep, and with us not knowing a thing about defense, trying to make a late run will not work because the playoffs will be out of reach. Anyways, go Lakers!

    • ra

      No chance at championship now. OKC ‘played’ with the Lakers. The Spurs are also a team to reckon with. The West is too strong, so forget it this year.

      This team (Lakers) is not filled with all-stars, and so it relies on ‘teamwork’ to win. Miss a component or two (Farmar, Blake, etc.), and the system doesn’t work. It needs every component on all cylinders, in order to compete properly.

      I’m sure that some games will be fun to watch during this year, but we may have a hard time getting to the playoffs, and if even that, moving into another round.

      I wonder what next year’s team is going to be like.

      • Lakers Fan

        It will be a long season I tell you that. In this system, if the 3s aren’t falling, you might as well count that game as a lost. This system also requires no defense, and it is showing night in and night out. Without a point guard, the system is useless. The coach deserves some of the blame, but most of this is on the players. If the players would show the same type of effort that show every night on offense, this team would be good. It’s like no one cares about defense. I won’t even get on Pau, because I would need a book to talk about his effort on defense and offense. You can’t win games not playing any defense. We are going to continue to lose until these players decide to put some type of effort into playing defense. It’s becoming annoying and is utterly ridiculous.

        • Dragon7s

          You and ra are correct when stating that this system needs all of it’s components in order to be successful and without a true PG to run it, 3′s not dropping and the lack of defensive intensity, the Lakers are going nowhere, fast!

          Kobe looked good running the offense but he doesn’t have his legs back enough yet to be a factor on defense.
          I saw many plays on that end where he drifted away from his man, or simply let his man go, on defense and I can’t help but think it has more to do with conditioning (and trying to save his legs for offense) than it has to do with a lack of desire to play defense.

          We’ve seen flashes of great defense early in the season but that defense starts at the top and without our PG’s, we’re not likely to see an effective defense anytime soon. (And I’m with you about not mentioning Pau’s effort on D.)

      • Al Haldie

        Dont blame the whole team the bench out played the starters again last nite 52/46—-rb 23/18 bench-T/O 6/13 bench wins—-the game LAKERS loose….KOBE 0 FOR 3- we are in such a hole we will never get out of it..long time lakers fan

  • Jim213

    The team looked demoralized by the end of the 3rd quarter.However, need to put this game in the past and focus on the Bobcats. IMO, the team needs to find a way to pull off the next two wins which starts tomorrow. Aside of that, coach gets some blame for the rotation on the floor. Meeks could’ve kept it close but went 3-16 FG. But given the team is hurting didn’t really have another shooter option mostly.

    • Terrence

      Accomodate Pau inside?! How about his atrocious defense! We won’t be winning many games even if he has a good offensive night if he continues to do nothing on defense. Even his rebounding has fallen off. Poor shooting nights happen, that’s where good defense keeps you in the game. That’s where Pau has to step it up, but right now he’s only worrying about his offensive stats.

      • Jim213

        Agree, but IMO is a rotation issue. Talked about Pau’s lack of hustle too much though the team was winning with Hill on the lineup a few weeks back. Too many rotations, injuries, aside of a few bad past pickups have hurt the team who likely needs 2-3 starters.

        Sacre even had more rebounds than both Hill and Pau today. He had better hustle as this won’t change until the PG position gets addressed aside of Kobe regaining his shooting touch.

        • Terrence

          Seems like their taking it slow with Hill’s ankle, not wanting it to get re-injured or make it worse. Only reason I can think of that he isn’t getting more minutes.

        • Al Haldie

          KAMAN had 8 rb in 12 min–but the COACH keeps him on the bench ??????? go figure… long time lakers fan

          • Dragon7s

            He played well and I’d like to see him get more PT but consider that the Thunder had sat their starters by the time Caveman came in so of course he put up good numbers.
            It’s all about perspective.

            Having said that, Kaman needs to be on the court when the game is still competitive, if for nothing else to give him a chance to show what MDA what he can do in live game situations.
            Practice (inconsequential spats aside) is one thing, playing at game speed is entirely another.

      • Al Haldie

        Everone is on PAU d-fence—did u watch KOBE in the last three games he get out of the way-theres no D THERE–plus kobe last three games 17 turn overs no one says a thing about that-now if that was PAU-he would never hear the end of it–lets get off everyons A– and let them figure things out — its going to take a few yrs…. long time lakers fan

      • Al Haldie

        You make it sound like PAU should be a one man team–there are 13 other players–right now the whole starters stink–but lets blame PAU…

    • kobe24

      Okay I honestly think its unfair to blame MDA (although I never really liked his system ever since he started coaching the Knicks)…Its sort of hard to teach defense when we clearly have no guy in the 4 or 5 to protect the rim…NO ONE (not even Jordan Hill to an extent)

      Its hard to blame the coach for the rotation since our offense isn’t fluid…And no matter how great the offense is …giving up 120+ points means that the defense is bad. I personally don’t think our offense was that bad (sure we could have knocked down more 3′s) but we need to protect the paint…Its sort of hard to fix that with 20 games in and with the players we have …but I hope it gets btr …or else…well JABARI PARKER <3

      I hope Jordan Farmar comes back soon, but he should only come when hes comfortable…would be horrible to lose him the moment he comes back because he couldn't get full rest

      On a side note, if we were to change the coach who do you think would be good…in the long run? Not just this season? Hollins, Karl?

      • Jim213

        Mike Budenholzer, though KB24 would disapprove mostly (long term option).

    • Al Haldie

      Ya get the starters to play as good a the bench. when u say overall the team cant play this system—most of the players love this system and have said so, they we winning haveing fun, Kobe came back lost 3 games — that is not what they expected- because now the system has changed again…. .long time lakers fan..

      • Jim213

        Reread my post, posted numerous times about this being that players like Kobe will need to better adapt to get the most out of this roster. If Popovich has managed to pull this off with an older roster (tweaked) while surrounding them with fresher legs it’s more than a system issue (coach issue).

  • Jeremy (Oregon mamba) Shankel

    After all this talking. Lets send the problems away.

  • kobe24

    By the way, has anyone seen the comments on facebook on the lakersnation page? I swear half those people are bandwagon/ the other half just spout random stuff…it annoys me so much

    • e3bonz

      I stopped going to the Facebook page, just negative stuff spouted by people who probably didn’t even watch the game.

  • TheTruthKills

    We were just overmatched tonight. The lack of defense doesn’t bold well for any playoff aspirations.

  • rik

    Trade gasol for zbo and trade nash for lowry since TOR would love to dump lowry. Lakers lineup:
    PG: lowry
    SG: meeks
    SF: kobe
    PF: zbo
    C: hill
    Bench:
    PG: farmar/ blake
    SG: henry
    SF: young
    PF: johnson/ williams
    C: sacre/ kaman
    Do it mitch

  • LakeShow

    I guess, I don’t have to wish for Lakers to tank anymore. They are heading that way anyway. Looking forward to have Wiggins/Jabari/Exum. :)

    • Dragon7s

      New book due out soon – How to Tank Without Actually Looking Like You Are by F.O. Lakers

      Mitch: “Things are going exactly as planned”
      Jim: “Yeah….hehehe.”

  • Jose

    Did we know that it was going to be a loss? Yes! Did we really expect to be down by 30 points by the 3rd quarter? He’ll no. Kobe should have taken the season off let this team play the way they were and then at the start of next season insert him back in work around him again. I have never and will never like MDA’s coaching but in some way his hands are tied because the guys that were performing are not Kobe and if he were to play them instead of Kobe the fans, media and Kobe would further crucify MDA. Either way the Lakers look all out of sorts and I truly hope they figure it out.

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