The Lakers look to end their three-game losing streak, but have a tough task ahead against the Oklahoma City Thunder who own the best record in the Western Conference. Fresh off a double-double, Ryan Kelly was inserted into the starting lineup in place of Kent Bazemore.
The Thunder are led by MVP front-runner Kevin Durant, as well as Russell Westbrook who is still playing limited minutes in returning from a knee injury. These two teams will meet again on Thursday night in Oklahoma City.
Early offensive struggles for the Lakers before Meeks got them on the board with two free throws. Durant, Westbrook, and Ibaka each got early buckets for a quick 7-2 lead. Lakers got going behind Kelly and Meeks to cut the lead down to one. Meeks’ three-point play tied the game at 19. A couple of turnovers led to some OKC easy baskets as they reclaimed the lead. The Lakers stayed in the game thanks to their work at the free throw line, making nine of ten in the quarter, but rebounding failures hurt them again. A Durant four-point play pushed the Thunder lead to nine.
The Thunder started the quarter on a 7-0 run capped off by a Jeremy Lamb three-pointer and out of nowhere, the Thunder lead by 16. Robert Sacre got the Lakers on the board in the quarter, but the Lakers couldn’t get anything to fall. Some sloppy play plagued the second quarter as both teams turned the ball over multiple times. The Lakers would go on a 15-2 run led by Jodie Meeks to cut the lead to five. The rebounding for the Lakers continued to be abysmal as the Thunder got multiple chances and got a bucket to end the quarter and led by five at half.
Oklahoma City got the first two baskets of the quarter before a Gasol layup got the Lakers going. The Lakers had three turnovers in the first two minutes as the Thunder pushed their lead to 12 on a Westbrook three-point play. Meeks with five straight points to keep the Lakers close, but they struggled to generate points consistently. Thanks to Thunder turnovers the Lakers cut the lead to four on another Meeks three and free throws. A Jodie three put the Lakers in front and gave Meeks a new career high. Meeks free throws, a Farmar three and a Bazemore layup put the Lakers in front by 12. Gasol with a block to end the quarter as the Lakers outscored OKC 36-19, including 20 from Meeks to lead by 12.
Gasol got the Lakers started with a three-point play and a short jumper after a Thunder turnover. A Farmar three pushed the Lakers lead to 18 and forced a Thunder timeout. Durant attempted to take over midway through the quarter and cut the lead to 14. The Thunder would not go down without a fight as free throws and a Fisher three cut the lead to eight. Another Fisher three cut the lead to five but a Gasol dunk kept them at bay. Bazemore and Jackson traded threes as the Lakers held on to a five point lead. The Lakers failure to rebound killed them down the stretch and a Westbrook dunk cut the lead to three. Westbrook would miss a couple of threes as the Lakers hold on to upset the Thunder 114-110
VIDEO: Mike D’Antoni On Jodie Meeks, Plus Explains Why Kent Bazemore’s Contributions Were Crucial