After allowing the Los Angeles Lakers to get the come-from-behind win on Sunday, the Oklahoma City Thunder were quick out of the gates on Thursday and avoided a repeat collapse. Russell Westbrook scored the first points for the Thunder, who briefly trailed by one point in the early minutes of the first quarter, but took the lead shortly after and never looked back.
The Thunder were better than the Lakers in nearly every statistic in their 29-point win, which led to Mike D’Antoni expressing his belief that the Lakers weren’t focused:
D’Antoni: “Like I said I think the game was compromised, we didn’t come out with the focus necessarily.” (on @twcsportsnet)
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) March 14, 2014
Thursday’s game had a similar feel to the team’s previous meeting, with a major difference being the Thunder responding to every Lakers run this time around. After only 20 fast break points in their loss on Sunday, the Thunder pushed the ball for one easy basket after another to finish the game with 31 fast break points. Behind 29 points from Kevin Durant and Westbrook, the Thunder had two 30-point quarters and a 41-point third quarter.
The Lakers trailed by 14 points at halftime, but their season-long third quarter woes once again cost them any opportunity at getting back in the game. The Thunder were the latest opponent to score over 130 points against the Lakers, which has now been the case in four of their last five games.
It’s been a season marred by turmoil and injuries for the Lakers, who now have just 17 games remaining. D’Antoni’s options may be limited if he doesn’t believe he’s getting the necessary effort moving forward as Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash have both been ruled out for the remainder of the season. However, Nick Young will attempt to play in Wednesday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.
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