Oklahoma City Thunder (20-17, 6-11 away) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (11-25, 6-12 home)

Wednesday, Jan. 3 :: 9:30 p.m. CST :: Staples Center (21,000)
Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27) | 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
Coverage: ESPN (DirectTV 206, Cox 29, HD 1300, Tulsa Cox HD 1025)
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 6½-point favorite. The over/under is 211½.
Online Stream: Fox Sports Go | Watch ESPNWWLS Sports AnimalLive Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Lakers: here


  • Losers of two in a row, the Oklahoma City Thunder are trying to find a way to right the ship as they go to the City of Angeles to start their three-game road trip tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers.
  • This is Paul George’s first game in Los Angeles since telling the Indiana Pacers he wanted to play for the the Lakers, despite George growing up to be a Clipper’s fan.
  • Oklahoma City is only 6-11 on the road this season but have won four of their last five away from Chesapeake Energy Arena, dating back to Dec. 9.


  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Brian Davis and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).
  • Tonight’s game is on ESPN, for those not in the Thunder market.


  • The Los Angeles Lakers are 11-25 on the season, worst in the Western Conference.
  • In their last 10 games, the Lakers are 1-9 and have lost seven straight.
  • The last time Los Angeles found the win column, was Dec. 20 against the Houston Rockets.
  • In their all-time series, the Los Angeles Lakers lead the Thunder 140-102.
  • Since relocating to Oklahoma City from Seattle, the Thunder lead the series 19-12.
  • Since the 2011-12 strike shortened season, Oklahoma City is 17-4 against Los Angeles with every loss coming at Staples Center.
  • Last season, Oklahoma City beat the Lakers two of three times, falling in Los Angeles 111-109 on Nov. 22.
  • Oklahoma City has won 10 of the last 11 games vs. Los Angeles.
    Lonzo Ball (shoulder) is a game-time decision.
    Brook Lopez (ankle) is a game-time decision.
    Kyle Kuzma (quadriceps) is a game-time decision.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Los Angeles came on Dec. 19, 2015, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 118-78 (40-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (18 points) vs. the Lakers occurred during an
    89-107 loss on 3/24/09.

Lakers name

  • How many natural lakes are there in Los Angeles? The short answer: Less than 10,000.
  • When a pair of investors relocated the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League to Minneapolis before the 1947 season, they sought a name that would ring true with the team’s new home.
  • Given that Minnesota is “The Land of 10,000 Lakes,” they settled on Lakers.
  • When the Lakers moved to Los Angeles before the 1960 season, their nickname was retained, in part because of the tradition the team had established in Minnesota.


  • The Oklahoma City Thunder added a bunch of new faces this year.
  • Paul George was acquired on June 30 for Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo.
  • Carmelo Anthony joins the Thunder after Oklahoma City sent Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second round pick to the Knickerbockers for Anthony.
  • Oklahoma City also signed Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson via free agency.
  • Terrance Ferguson was drafted in the first round out of Australia.
  • Oklahoma City also added PJ Dozier, undrafted rookie out of South Carolina to a two-way deal.


  • Andre Roberson is OUT (left patellar tendonitis)


  • The Thunder go on a West Coast swing playing the Clippers, Lakers and the Suns in 2018.

Three Keys to the Game

Third quarter

Win the third quarter. When the Thunder win the third quarter, they’re 10-0. When they lose, they’re 10-17 on the year. So, win the third quarter and you win the game. It’s pretty simple as that. Especially as the quarter has been the thorn in the side of Oklahoma City all season long.

Lawler’s Law

The Lakers aren’t a very defensive team, they’re giving up 111.3 points per game, second worst in the NBA. For that reason, when the Lakers score under 100 points, they’re 0-10. That’s key for the Thunder. Gotta hit 100 and keep the Lakers from doing that.


The Oklahoma City Thunder have rebounded well lately but they’ll have to do it again tonight. Oklahoma City is 15-6 when they can grab more boards than their opponent.

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Chuck Chaney

Founder & Editor-in-Chief.
Member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.