The Oklahoma City Thunder forgot the game started at 1 p.m. and didn’t show up until about three minutes left in the game. The Lakers nailed 13 three-pointers as Los Angeles beat the Thunder 108-104 on Sunday afternoon.
Oklahoma City falls to 30-24 on the season and now have lost four straight games. They’re 1-4 since losing Andre Roberson to season ending surgery.
While the loss to the Sacramento Kings back in February might go down as the worst loss of the season, this loss may go down as one of the worst home losses in the Thunder’s shorty decade in existence. The Lakers aren’t very good and were without their starting point guard. A bit of a hot take with this, but the Thunder must win games like this if they want to be in position when April rolls around.
“We have to defend better for the whole game,” Russell Westbrook said. “When the game starts you have to be ready to go.”
It’s the Los Angeles Laker’s first win in Oklahoma City since Feb. 27, 2011. A man by the name of Kobe Bryant had 17 points in that game.
It started from the beginning, threes were falling and it really appeared the Thunder weren’t going to do anything about it. Los Angeles finished the game 13-of-30 from beyond the arc (43.3 percent). It’s the fourth game out of the last five in which a Thunder opponent has made at least 38 percent from three-point range.
I’m most concerned about that defensively, to be honest with you, is our three-point defense,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan. “I’m really concerned about that.”
Oklahoma City grabbed a 37-34 lead on a Paul George three. It appeared the Thunder had finally overcome the Lakers three-point barrage. However, back-to-back buckets gave Los Angeles the lead for good.
The Thunder trailed 51-49 at halftime.
Westbrook scored 36 points and Paul George added 26 for the Thunder as they were really the only two who showed up today. 20 of Westbrook’s 36 came in the second half. George had 17 in the second half as well.
Carmelo Anthony was invisible, going 3-of-13 for 10 points. Steven Adams had eight points at halftime but finished with only 12 points and five rebounds.
It really came down to the bench, which didn’t show up, either. Oklahoma City’s bench went 7-of-23 (30.4 percent) and were almost outscored by Jordan Clarkson on his own (Clarkson 18, OKC Bench 20).
George drained a three-pointer with 24.7 seconds left, bringing Oklahoma City to 107-104. Oklahoma City fouled Julius Randle on the ensuing play and he was only able to hit 1-of-2 free throws. Westbrook bricked a long three-pointer to ice the game.
Oklahoma City will now turn their attention on the hated Golden State Warriors. The Thunder will head to the bay area on Tuesday for a 9:30 p.m. showdown on TNT. Oklahoma City is 1-0 vs. the Warriors this season, a 108-91 win on Nov. 22.
Keys to the Game
Limit threes: F
The Lakers nailed 13 three-pointers and Oklahoma City didn’t do much to stop them. Oklahoma City’s close outs were soft according to Billy Donovan. Over their four-game losing streak, the Thunder are allowing 12 three-pointers per game. Just an absolute embarrassment by the Thunder’s defense.
Josh Huestis and Alex Abrines combined to go 1-of-8 from the floor. Raymond Felton struggled, too. He went 2-of-6. Oklahoma City’s bench just didn’t hold their weight today. Which, in all honesty, has been the same story for the last two seasons.
Russell Westbrook: B
While Westbrook scored 36 points on 15-of-25 shooting, his turnovers were at times pointless and careless. Westbrook is going to have a high turnover mark. It’s just a given with how much he handles the ball. However, nine turnovers is way too many tonight. Some seemed sloppy and careless. He has to do better.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!