Oklahoma City Thunder (30-23, 19-8 home)

vs.

Los Angeles Lakers (20-31, 8-17 away)

Sunday, Feb. 4 :: 1:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
TV Coverage: ABC (5 DirecTV, 8 Cox, 705 HD, 5 AT&T U-Verse, 5 Dish)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 9½-point favorite. The over/under is 220½.
Online Stream: WATCH ESPN | WWLS Sports AnimalLive Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Lakers: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • Andre Roberson is the most missed man in Oklahoma City. Since his injury, the Oklahoma City Thunder are 1-3, with their only win, being a 122-112 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, Jan. 28.
  • Today is Super Bowl Sunday, that’s why we have a 1 p.m. tip-off, instead of the typical 2:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. Sunday tip-offs.
  • Oklahoma City is 2-0 against the Lakers this season with an average win margin well over 20 points per game.
  • There will be no Lonzo Ball today. He’s obviously scared of playing Russell Westbrook.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • 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.
  • Mark Jones, Hubie Brown and Doris Burke will have your broadcast call on ABC for the national broadcast.

SCOUTING THE LAKERS

  • The Los Angeles Lakers are 20-31 on the season, 11th in the Western Conference.
  • In their last 10 games, the Lakers are 6-4.
  • Los Angeles has won five of their last seven, including four in a row at one point.
  • In their all-time series, the Lakers lead the series 140-104 over Oklahoma City.
  • Since moving to Bricktown, the Thunder are 21-12 against the Lakers.
  • When games are played at the Peake, the Thunder are 12-4 against the Lakers.
  • Oklahoma City has won 11 in a row against the Lakers at home.
  • The last time the Thunder lost to the Lakers at home? Feb. 27, 2011.
  • In their last meeting, the Thunder topped Los Angeles 114-90 on Jan. 17.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Lonzo Ball (knee) is out.
    Brandon Ingram (groin) 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 107-89 loss on March 24, 2009.

INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out for the season.

NEXT UP

  • The Thunder now travel to the Warriors on Tuesday and then to Los Angeles for the series wrap up against the Lakers on Thursday.

WHAT’S IN A 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.



Three Keys to the Game

Limit Threes

Over their last five games, the Oklahoma City Thunder are allowing opponents to shoot 38.1 percent from the three-point line, which is seventh worst in the Association. Over the same span, the Thunder are allowing 40.w percent from deep, 26th in the NBA. So, Oklahoma City has to find a way to continue and limit the Lakers from deep tonight.

Lawler’s Law

The Lakers aren’t a very defensive team, they’re giving up 110.5 points per game, second worst in the NBA. For that reason, when the Lakers score under 100 points, they’re 3-13. That’s key for the Thunder. Gotta hit 100 and keep the Lakers from doing that.

Russell Westbrook

 

Over the last five games, Russell Westbrook has been riding the struggle bus. He’s shooting only 41.1 percent and 5.4 turnovers per game. His scoring is down by almost two full points and the Thunder have gone 2-3 over that stretch. The Thunder need Westbrook to do his thing. When the Thunder win, Westbrook is averaging 25.5 points and shooting over 46 percent. That’s what the Thunder need. Get back to being Aggressive-brook.

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Chuck Chaney

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

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