Oklahoma City Thunder (31-24, 12-15 away)

at

Los Angeles Lakers (22-31, 13-14 home)

Thursday, Feb. 8 :: 9:30 p.m. CST :: Staples Center (21,000)
TV Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
TV Coverage: TNT (245 DirecTV, 31 Cox, 730 HD 108 AT&T U-Verse, 138 Dish)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 3½-point favorite. The over/under is 216½.
Online Stream: Fox Sports | WWLS Sports AnimalLive Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Lakers: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • With the barn beating victory over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder have fixed some holes on the ship. They’ll test that theory with a showdown against the Los Angeles Lakers tonight at 9:30 p.m.
  • Los Angeles beat the Thunder on Super Bowl Sunday with a 108-104 advantage at the Peake. It ended the Thunder’s 11-game home winning streak against the Lakers.
  • Only the Houston Rockets (9-1) and the Utah Jazz (8-2) are hotter over their last 10 games than the Lakers (7-3).
  • Oklahoma City just ended a four-game losing streak with their win over Golden State. The Thunder will look to take the season series from the Lakers with a win tonight.
  • The Lakers will be without a handful of players after they made some stunning moves today at the deadline.

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.
  • 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 TNT broadcast crew is Brian Anderson, Reggie Miller and Allie LaForce. Sorry about the Miller.

SCOUTING THE LAKERS

  • The Los Angeles Lakers are 22-31 on the season, 11th in the Western Conference.
  • In their last 10 games, the Lakers are 7-3
  • Los Angeles has won five of their last seven, including three in a row currently.
  • In their all-time series, the Lakers lead the series 141-104 over Oklahoma City.
  • Since moving to Bricktown, the Thunder are 21-13 against the Lakers.
  • When games are played at the at Staples, the Thunder are 9-8 in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
  • In their last meeting, the Lakers topped Oklahoma City 108-104 on Sunday, Feb. 4.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Lonzo Ball (knee) is out.
    Jordan Clarkson (trade) is out.
    Larry Nance Jr. (trade) is out.
    Isaiah Thomas (trade) is out.
    Channing Frye (trade) is out.
  • 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.
  • Carmelo Anthony (ankle) is questionable.
  • Russell Westbrook (ankle) is questionable.

NEXT UP

  • The Thunder will host the Grizzlies on Sunday. Then, host the Cavaliers on Tuesday before playing Memphis again to wrap up the before All-Star break festivities.

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 percent from deep, 26th in the NBA. Oklahoma City changed that tied in their win over the Warriors, holding them to only 8-of-28 from deep.

Lawler’s Law

The Lakers aren’t a very good defensive team, they’re giving up 109.7 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

Before dominating win over the Warriors, Russell Westbrook had been riding the struggle bus. He was shooting only 41.1 percent and 5.4 turnovers per game. His scoring was down by almost two full points and the Thunder had 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.