Game Day #64: Thunder at Lakers

Oklahoma City Thunder (46-17, 21-11 road) at Los Angeles Lakers (40-24, 25-7 home)


Where: The Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA
When: 2:30 p.m.
 ABC (5 DirecTV, 8 Cox, 5 AT&T U-Verse, 5 Dish)
Online StreamHere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the EnemyHere.
Projected Lineups:

Thunder Lakers
PG Russell Westbrook Ramon Sessions
SG Thabo Sefolosha Kobe Bryant
SF Kevin Durant Metta World Peace
PF Serge Ibaka Pau Gasol
C Kendrick Perkins Andrew Bynum
6th Man James Harden Matt Barnes

Last time: Oklahoma City beat the Lakers 102-93 back on March 29th

It’s the last meeting between the Lakers and the Thunder, and it’s a big one. There are multiple story lines in this one. You have Oklahoma city who is still just ½ out of first place. Then you have the Lakers who are just ½ up on the Clippers. So, both teams have a lot to play for right now.

Oklahoma City has won both games against the Lakers this season. The Thunder haven’t swept this season series since taking all four matchups in 2000-01 when they were the Seattle SuperSonics.

Kevin Durant trails Kobe Bryant by just 0.1 points per game in the race for the NBA’s scoring title. Today will be a big match up for these two players.

The Thunder are just 6-4 in their last 10 games. Oklahoma City is looking to close out their season long 5 game road trip with a 4-1 record.  Oklahoma City though, is on a two game winning streak, hoping to make it three. The Thunder have won 6 of 8 since losing a season-worst three straight games.

Everyone is available for Oklahoma City, besides Eric Maynor, obviously.

Keys to the game

Russell Westbrook
Westbrook has been inconsistent lately. However, he had a solid game against the Kings Friday night. Attacking the Laker point guards is crucial for OKC winning this game.

Offensive Rebounds
Oklahoma City still ranks 29th overall in allowing offensive rebounds. However, it’s been a nice improvement for most of the second half of the season. In a lot of the big wins, OKC stops the teams from grabbing the offensive boards. Will that happen tonight?

Make Free Throws
OKC leads the league in total games shooting 90% or better at 23 games. That’s 4 better than the next team, Boston. However, in games where OKC struggles to shoot from the line, they struggle to win games, or just flat out loses them. If and when they get to the line, OKC needs to make the shots, simple.

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