W. Bennett Berry
Have the Lakers figured out how to win?
Kobe Bryan nearly earned a triple double, helping 6 Los Angeles Lakers players score in double figures in a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder 105-96.
The Thunder wrapped up their road trip with a loss to fall to 3-3. The Thunder looked sluggish tonight, shooting only 25% from beyond the arc. Durant and Westbrook combined for a dreadful 16-48 shooting on the night.
Kevin Durant finished 35, while Westbrook added 17 and was 1 rebound away from a triple double on the night.
What is your initial reaction to tonight's result?
The Thunder had seemingly figured out the Lakers before tonight's match and have easily gone on to win their last two match-ups. However, the Lakers were coming blowout win against the Jazz and a made proclamation that they have finally begun this season. Both Durant and Westbrook shot the ball poorly tonight, which halted the brief runs the Thunder made throughout the night.
There were some encouraging notes to take. The Thunder played poorly against a Lakers team that executed pretty well, and was still able to keep it close for the entire game.
What was, overall, the main reason why the Thunder lost?
The Thunder looked sluggish for much of the game and failed to put forth much of an effort on both sides of the floor. The Lakers were able to shoot 56% from the floor, compared the Thunder who shot 44%. OKC wasn't able to take advantage of the Lakers turnovers or a weak Lakers bench.
What was a key statistic to understanding the game?
For the second straight game, Kobe Bryant has had more assists than field goal attempts. He's distributed the ball and gotten everyone involved in the offense in the Lakers' last two games and the results have shown the Lakers are a much better team when this happens. He's reinvented his game recently and this may be the cure if LA wants to make the post-season.
What does this game mean to the Thunder tonight and going forward?
The Thunder end their 6 game road trip with a disappointing loss, ending with a 3-3 record. The Thunder have an extended break before taking on the Grizzles. As I pointed out last week, the Thunder are 9-1 this season coming off a loss, but the Grizzles are one of the best teams in the west. Let's hope the Thunder take this time off to help fine tune a few things before Thursday's match up .
Thunder Wonder: Kevin Durant, 35 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds
Thunder Down Under: Russell Westbrook, 17 points, 13 assists, 9 rebounds
Thunder Blunder: Russell Westbrook, 6-22 shooting, 4 turnovers.
Thunder Plunderer: Kobe Bryant 21 points, 14 assists, 9 rebounds
Next game: vs. Memphis Grizzles, on Thur. Jan 31 @ 7 CDT
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