The Oklahoma City Thunder dropped a home game to the Los Angeles Lakers with Lebron James still sidelined with a groin injury.
OKC dropped their second game in a row and 5th out of their last 6, losing to the Lakers 138-128 in overtime. The Lakers would shoot 50.5 percent from the floor and 47.5 percent from three, including 91% from the free throw line, despite being one of the league’s worst in these categories.
The @Lakers come back from 17 down to defeat the Thunder in OT! #LakeShow pic.twitter.com/Fo7RdH5iNb— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) January 18, 2019
The Thunder started off the game up 12 points, leading 39-27 after the 1st quarter. The Lakers responded with a 40-24 point 2nd quarter to take a 67-63 lead into halftime.
The game would be close the rest of the way until OKC went cold in overtime.
OKC was outscored 16-6 in the overtime period, going 2-12 from 3-point range in those short 5 minutes, to seal a double digit home loss to make it consecutive bad losses for the Thunder. Kyle Kuzma torched the Thunder defense for 32 points, while Ivica Zubac poured in 26 on 12-14 shooting. Zubac was a +35 off the bench.
Ivica Zubac had a +/- of +35 tonight in the win versus the Oklahoma City Thunder!— Drake Peaugh (@DrakePFSA) January 18, 2019
Highest EVER for a Lakers player 21 years or younger. Next closest, Lonzo Ball, twice. #NBAonTNT #NBA #LakeShow pic.twitter.com/WL9PXRiTDU
Paul George led the Thunder with 27 points, while Russell Westbrook added 26. The big story for the Thunder was poor bench play and poor defense. Dennis Schroder, who should have been well-equipped to take on the point guard-less Lakers bench (Rajon Rondo is still out), finished with only 9 points and 2 assists and a -12 in 17 minutes.
OKC dropped to 26-18, tied for 3rd in the western conference. They sit 4.5 games back of 1st place Golden State, but face the toughest schedule remaining in the NBA.
Me watching the Thunder play defense without Andre Roberson pic.twitter.com/xuSRxAblr6— Russell TripDubBrook (@Jhickness9) January 18, 2019
This is relevant, and with a tough schedule coming up, OKC is going to have to turn it around on defense. Although the Thunder are in 3rd place, they aren’t far from being out of the playoffs in the western conference.