Who would have thought at the start of the season that when the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers met to play at this point in the year, the Lakers would be five games under .500.
Things really could not have gone worse for the Lakers this season and right now it’s as bad as ever as they have lost their last five games.
The Lakers will be without Dwight Howard and Jordan Hill tonight and Pau Gasol may also miss the game although he has not been rules out just yet.
This is the second meeting between the Thunder and Lakers this season with the Thunder taking the first game 114-108 in OKC back on Dec. 7.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 36 points and nine rebounds in that game and Russell Westbrook also torched L.A. to the tune of 33 points and eight assists.
Gasol and Steve Nash did not play in that game. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 35 points while Howard had 23 points and 18 rebounds.
The Lakers will be at home tonight but without Howard and perhaps Gasol, will need monster efforts from Kobe and Nash to keep pace with OKC.
The worst part about this matchup for the Lakers is that Westbrook plays some of his best basketball against them. When that is the case, the Thunder rarely lose.
The Lakers have been sporting more small ball lineups of late too which will also only play into the hands of the Thunder who are far better with Durant playing power forward and only one other big on the floor.
The odds certainly aren’t in the Lakers’ favor tonight and a win for them would be a major upset at this juncture in the year.
The Thunder are coming off a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at home in their last game. Tonight on the road vs. the Lakers will kick off a road trip in which the Thunder will play nine of their next ten games away from home.
The game will tip at 10:30 p.m. EST tonight and will air nationally on ESPN.