The Oklahoma City Thunder easily beat the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night in L.A. 116-101 to improve to 28-8 on the season.
The Lakers played the Thunder even through one quarter then OKC outscored L.A. 39-23 in the second quarter. The Thunder would lead 93-73 after three quarters.
The Lakers appeared more like a D-League team at times playing without their three best big men, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill.
The Thunder shot over 50 percent from the field for the game and also grabbed 12 offensive rebounds. OKC had 28 assists as a team too.
The Thunder will play next on the road vs. Portland Sunday night.
Here are the Game Grades:
Kevin Durant – 39 minutes, 42 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists – A+
Durant’s 42 points were a season-high. He had 25 at halftime and 40 after three quarters. The looks were extremely easy for him all night but it wasn’t just because of bad Lakers defense. Durant has really improved driving to the rim and finishing strong at the rim this season. He did that a few times early in the game and that opened up his jump shot for the rest of the game. It just didn’t seem fair for the Lakers whenever Durant had the ball.
Russell Westbrook – 35 minutes, 27 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds – A
Westbrook always plays some of his best basketball against the Lakers. Steve Nash did not match up with him on defense, instead Kobe Bryant did. Kobe can’t keep up with Westbrook’s motor at this point in his career. Westbrook got to the rim with ease all game long and there was no Howard waiting for him in the paint. Westbrook took some bad shots in the game but made up for it with some spectacular finishes.
Serge Ibaka – 24 minutes, 6 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block – C
This is the second straight game for Ibaka with just six points. He did have some nice post moves early on but didn’t play a lot of minutes. Part of the reason was because the Lakers were playing some really small lineups and Nick Collison was the better fit for the Thunder. If Gasol and Howard were available, we would have seen more minutes from Ibaka and probably a much better game.
Kevin Martin – 27 minutes, 15 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist – B+
Martin looked to be out of his shooting slump last night. He made 6-of-12 field goals and 3-of-6 3-pointers for the game. He is developing a great chemistry with Collison in the second unit and that was on display last night.
Kendrick Perkins – 20 minutes, 6 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks – B+
Perkins had a very nice game in a matchup where he should have dominated. He didn’t allow anything easy for L.A. on defense and filled up the stat sheet in other ways too.
Thabo Sefolosha – 31 minutes, 9 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists – B+
Sefolosha did a fine job containing Kobe who shot just 8-for-23 in the game. Sefolosha did some other nice things on offense too on the fast break and in the half court.
Nick Collison – 27 minutes, 4 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists – A
Collison did all of the little things as usual for OKC. He had three offensive rebounds and his five assists was a sign that the offense was executing very well in the second unit. He is very important this season for the success of the Thunder bench and last night he was perfect.
Reggie Jackson – 15 minutes, 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist – C+
Jackson had some nice drives to the basket but nothing special from him overall. He made just 1-of-4 field goals and 2-of-5 free throws.
DeAndre Liggins – 12 minutes, 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal – C+
Liggins is always active and hustling but the Thunder were outscored by 22 while he was in last night. He played some garbage time at the end where this was unimportant however. He is always cutting on offense and the more minutes he gets, the more his teammates will find him on these cuts.
Jeremy Lamb, Eric Maynor and Hasheem Thabeet each played the garbage minutes at the end of this one.