The Lakers’ time at being .500 on the season was short lived, as the Oklahoma City Thunder absolutely throttled them on Tuesday night, winning 122-105 at home.
Russell Westbrook was the star, scoring 37 points and grabbing 10 boards in his double-double performance. Kevin Durant had 26 points, while Serge Ibaka–who surprisingly wasn’t suspended but only fined $25K for a crotch shot to Blake Griffin against the Clippers on Sunday–added 13 more.
Kobe Bryant caught fire early for Los Angeles and had a 30-point performance, all while playing with a banged-up right elbow. This was Kobe’s 26th 30-point game this season, the most in the NBA.
The Thunder jumped to an early lead on Los Angeles, going up 37-28 after the first quarter. Those 37 points were the most points scored in the first period by OKC this season. Undeterred by the Lakers’ lax defense, the Thunder led 71-55 at the half, and Westbrook, Durant and Kevin Martin off the bench all had double digit points.
Though they led this game wire to wire, Oklahoma City saw its 18-point lead diminish to just five points late in the fourth. The Lakers brought it to 110-105 with four minutes to go, and looked as if they were going to make a late push to turn the game in their favor.
No such thing would occur, however.
The Lakers went ice cold down the stretch, being rendered scoreless the last four and a half minutes of the game. Ironically, the Lakers opened this game by missing their first 10 shots, and would end it by missing their last 10 as well.
Los Angeles falls to 31-30 on the season, while OKC advances to 44-16. They challenge the New York Knicks next, on Wed., Mar. 7.