Mar 5, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) handles the ball against Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) during the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

OKC Thunder (17-4) vs. LA Lakers (10-11) Preview

In the first meeting between the Thunder and Lakers this season, all stars will be in action. Before the start of the season, some may have thought there was a chance Kobe Bryant and even Russell Westbrook would not have been back yet for this game.

Even with Kobe back, the season has been a struggle so far for the Lakers. Kobe is not yet the Kobe of old, and may never get to that point, but in his first nationally televised game against a team he typically gets up for to play, we may get a glimpse of greatness from him.

The problem for the Lakers is that the Thunder are hitting on all cylinders right now at this point in the season. Durant and Westbrook are their usual selves while Serge Ibaka, Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb are all stepping up in their own rights.

The Lakers, under D’Antoni, will look to run and jack up a bunch of threes tonight. The Thunder are more than capable of defending such an attack.

OKC may once again be without Thabo Sefolosha, but rookie Andre Roberson has done a fine job in his starting place. It’s the Lakers who are dealing with injuries much more than the Thunder.

Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar and Chris Kaman will all be out. That means Kobe will be starting at point guard.

To beat the Thunder right now, you’re going to have to be playing some of your best basketball. The Lakers have been far from that of late. They’re 12.5 point dogs and that might even be generous. In the Peake, OKC likely won’t need their starters tonight by the fourth quarter.

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